An Ohio family has sued the manufacturer of a battery-operated toy riding tractor they say burst into flames, severely injuring their toddler son. Wyatt Buckley, who is 3, was burned over 50 percent of his body when the toy tractor he was riding in his yard ignited on June 3, according to the lawsuit .
The lawsuit against the toy’s manufacturer, Peg Perego USA Inc. — an Italian company with U.S. offices in Fort Wayne, Ind. — seeks unspecified damages for his parents, Marlon and Heather Buckley. It says the fire was caused either by a defective product or a defective manufacturing process. The tractor was powered by a 12-volt battery.
“A toy given to a 2-year-old just can’t catch on fire; and if it does catch on fire, it should be designed and manufactured so it wouldn’t continue to burn so it would not cause catastrophic harm to the child,” Wyatt potentially faces a lifetime of surgeries and medical treatment, List said.
Mrs. Buckley said her son is improving every day, “but he still has a long way to go.”
Peg Perego could not be reached for comment. However, the company said in a statement at the time of the incident that “the materials of our toys cannot suddenly burst into flames. We are confident that other extraordinary external factors were involved to cause such a sudden fire.”