Los Angeles, CA – Kristensen Weisberg, LLP, and Carpenter Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP, on behalf of their clients announced that they have filed a class action complaint for damages and injunctive relief, alleging that their clients’ three-year old son and more than 15 other toddlers used a potty-training device sold by Target and made by Prince Lionheart Inc., when the toddlers’ genitals were stuck to the WeePOD causing the boys’ penises to be lacerated.
The complaint also alleges that the WeePOD, was sold in TARGET stores and marketed as safe despite the fact that Prince Lionheart was aware of other complaints dating back to 2012 about the product.
“Our initial client, a three year-old child, suffered severe and painful injuries as a result of this defective product,” said John Kristensen, co-attorney for the plaintiffs. “His parents were devastated and traumatized by witnessing their toddlers’ ordeal. Prince Lionheart knew there were problems with this defective potty-training device, knew of prior complaints but refused to take the product off the shelf. They had a duty to warn customers about the dangers of their WeePOD product. Their failure to do so was reckless and led directly to the mutilation of my client.”
“We have now discovered this was far from an isolated incident,” said John Carpenter, co-attorney for the plaintiffs. “Despite having knowledge of at least 15 similar incidents, Prince Lionheart has refused to recall or warn its customers about the approximately 650,000 defective products in circulation that are being handed down from family to family in households throughout the United States. To this day, the company’s refusal continues even though Prince Lionheart has redesigned the defect and substantially changed the warnings on its new products.”
In 2012, Prince Lionheart received the first complaint from a mother in California, the first of many to follow about a toddler’s genitals being ripped/lacerated at the base of his penis.
In May of 2015, a Virginia parent reported a laceration injury to her child’s genital area from using a WeePOD Basix potty seat purchased at a Target store. Despite knowledge of these problems, neither Target nor Lionheart recalled the product or even addressed or informed consumers about the potential defects.
In the Fall of 2015, a mother in New Hampshire called Prince Lionheart to inform them her son’s penis had been cut on two separate occasions and was told hers was an isolated incident.
In 2016, a mother in Virginia emailed Prince Lionheart that her son stood up from the WeePOD and started screaming because his genitals had been cut up “pretty badly.” An investigation followed with the Consumer Product Safety Council in which Prince Lionheart lied and told CPSC that they were ‘not aware of any instance with identical injuries.”
In December of 2016, a mother from Arizona took her son to the emergency room because the skin at the base of his penis tore after standing up from using the WeePOD Basix.
The class action compliant outlines 8 other instances similar to those above from parents in Ontario, CA; Georgia and other places around the country. The class action has been proposed to consist of several classes:
Prince Lionheart Class: All persons within the United States who purchased Prince Lionheart WeePOD models with the Pee Guard that were manufactured prior to the August 2017 engineering change to the texture of the Pee Guard, from the four (4) years prior to the filing of this Complaint up to the date the Class is certified.
Target Subclass: All persons within the United States who purchased Prince Lionheart WeePOD models with the Pee Guard that were manufactured prior to the August 2017 engineering change to the texture of the Pee Guard from Target, from the four (4) years prior to the filing of this Complaint up to the date the Class is certified. The Target SubClass seeks injunctive relief only to stop Target from selling any more of the defective WeePODs manufactured prior to the texture redesign.
The class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division. (Case No.: 18-80700-WPD; NATALIE BELKIN, individually and as natural guardian and next friend of M.B., a minor; YOSEF BELKIN, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, v. Prince Lionheart Inc, A California Corporation and Target Corp., a Minnesota Corporation) as Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint for Individual Claims and Class Claims for Damages & Injunctive Relief.)