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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

$25.5 Million Suit Filed In Doll Attack Parents Say Whole Family Needs Therapy After Girl’s Hair Chewed

Associated Press

The parents of a 9-year-old girl filed a $25.5 million lawsuit claiming their family will need therapy because of an “attack” on their daughter by a Cabbage Patch doll.

Mattel pulled the Cabbage Patch Kids Snacktime Kids doll from the market this month after about 100 reports of children getting hair and fingers caught in the battery-operated mouths. The company offered a $40 refund to doll owners.

In their state civil lawsuit Thursday, the parents of Jessica Wells said the doll gnawed the child’s hair to her scalp four days after Christmas. They said the entire family will require psychological help for “mental and emotional injuries.”

Thomas and Genie Taylor’s lawsuit names Mattel and Wal-Mart, where they bought the doll. The family’s lawyer, George Najjar, said he came up with the $25.5 million figure by estimating the doll’s profits and tripling them.

Mattel spokesman Sean Fitzgerald said Friday it was the first such lawsuit. He said Mattel lawyers had not reviewed the complaint.

The doll has battery-powered, mechanical jaws that move when it is fed plastic carrots and french fries. But in some cases the doll clamped onto the fingers and hair of children.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission said it tested the doll and found it posed no serious safety hazard.