March 10, 2010 - Target Sued Over Trunk Used as Toy Box

A Pennsylvania couple filed a lawsuit Monday against Target, alleging a wicker trunk they used as a toy box choked their daughter, documents show.

Eric and Laura Surman of Cranberry say the lid of the trunk trapped their 18-month-old daughter's neck in July 2009, cutting off her breathing and leaving her in a persistent vegetative state, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.

The lawsuit alleges Target improperly marketed the trunk and should have included a lid support or labeled it as unsafe for use as a toy box, the newspaper said.

The lawsuit alleges negligence and infliction of emotional distress and seeks punitive damages.

"Target has known for years that lids on trunks and toy boxes have been a hazard," said the family's attorney.

Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission cited in the suit show at least 45 children have died, and others suffered serious brain damage, after trunk lids fell on them or trapped them inside, the Post Gazette reported.

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