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Defective toys could mean product liability suits for McDonald's

The popular fast-food chain McDonald's might have had New York children's well-being in mind when it decided to include a fitness tracker in its Happy Meals product, but the execution apparently did not hit the mark. The Step-It wristbands allegedly caused serious injuries to dozens of children and warranted a nationwide recall. Product liability suits could soon be on the horizon for McDonald's as parents of injured children take necessary action to achieve compensation.

McDonald's was possibly following the results of a study from 2009 that indicated devices used for counting steps are effective at encouraging children to engage in physical activities. While some opponents cited concern that this was little more than a marketing tactic used to take the focus off of poor nutritional value in its food, this turned out to not be the most significant worry. Shortly after the Step-Its were handed out in the kid-friendly packaging, complaints began to surface. Children who wore the Step-It devices were experiencing burns and skin irritation after wearing them for only a short while.

Over 30 million Step-Its have been recalled, with 29 million in the United States alone. The recall was apparently voluntary, and McDonald's issued an apology for the inconvenience that its products might have caused. However, they do not appear to have said what type of testing or review went into these products before they were given to young children.

New York parents who are short on time often turn to fast-food restaurants for quick dinners for their families, and they have the right to expect that the food and products they receive will be safe. Companies who manufacture and distribute defective products might seem too big to hold accountable, but consumers have the ability to take action that can address the damages from related injuries. Product liability claims are often the most effective course of action for achieving compensation for physical, emotional and financial damages.

Source: CNN, "McDonald's recalls Happy Meal fitness trackers after burns", Aria Hangyu Chen, Aug. 23, 2016

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