Products Liability

Chinese Goods Spur Litigation

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Class action law firms are eyeing possible suits against the makers of defective Chinese goods.

Plaintiffs lawyers and retailers are probably “on alert” as news reports surface about dangerous tires, toothpaste, food and toys from China, New York lawyer Lianne Pinchuk told the National Law Journal. Pinchuk is a member of the products liability and mass tort group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

At least one firm has already acted. Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro has filed two suits against the manufacturer of Thomas the Train for using lead-based paint on the toys. One seeks refunds and damages while another seeks to recover the costs of diagnostic testing for children, a press release says.

The manufacturer, RC2, has voluntarily recalled the toys. It did not respond to calls for comment from the Reporter Progress.

Plaintiffs attorney W. Mark Lanier told the National Law Journal he would not be surprised to see more suits over defective Chinese toys. His Lanier Law Firm, with offices in New York and Houston, has already reached a confidential settlement in one toy case.

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