A 7-year-old girl died choking on a ball that dislodged from a candy rollerball treat, leading to a massive candy recall of more than 70 million product containers.
According to a USA Today news report, Candy Dynamics has recalled 70 million containers of Slime Licker Sour Rolling Liquid Candy because of a choking hazard. In a separate recall, KGR Candies has recalled about 145,800 tubes of Cocco Candy Rolling Candy because the treat’s rolling ball can dislodge and get trapped in a person’s throat, potentially causing death.
Details of the Massive Candy Recall
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that a 7-year-old girl in New York fatally choked on one of KGR’s Cocco Candy products when a rolling ball dislodged and became trapped in her throat back in April. The commission also said there have been two reports of the candy’s rolling ball detaching from the container. No injuries have been reported involving the candy.
The commission reports that the Cocco Candy being recalled was sold in 2-ounce tubes in three flavors – strawberry, tutti-frutti, and sour cola. The affected Cocco Candy products were sold in stores across the United States as well as online between May 2022 and March 2023. CPSC is asking consumers to stop using the recalled rolling candy immediately, take it away from children, and contact KGR Distribution Corp. for a refund. The company says consumers can receive their refunds with a receipt through PayPal, Zelle, or a check.
The Slime Licker candy was sold in 2-ounce and 3-ounce containers in multiple flavors. The affected products were sold at Walmart, Five Below, and additional stores, as well as online on Amazon from June 2015 through July 2023. Consumers are asked to stop using these products right away and contact Candy Dynamic through their website for refunds.
Choking Hazards and Defective Products
The recent candy recall incidents were caused by the discovery of choking dangers in multiple products. Choking hazards in defective products are a pressing concern for consumers and product manufacturers. The consequences of a choking incident can be severe, potentially resulting in injury or even death. Young children are particularly vulnerable, as they have a tendency to put small objects in their mouths. However, choking hazards are not limited to children. Adults can also be at risk when using or interacting with various products.
There are a number of reasons why defective products pose choking hazards:
Small parts: Many defective products, especially toys and baby products, may have small parts that can easily detach and become choking hazards if not properly secured.
Flawed or poor design: Defective products may have design flaws that make them more likely to break, shatter, or disintegrate, creating small, sharp pieces that can be ingested or inhaled.
Failure to warn: Product manufacturers must provide clear warning labels and instructions for product use. Failure to do so can contribute to choking hazards as users may not be aware of potential dangers.
Errors during manufacturing: Mistakes in the production process, such as using sub-standard materials or improper assembly, can lead to defects that increase the risk of choking.
What is a Product Manufacturer’s Responsibility to Consumers?
Product manufacturers bear a significant responsibility when it comes to ensuring the safety of their consumers, said Brian Chase, senior partner at Bisnar Chase, a Newport Beach personal injury law firm that is at the forefront of advocating for consumer safety, and represents those who have been injured as a result of dangerous and defective products.
“There is no question that products must be designed with safety in mind,” Chase said. “That includes using non-toxic materials, implementing thorough testing procedures to identify and fix defects before products get to the market, and complying with safety regulations, which are there for a reason. When product manufacturers cut corners or compromise safety to make a quick buck, we have a real problem. Tragically, it is the consumer who pays a heavy price.”
What Steps Can You Take as a Consumer?
As consumers, it would behoove us all to be proactive when it comes to researching products, looking at reviews, and checking products for recalls. It is always a good idea to stay informed about hazards that everyday products might pose. If you suspect or know that a product is defective, report it to the manufacturer and the CPSC.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one as the result of a dangerous or defective product, you may have legal options for seeking compensation, holding manufacturers accountable, and ensuring safer products in the future. Injured victims may be able to file a product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
In some cases where the negligence is egregious, victims or their families may also be able to seek punitive damages, which is meant to punish negligent corporations and prevent such wrongdoing in the future. A knowledgeable California product defect lawyer can help injured victims and families seek compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.