Fidget Spinner Injuries – Who is Liable?

By shamieh law | On

Originally designed as a therapeutic tool for children with ADHD, anxiety, and autism, fidget spinners have taken the world by storm. Kids and adults alike enjoy the tiny devices, but with such widespread popularity comes the potential for fidget spinner injuries. In cases like these, it can be difficult to determine liability – is it user error or a product defect? An experienced product defect attorney can help you figure this out.

Houston Child Suffers Fidget Spinner Injuries

In May of 2017, a 10 year old Houston girl nearly choked to death after swallowing a small piece of a fidget spinner.

According to her mom, Britton Joniec underwent emergency surgery to remove a fidget spinner bushing from her esophagus. Britton’s mom wrote the following on Facebook:

“On the way home from a fun swim meet, I heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat as I was driving. Looking back in the mirror, I saw her face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth – she could utter noises but looked panicked so I immediately pulled over. She pointed to her throat saying she’d swallowed something, so I attempted the Heimlich but there was no resistance.”

The little girl had inserted the fidget spinner in her mouth in an attempt to clean it, but accidentally swallowed a metal piece. She ended up admitted to the emergency room at Texas Children’s Hospital, in the Woodlands, where X-rays showed the nickel sized busing was stuck in her esophagus. Her fidget spinner injuries were thankfully resolved with some endoscopy, but not before everyone had a good scare.

“The GI doctor was fascinated . . . he’d only just learned of fidget spinners that morning when he was at the mall with his son, so it was a surprise to be faced with one in a case a few hours later.”

“The GI doctor was fascinated . . . he’d only just learned of fidget spinners that morning when he was at the mall with his son, so it was a surprise to be faced with one in a case a few hours later.”

Kelly Rose Joniec

Victim’s Mother

An x-ray shows a fidget spinner part lodged in the victim’s throat.

Does the Family Have a Product Liability Case?

Product liability in fidget spinner injuries cases presents a bit of a gray area, due to changing safety regulations. Recently, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued new fidget spinner safety guidance for consumers and businesses.

Among various guidelines for consumers, it also presents guidelines for retailers, and how they should safely present fidget spinners to their customers. According to a statement by the Commission, “If a fidget spinner is marketed and is primarily intended for children 12 years of age and younger, companies must certify that their product meets toy safety and other standards, including limits for phthalates, lead content, and lead in paint, if applicable, and the U.S. Toy Standard, ASTM F963-16.”

The real problem is that most fidget spinners are considered general use products, not intended primarily for children, so they do not have to meet the above standards. But if they fail to issue appropriate choking warnings (or in the case of battery-operated fidget spinners, fire warnings), a case could be made for product liability.

Contact Shamieh Law

Fidget spinners may be small, but the injuries they can cause are far from little. When manufacturers fail to properly label their product or marketing it to an inappropriate age group, they are responsible if something terrible occurs. Our firm will negotiate and/or litigate a full award on your behalf as quickly as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

If you or a loved one has suffered fidget spinner injuries, contact us now for a free consultation and to protect your legal rights. Call 214-888-3333.