Essay Example on Product Liability & Baby Products: Safety First!

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1262 Words
Date:  2023-01-11

Product liability entails responsibility in regards to the safety of the consumer. In terms of baby products, extra caution should be put in place since the baby requires extra care because he is delicate and young. The suits in regards to product liability comprise of design defect and are generally expansive. Strong media attention due to product liability in products sold widely leads to consumer harm (Polinsky & Shavell 1439). The seller or the manufacturer is usually held liable for placing a product, which is defective in the consumer's hands.

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Generally, the requirements of the law in terms of product are that it must meet ordinary consumer expectation. Product defect liability could be due to anyone in the product distribution. Product manufacturer, an individual, involved in installing and assembling of the product, components part manufacturer wholesale and retail stores. Instead of focusing on the manufacturer's negligence behavior, the product itself presents stringent liability claims. In regards to strict liability, the manufacturer is usually held liable. Negligence presents difficulties in the aspect of plaintiffs prove that the conduct of the defendant was below required standards of care. The paper investigates product liability in the case of Johnson Baby Powder and Johnson Baby Shampoo products (Polinsky & Shavell 1444).

Johnson &Johnson founded in 1886 is an American manufacturing multinational company, which deals with pharmaceutical goods, consumer packaged goods and medical devices. In the 2018 Fortune 500 list, Johnson &Johnson ranks at number 18. The Company headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey and the consumer division is in Skillman, New Jersey. The corporation has a total of 250 subsidiary companies which operates in 60 countries. Johnson and Johnson products sales are in over 175 countries. There exist safety tips and precautions at the back of each product of the company.

The precautions include eye contact avoidance, keep out of reach of children, for external use only, and avoid contact with an open flame. These precautions show that some products ingredients are poisonous, flammable and in case swallowed them are harmful. The precautions help in informing and warning the consumers the existence of possible products hazard. The company thus protects itself from a product liability lawsuit. Several products, which are produced by the company, include Johnson's baby products, Band-Aid bandages, and beauty products among others. In product liability cases, the victim must prove that there was a defect in the product leading to be unreasonably dangerous (Polinsky & Shavell 1456).

The defect presents in the form of design defect, which entails that the product was defective in the design itself before the process of manufacturing. Another type of defect is Defects in Manufacturing, which includes lack of product assembling according to the specifications of the manufacturer. Marketing defects explain that a product lacks the correct labels of marketing and adequate usage instructions. Lack of enough consumers warning in regards to dangerous product aspect exhibits marketing defect. Product misrepresentations present grounds in regards to cases of product liability. Manufacturers of defective goods, which lead to the suffering of damage or loss to the consumer, can lead to court. The court actions include compensation awards in the covering of losses or making a grievance to the protection agency of the consumer.

Compensation in regards to the consumer from the manufacturer is usually presents adequate information if the goods cause' loss or damage. The loss or damage is inclusive of economic decline, injuries, and other goods destruction including building or land. The court identifies goods safety by examination of relevant circumstances including goods packaging, marketing of goods, goods usage, instructions, and warning for use.

The labels indicated that the products are a dermatologist and Hypoallergenic tested clinically proven, 100% soap free. The instructions included that the products should be kept out of the reach of children to avoid inhalation and not suitable for use if it has a broken seal, avoiding of eye contact, avoid open flame contact and the products should be for external use only. In recent years, the company faces an adverse reputation leading to pharmaceutical marketing practices fines, product recalls and shareholders group litigation. In the case of Johnsons Baby Shampoo, there exist two chemicals including quaternium-15, a preservative which kills bacteria by formaldehyde release

The United States national toxicology declared formaldehyde a known human carcinogen as a harmful substance. The substance causes irritant to eyes, skin and respiratory. The label of Johnsons Baby Shampoo showed quaternium-15 product ingredients. Johnsons Baby Shampoo which sold in the united states, Indonesia, China, Canada contains quaternium-15.chemical is 1,4-dioxane which makes the product gentle and more soluble to the skin is a likely carcinogen. The international coalition of health and environmental groups urges total boycott of Johnson & Johnson baby products until it removes the toxic chemicals from the baby products worldwide.

The boycott campaign sent a signed letter by medical and environmental groups in regards to the removal of the substances from their products. Some of the most affected products include Johnsons Head to Toe Baby Wash, Johnsons Baby Shampoo, Johnsons Baby Lotion, and Johnsons Bedtime Bath. The concerned individuals explained that Johnson & Johnson manufactured products, which were dangerous and did not warn the consumers in regards to increased cancer risk (Drabiak 81). Due to the boycott, the company stated in regards to formaldehyde that United States regulators generally approve it and other countries and the baby products will be out of the market gradually.

Johnsons Naturals has since then released products which exclude 1,4-dioxane. Multiple tests to test the chemical levels of the company's baby products by analytical scientists' shows low levels of chemicals. In the case of Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powders, cancer-causing agent proved hazardous. The evidence exhibits that the packaging label failed to list the total ingredients in product production (Drabiak 95).

After testing the product, Ethylene Oxide, which is used in chemical production in large scale, exists. Another plastics use component known as ethylene glycol was present. Ethyl oxide used in the production of lubricants, paint thinners, detergents, and solvents exhibits harmful effects. Ethyl oxide presents dangers especially at room temperature, and its features include carcinogenic, flammable, irritating, and mutagenic. Constant and unprotected exposure generally causes alternation of DNA leading to cancer. Cardiovascular system and lungs damage is caused by Ethyl oxide exposure. Some of the physical sign due to exposure includes dizziness, vomiting, headache weakness and sleep disturbances. Johnson and Johnson lose India license following an ordered case that showed sterilization of baby powder products by cancer-causing components. Since ethylene oxide used for purposes of sterilization, the company failed to check the residue product amount (Drabiak 101).


The two case studies show the products' ingredients, which are poisonous and flammable. Some of these precautions used in informing and warning possible product hazards towards the consumers. The company also protects itself from product liability legal suit. Current laws legal action aid the consumer's protection in malpractices in regards to product liability. In terms of manufacturers, useful steps should include awareness increase and best product provision, which lacks harmful chemicals. The manufacturers can take further action in consumer provision of organic contents and products including materials and herbs. The practices concerning product liability should strive in bringing manufacturers and consumer benefits. Product liability is vital to consumers. Several people annually become victims of defective products, which lead to sellers and manufacturers paying for damages.

Works Cited

Drabiak, Katherine. "Dying to Be Fresh and Clean: Toxicants in Personal Care Products, the Impact on Cancer Risk, and Epigenetic Damage." Pace Envtl. L. Rev, vol. 35, no.1, 2017, pp. 75-107.

Polinsky, A. Mitchell, and Steven Shavell. "The uneasy case for product liability." Harv. L. Rev vol.123, 2009, pp.1437-1492.

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