BOSTON (CBS) – The group WATCH – World Against Toys Causing Harm – will hold their annual press conference Tuesday spotlighting toys they think could be dangerous due to hazardous parts, inadequate warnings, incomplete usage information and so on. They do this every year on the cusp of the holiday shopping season, and some of the products they highlight are jaw-dropping.
Every year, the toy industry responds by claiming that while product safety is important, the WATCH list is a scare tactic by plaintiff’s attorneys who want to promote the idea that toy-related injuries are never an accident caused by negligent product usage and inadequate parental supervision, and thus, always cause for hiring a liability lawyer.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in-between.
Companies do have a legal and moral obligation to ensure their products are as safe as they can make them and warn of potential risks, and it’s essential that when they fall short, they be held accountable by the legal and political systems.
But the industry’s rebuttal also raises an important question – what about personal responsibility and common sense?
In a way, the saga of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and the uproar over complaints of improper sexual conduct made against him by multiple women is a good case study. It’ll be up to the voters to responsibly weigh the claims and rule on Moore’s fitness for office.
That responsibility can’t be outsourced to someone else, just as ensuring a child’s safety is ultimately up to the parents.