Family Awarded $435,000 Damages Over Recalled Aqua Dots Toys

A family from Arizona has been awarded $435,000 (£274,100) by a federal court over Aqua Dots toys which Melanie McBride, the family’s attorney, said left a child with permanent brain damage.

A jury found in favour of Mark and Meth Monje, the decision is the first of its kind in the USA over Aqua Dots; other families have settled out of court.

Aqua Dots was popular craft toy range that involved placing small round beads on a dimpled, plastic tray and then moistening the beads so that they stuck together. In Britain and Australia the toys was known as Bindeez.

In November 2007, a recall took place after reports of children becoming sick after swallowing

the beads. 4.2 million sets were believed to be in the USA. Testing showed that the Aqua Dots

were coated with 1,4-butanediol, which when swallowed is metabolised into gammahydroxybutyric acid (GHB) also commonly described as the date-rape drug. The product was supposed to use a non-toxic coating 1,5-pentanediol.

Master Monje swallowed some of the beads in July 2007, Ms. McBride said that this resulted in permanent brain damage, loss of fine motor skills and sense of smell. The jury awarded $58,000 for medical bills and a further $377,000 for pain and suffering.

Moose Enterprise, an Australia firm which developed the toys, was found responsible with a portion of responsibility allotted to Spin Master, its US distributor, for not testing the toy to make sure it was safe. Toys “R” Us, where the toy was purchase, was not held responsible.

Further evidence : Orlando Sentinal

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