The parents of a little boy who suffered permanent damage when his penis became stuck on sharp plastic of a toilet-training product are suing the manufacturer and the retailer that sold them the product, arguing that the companies knew about the defect but failed to recall the toilet seat.
Natalie and Yosef Belkin filed the putative class action against Target Corp. and juvenile product maker Prince Lionheart Inc., claiming their son’s “near genital dismemberment” was caused by a sharp plastic on the underside of the “pee shield” seat of the weePOD Basix toilet trainer.
Target and Prince Lionheart are still selling the toilet seats despite receiving at least 15 reports of similar injuries in toddlers since 2012. Prince Lionheart records show that they received a report of a penis laceration caused by the weePOD seat in May 2012. Second and third complaints were filed in 2015 and 2016, respectively, which prompted an inquiry by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Prince Lionheart refuses 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,” the Belkins said in the filing. The family also claims that Target was aware of the complaints but continued to sell the product.
Prince Lionheart allegedly redesigned the seat in the summer of 2017, and cited improving child safety as the reason for changing the texture of the plastic on the underside of the pee shield. The company also updated the warnings on the product to specifically address the risk of genital injury.
Despite the redesign, Prince Lionheart continues to profit from older versions of the toilet trainer. Belkin’s attorney claims he recently bought a 2015 version of the weePOD on Amazon.