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Lawsuit of Mattel Inc. Products Liability Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 20th, 2019

Description of the Company and the Product Safety Issue That Led To the Lawsuit

Business organizations may fall prey to diverse lawsuits. In such instances, the fate of the company depends on its capacity to handle the lawsuit. This paper analyzes the legal issues around the renowned Mattel Inc. The foundation of the company dates back to 1945 (McDougall & Popat, 2010).

The products history of the company depicts remarkable evolution. For instance, it is notable that the company began by operating on the wood products. Some of the prominent wood and creative musical toys during the 1950’s were from this company.

The development of the “barbie” toy in the late 1950 enabled the company to establish a powerful brand. Observably, this was evident within the household level. The company portrayed an eminent application of strategic advertisement and product promotion initiatives.

These led to the development of high level of product awareness. The use of the media in the promotion initiatives became notable. Presently, the company enjoys a relatively wide range of products. Indicatively, these are specifically toys. The company remains publicly traded, with an evident trading of the stock within the “New York Stock Exchange,” NYSE (Twomey, Jennings, Fox & Anderson, 2011).

The headquarters of Mattel Inc. is at the Hawthorne, California. Notably, the company enjoys a wider market reach. It is evident that the company has a remarkable global market presence. Mattel Inc. recently faced a powerful lawsuit. This severe lawsuit emanated from the discovery of unhealthy quantities of the dangerous lead paint. These were discovered in the products of Mattel Inc.

These include the products that already occupied store shelves (McDougall & Popat, 2010). The important discovery took place in the period between 2006 and 20007. The high level of lead in these products posed great health dangers to the user groups. Particularly, this relates to the children who heavily rely on the use of toy products.

The Legal Theories Used By the Plaintiff to Recover In This Lawsuit

The important discovery had potential legal impacts on the operations and product image of Mattel Inc. The “Consumer Product Safety Commission” (CPSC) engaged in serious legal tussle with the company. As indicated by the CPSC, approximately 100 different items became important. Consequently, all of them became involved in the process of this lawsuit. Indicatively, these selected items had important representations.

In fact, it is evident that they represented many millions of the individual pieces. The legal process enabled Mattel to provide a massive recall of most of its products. These recall processes embodied some of the very popular brands. The U.S CPSC managed to fine the company, Mattel Inc., approximately $2.3 million (Twomey, Jennings, Fox & Anderson, 2011).

The fine emanated from a clear legal basis. Generally, the charge was because Mattel’s deviant practices. It is because Mattel engaged in importation of toys that undermined federal regulations that ban the presence of lead paint within specific consumer products.

Notable resolutions emerged from this important lawsuit. For instance, Mattel Inc. had to a significant fine to the tune of $2.3 million. These were definitely due to the violations on the quantities of lead in these toys.

Another resolution was to make the company to recall a significant percentage of its goods ready in the market. In pressing for these critical charges, the CPSC emphasized and reiterated the importance of the violation of the renowned 1978 statute.

Accordingly, the 1978 federal regulations prohibited the all toys from harboring an exceeding composition of.06 percent lead. The revealing experiments indicated the massive presence of the in the paint or surface coatings.

There are many forms of malignant cancer associated to constant exposure to carcinogenic material. Lead is one of the most stable heavy metals. Organizations must also trade on sustainable systems and products. It is not ethically correct for renowned corporations to spread goods that might have destructive side effects. This is because the organizations are bound to make significant profits from such important sales.

Lastly, the heavy metals such as lead found within the toys materials have diverse environmental degradation impacts. By initiating or launching a product, the organization must respect the pertinent customer welfare and protection.

My other reason for agreeing with this initiative is that the corporation debased the “Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act by importing” (McDougall & Popat, 2010). These include some of the important highlights on the significance of consideration of high product quality and increased care provision of customer care.

Changes in the Company to Ensure Greater Safety of This Product or Its Products

Mattel Inc. presently employs diverse robust strategies towards observation of high quality of products. Various top officials of the corporation appear in the media emphasizing on the company’s focus on “rigorous standards” (Twomey, Jennings, Fox & Anderson, 2011).

The company practices management systems. In this process, it enhances the level of performance of various quality assurance and control units. These increase the level of awareness and compliance to safety standards by all workers. Other than these, production processes rely on quality and monitoring systems. These have positive implications on the level of performance and output within various departments.

The company recognizes the need for persistent customer engagement. Particularly, these relate to the level of safety of the various products (McDougall & Popat, 2010). The customers must provide adequate feedback on their perceptions and convictions on the level of quality performance and safety of the various company products.

These are vital in the engagement or improvement initiatives and processes within the organization. The company also increasingly relies on critical control standards from external regulatory agencies. There is an increased need to comply with external policies and guidelines within the regulatory environment.

The initiation of the extensive recalls was critical. This relates to the products that proved to contain toxic lead material. The fundamental aim of the recall process was to assist in the development and manufacture of safer products.

The company initiated all of these processes within its potential market zones. The aim was to rebuild its broken identity. Furthermore, the company also sought to gain fresh confidence on its customers. The organization’s hazard analysis is vital (McDougall & Popat, 2010). This is because the adopted approach enables a system that encourages product safety.

Apart from this, it also enhances the level of product conformity to legal and market standards. The evaluation and monitoring of product safety and manufacturing procedures are critical. These are some of the critical processes adopted by the organization to increase the level of the quality of some of its major products within the marketplace.

Discussion of the Regulatory Agency That Oversees the Particular Industry the Company Is In

The United States CPSC has the fundamental role of safeguarding the public from unwarranted risks. These may include the potential risks of harm and death that may emanate from diverse consumer products. However, this applies specifically to goods that fall under the authority of this organization. The agency has a sincere dedication to guard all consumers from potentially harmful products.

Toys include some of the products that the CPSC has close interests (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2011). The regulatory agency uses various mechanisms in the identification and initiation of awareness about specific product dangers. The use of legal process is one of the most critical approaches applicable by the CPSC.

This is mostly achievable through the engagement and active collaboration with the legal system within the U.S. The agency maintains a list of the recalled toys from the general American society. It is upon the parents to review the updated list regularly. This process helps in the elimination of harmful or dangerous toys.

Recommendations to the Company about Avoiding Future Lawsuits

Stringent observation of quality standards is important in the elimination of lawsuits in the future. The company also needs to consider both the internal and external regulatory environments. Quality control is a strategic management tool that is applicable in the elimination of low quality products.

Apart from these, the organization must consider engaging the services of qualified and experienced personnel. Lastly, Mattel Inc. must also consider the integration of continuous process evaluation systems. Such initiatives help to minimize manufacturing errors that may compromise product quality.


Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J. & Ferrell, L. (2011). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

McDougall, A. & Popat, P. (2010). International product law manual. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Twomey, D. P., Jennings, M., Fox, I. & Anderson, R. A. (2011). Anderson’s business law and the legal environment. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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