Judge: Class-Action Against Toy Makers Can Proceed

December 11, 2008

A judge has ruled that Mattel, Wal-Mart and others can still be sued for making and selling toys with high lead levels, even though the companies offered safer replacements after a recall.

Judge Dale Fischer filed the ruling in federal court in Los Angeles, allowing the class-action lawsuit to proceed.

Plaintiff attorneys in San Diego, New York and Seattle filed the lawsuit in May on behalf of people who bought toys that contained high levels of lead or small magnets that could be swallowed. The companies voluntarily issued recalls.

Fischer ruled that Mattel, Wal-Mart, Target and other stores were not shielded from liability by offering safer replacement toys. He also rejected the companies’ request to deny medical testing to children who were exposed to the toys.

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