A California family thought they had found just the thing to help their little man master the art of going potty all by himself. They were nothing short of horrified when they would have to rush their three-year-old son to the hospital when his penis was nearly severed off. As the New York Post shares, the family has now filed a lawsuit against the product manufacturer and the store that they purchased it from.
The product in question is the weePOD Basix potty trainer, which is manufactured by Prince Lionheart and retails at Target for $14.99. The family arrived home, and the toddler would try out what is described as a squishy potty trainer soon thereafter. It’s unclear exactly how it happened, but the child’s genitals were allegedly severed by the trainer, and the family would rush him to the hospital. Doctors were forced to use medical glue to reattach his genitals in the proper fashion, and it’s unclear what kind of long-term damage was done.
An attorney for the unidentified family offered up some thoughts on behalf of the family.
“People go to Target assuming the products they sell aren’t going to mutilate a toddler’s genitals,” the attorney said. “This kid’s scarred for life.”
Target spokesperson Jenna Reck released a statement that confirmed the company is thoroughly investigating the matter.
“We take product safety incredibly seriously, are committed to providing safe products to our guests and require our vendors to follow all product safety laws and CPSC guidelines for the products they sell at Target,” the statement read.
As the attorney sees it, the company was neglectful due to the fact that there have been other complaints about the same product. Several online reviews from disgruntled parents note that their children suffered horrible rashes after using the trainer, while a mom in Virginia filed suit after her son’s genitals were cut by a sharp edge on the device. Nonetheless, the suit alleges that the product has never been recalled in spite of rampant problems and complaints.
“The real issue is they’ve known about this product having similar problems and they didn’t do anything,” the attorney added. “I can assure you, the amount we’ll be requesting from a jury will be significant.”
Prince Lionheart CEO Kelly McConnell declined comment on the specific details of the suit, but she defended her company and the product.
“The safety of children is our number-one priority,” she said. “All of our products are tested by third-party accredited testing houses and either meet or exceed all applicable domestic and international standards.”
We’ll have to wait and see how this suit plays out, but things sound rather cut and dry based on the facts presented. Unless some additional information turns up as the case moves forward, both the retailer and the manufacturer could easily be found liable. At an absolute minimum, both parties will have a lot of explaining to do on why the product has not been recalled in spite of complaints and apparent defects.
For parents, it’s impossible to research each and every product that you may come across, but stories like this inspire feelings that one must do just that for precautionary purposes and peace of mind.