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Charlotte Injury Lawyer Warns Parents of Rise in Detergent Pod Injuries

By Brown Moore

December 26, 2014

Home News & Resources Charlotte Injury Lawyer Warns Parents of Rise in Detergent Pod Injuries

Detergent pods have only been on the market since 2010. They have added convenience to homemakers, but they have also made a mark in a negative way. Their bright colors and soft textures make them look like toys or candy, which attracts children like magnets. Since they are filled with highly-concentrated chemicals, children are sustaining serious injuries at an increasing rate.

A New Study Illustrates the Scope of the Detergent Pod Problem

On November 10, 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a Pediatric Exposure to Laundry Detergent Pods report, which analyzed 2012 – 2013 information from the National Poison Data System. The data showed that 17,230 children under age six suffered pod detergent exposure during that period and exposed some alarming statistics:

  • Over a 13-month period, monthly exposures increased by 645.3 percent, although exposure decreased by 25.1 percent over the subsequent months ending in December 2013.
  • In 73.5 percent of the cases, children under age three were affected.
  • Ingestion represented 79.7 of the cases.

The good news is that among all children exposed to the pods, only 4.4 percent were hospitalized, with 7.5 percent going through a medical outcome ranging from moderate to major. Still, any attorney who has worked on even one case would say that the injury rate is too high.

Improved Packaging and Parent Education Might Help Protect Children

In a direct response to the AAP report, the American Cleaning Institute has stated that pod manufacturers are committed to taking the action needed to reduce pod accident injuries in children. They have added or improved package warning labels, made sure pods are not visible from outside the boxes, and introduced methods of adult education to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of keeping these — and all household cleaners — safely out of the reach of children.

The NC Negligence Doctrine Adds Challenges for Attorneys Seeking Justice for Injured Clients

North Carolina is one of a handful of “strict contributory negligence” states. This means that anyone who bears even a minor degree of negligence for their injuries cannot typically pursue a claim against others who may bear most of the fault. Clearly, any pod manufacturer is likely to use warning messages on their packaging as grounds for asserting negligence on the part of parents who seemed to ignore the warnings.

In fact, while the contributory negligence doctrine may add challenges to product liability or any type of personal injury claim, it does not automatically bar legal action. Knowledgeable attorneys typically conduct thorough investigations into each accident. A well-versed attorney can usually cite an extensive history of injuries from a particular product, show that product warnings were insufficient, or find other reasons that justify allowing cases to move forward.

Before families give up on taking legal action for any injury case, they need to seek experienced legal advice. It costs nothing to call Brown Moore and Associates, PLLC at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form to learn more about all available legal options.