Now this is an interesting warning defect case. Toys R Us are selling “You & Me Interactive Triplets” dolls that parents say use bad language. Parents claim that the dolls say “Hey, Crazy Bitch.” Of course, produce defects are those problems that are more dangerous than the expectations of the ordinary consumer. In this case, the child is not in physical danger but the product exposes them to bad language. The dolls are simply too interactive and a bit too “street” for many parents.
The dolls are recommended for children ages 2 and older, and there is no warning of explicit language on the packaging. The store however has decided not to take the dolls off the shelf and that, if parents find the language offensive, they can return them with a receipt. If the allegation are true, who would program a doll to say such a thing? I have to assume it is a flawed recording (making if a manufacturing defect). More importantly, how could any store continue to sell the item to children? Of course, the store may be intimidated by a shelf full of the trash talking triplets. It is still better than their prior dolls that said they were going to kill the children.
If true, the story does raise an interesting question of the form of liability for a doll that, without warning, exposes children to bad language. If it is not a design or manufacturing defect and the question is whether you have to warn about bad language as a matter of tort law. There remains negligence, but once again, is there sufficient injury in being exposed to the word “bitch” which is increasingly common in society.
Source: Orlando as first seen on Reddit.