When it comes to consumer goods, the possibility of purchasing a defective item always exists. It is for that reason manufacturers generally provide a limited warranty and retailers offer returns and exchanges. However, when a particular product seems to be failing en masse, there could be a larger issue at hand. A toy maker based in Ontario may have to deal with class action litigation after its biggest selling product left a lot of families disappointed this past Christmas.
One of the most sought after gifts over the 2016 holiday season was an electronic toy called "Hatchimals," which is made by Toronto's Spin Master. The toy is an interactive animal that must first be persuaded to break its way out of a special egg it comes packaged inside. Demand for the toy was overwhelming and many parents purchased them at premium prices from resellers.
Based on reports made to social media, it seems that an unusually large quantity of the toys were not functioning as advertised come Christmas Day. The company claims it handled numerous issues through troubleshooting and sending out replacement Hatchimals, and that the situation was not as bad as many were claiming. Nonetheless, there may still be a class action lawsuit launched against the company by a group of consumers based in the United States. Claiming a breach or warranty and false advertising, the suit seeks punitive damages and compensation in addition to a recall of the toy.
Class action litigation is a powerful tool available to the public to help fight perceived corporate injustice. While it may be hoped that an isolated incident of a defective product will be handled by the manufacturer to the satisfaction of the consumer, if a product fails in large numbers and the maker seems to have acted disingenuously, group legal action may be necessary. If one is considering launching this type of suit, it may be a good idea to first speak with a lawyer who understands litigation law in Ontario.
Source: Global News, "Spin Master now faces a proposed class-action lawsuit over Hatchimals that wouldn't hatch", Nicole Bogart National, Jan. 24, 2017