Verdict against Ford in death of a boy run over by truck with defective parking brake. The then-second largest product liability verdict in the nation. (White) (Jury awarded $52 million in retrial of punitive damages.)
Baby products continue to present potential hazards as cribs, bassinets, high chairs, strollers, baby slings – and most recently video baby monitors – have been found to cause injuries and even deaths.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced the recall of nearly two million Summer Infant video baby monitors after they were linked to the deaths of two infants who strangled on the device’s electrical cord. (See story)
The CPSC had earlier announced the recall of more than one million “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” baby slings made by Infantino over concern that babies could suffocate in the slings’ soft fabric. Three infant deaths were reported.
A recent national study found that nearly 10,000 infants and toddlers annually – or 26 each day -- suffer injuries in crib and playpen accidents. A number of injuries involved drop-side cribs with side rails that move up and down. The rails can become partially detached, creating a gap between the mattress and rail where infants can get stuck and suffocate. Millions of drop-side cribs have been recalled as a result. (See story)
If your child or the child of a loved one was seriously injured because of defective baby sling or crib, you may want to email or call us at 800-243-1100 about a possible child product lawsuit.
In 2009, more than 2.1 million drop-side baby cribs made by Stork Craft Manufacturing and some bearing the Fisher-Price logo were recalled after four reported deaths. That recall followed another involving 400,000 cribs made by Simplicity Inc. following the death of an eight-month-old baby who suffocated when the drop side part of the crib detached. Earlier, in October 2008, some 985,000 cribs were pulled from the market by Delta Enterprise Corp. because of a similar problem and following another fatality.
In 2008, the CPSC also sought the recall of another product, some 900,000 bassinets made by Simplicity, following the deaths of two infants.
The bassinet safety alert issued by the CPSC involved 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 convertible "close-sleeper/bedside sleeper" bassinets. The agency said that if a Velcro strap was not properly secured when the bassinets were converted to sleepers, a baby could slip through an opening in the bassinet's metal bars and suffocate. It said the unit's metal bars were spaced farther apart than the specified federal crib safety standards. (Read more)
Earlier, in an action announced in 2007, one million baby cribs bearing the Simplicity or Graco Children's Products brand name were recalled following three suffocation deaths.
The CPSC said at the time that the drop side of that crib could become separated from the frame, leaving a dangerous gap. The agency received reports of three deaths, seven infant entrapments and 55 other incidents involving those cribs.
Simplicity and Graco products have been problematic in the past. Simplicity in June 2007 recalled 40,000 Nursery in a Box cribs, and in December 2005 it recalled 104,000 Aspen 3-in-1 cribs bearing the Graco logo. (Simplicity made products for Graco until a licensing agreement expired Dec. 31, 2005 .)
Hundreds of injuries occurred involving infant swings, high chairs, strollers and other products sold by Graco from 1991 through 2002, according to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The CPSC announced on March 22, 2005 that it was fining Graco $4 million – by far the largest fine ever imposed by the commission – over Graco’s failure to promptly report the injuries, including a number of deaths. The fine was part of a settlement between the commission and Graco.
Involved were 16 different products of which more than 12 million were sold by Graco and under the Century brand name, which was acquired by Graco in 1998.
Six deaths were reported resulting from Graco Infant Swings, which the CPSC said had restraint and tray lock failures that resulted in babies falling to the ground or becoming trapped in the seat’s leg openings. Injuries ranged from contusions and fractures to strangulation.
Call us at 800-243-1100 if your child suffered a severe injury or death as a result of a defective children's product.
The CPSC said in a news release that Graco and Century “failed to report defects in juvenile products that the commission said could create substantial product hazards or unreasonable risks of injuries ...” Companies are required under federal law to promptly inform the CPSC of product defects that pose the risk of injury.
Numerous different Graco products have been recalled since 1997, including the latest – 1.2 million toddler beds sold between 1994 and 2001 – with the announcement of the fine. The largest previous CPSC fine was $1.75 million, also against a baby products manufacturer.
On Feb. 8, 2006 , the CPSC reissued a recall for baby cribs sold under the Graco name and manufactured by Simplicity. The action was taken a month after a 19-month-old Oregon child died in one of the Aspen 3-in-1 cribs.
The mishap occurred when two of the mattress support slats dislodged in the crib and the baby suffocated after being entrapped between the mattress and the footboard.
Simplicity is Based in Reading, Pa. Graco is based in Exton, Pa., and is owned by Newell Rubbermaid Inc.
Kline & Specter, PC, a law firm based in Philadelphia with some 30 attorneys, several of whom are also highly skilled doctors, has had success litigating product liability lawsuits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and nationwide. Call us today for a free claim evaluation.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Record Civil Penalty Levied Against Graco Children's Products Inc.