August 21, 2007 in Nation/World

Family sues Mattel, seeking lead-level tests

Alex Veiga Associated Press


American toy makers hope recall of Chinese toys will boost sales./A6

LOS ANGELES – A family sued Mattel Inc. on Monday, claiming the world’s largest toy maker should pay for testing to determine if children have been exposed to lead from millions of recalled toys.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, said attorney Jeffrey B. Killino in Philadelphia.

The complaint was brought by Adrian and Michael Powell, of Fontana, on behalf of their children, Megan and Morgan. The couple claim Mattel was negligent and should establish a fund in an unspecified amount to pay for medical screening, such as blood tests.

Children who ingest lead-laced paint can suffer brain damage, but no injuries have been reported as a result of the recalled toys.

A call to El Segundo-based Mattel was not immediately returned.

Last week, Mattel announced a worldwide recall of almost 19 million items, including dolls, cars and action figures. Some of the items were contaminated with lead paint. Others had small magnets that children might swallow.

According to the lawsuit, the Powell children played with toys on Mattel’s recall list. The children had not exhibited any signs of illness, Killino said.

“Lead poisoning, unless it gets really severe, the signs and symptoms are often difficult to pick up on,” he said. “That’s why we need the blood test.”

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