When A Child’s Sleeper Turns Deadly
The headline stated that 5 million baby sleepers were recalled after being linked to dozens of infants deaths. Fisher-Price, the manufacturer of the baby sleepers, warned parents to stop using the product once their child was three months old.
Apparently, the three month age was determined to be the age when babies typically begin to roll over. Sadly, the manufacturer when creating this product either didn’t do their homework when determining child development, guessed at an age or simply used the law of averages.
Presumably they assumed babies know to begin rolling around when they turn exactly 3 months old. Notwithstanding that common sense says that development of motor skills and mobility in babies can fluctuate from child to child and can start as early as 30 days from birth.
This is the very reason why the American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) called for the sleeper’s complete withdrawal from the market. The recall was escalated after Consumer Reports linked the sleepers to the deaths of almost three dozen children.
AAP President Kyle Yasuda had this to say, “This product is deadly and should be recalled immediately. When parents purchase a product for their baby or child, many assume that if it’s being sold in a store, it must be safe to use. Tragically, that is not the case.”
Thirty two infants to date have died from the sleeper’s lack of restraints. The babies died after rolling over onto their stomach causing them to suffocate.
Unfortunately, like most manufacturers who make millions in profits from their products they usually say the same thing when pressured to remove them from the marketplace. In this case, Fisher-Price stood by its claim that their sleepers were safe but then tried to point the finger back to the consumer. “Given the reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to safety warnings and instructions.”
Since 2009 Fisher Price has sold 4.7 million sleepers ranging from $40 to $150. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars lost due to a recall. So, manufacturers are typically reluctant to lose that income and regardless of loss of life will fight to defend their right to sell their product.
So why do I share this recall with you?
I share it to give you an insight into the world of product liability and how manufacturers can be forced to recall or stop selling their profitable products. Any product that can be determined to cause injury or death is a product that needs to be scrutinized by consumers, especially mothers of young children.
Products liability law involves the legal theories of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, misrepresentation, and violation of the deceptive trade practice laws. From a consumer standpoint, these cases generally concern whether appropriate warnings were given to users or consumers of products. Also involved are issues with placement of warnings, appropriate content for operating equipment manuals, appropriate design requirements, necessity for inspection or testing, compliance with statutes and regulations, and determination of recall or retrofit advisability.
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If you or a loved one have been seriously injured by a product pick up the phone and call +1 (219) 736-9700. Our friendly law team is standing by to listen to your story and will let you know how they can help.