Issue: Injury dangers to infants
Crib Recall and Stork Craft/Fisher-Price Dropdown Side Cribs Dangers and Defects
Cribs and playpens can pose serious dangers to babies and young children. Improperly designed or weak slats can allow infants and children to become entangled, trapped, or strangled; defective bedding can lead to airway obstruction; and defective designs can allow infants to become trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
In February 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of more than 500,000 drop-side cribs sold at Buy Buy Baby, Kmart, Wal-Mart and other stores after the death of three infants.
The CPSC said plastic hardware on Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS cribs can break and allow the drop side to detach. In addition, the mattress supports can break away from the crib frames. Both defects create gaps where a small child can be trapped and suffocate or strangle.
Shermag Crib Recall
In September 2011, 2,300 drop-side cribs made by Shermag were recalled because the drop-side rail hardware can break, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib and creating a gap between the rail and the mattress in which an infant or toddler could suffocate or strangle.
The CPSC and Shermag are aware of 21 incidents of drop-side rail failure, but no injuries have been reported as a result of these failures. Affected models include model numbers 202647, 211047, and 272547.
Dorel Crib Recall
In January 2010, the CPSC announced the recall of 20 models and nearly 635,000 drop-side and fixed-front-rail Dorel Asia cribs sold by Kmart, Sears, Wal-Mart and other stores after the death of a 6-month-old boy and multiple reports of injuries. You can read a copy of the Citizen Report prepared by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel that was submitted to the government. In December 2009, a Citizen Letter was sent to the CPSC requesting the urgent recall of similar Dorel drop-side cribs.
Some of the Dorel cribs were recalled because their drop sides can detach, creating a space where a child can be trapped and suffocate or strangle. A 6-month-old boy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, strangled after getting trapped in the crib when the drop-side hardware broke. His parents were using the crib after trying to repair it themselves.
Stork Craft Crib Recall
In November 2009, the CPSC announced the recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. The recall involves approximately 1.2 million cribs distributed in the United States and almost one million cribs distributed in Canada.
The November 2009 CPSC report (repeated in December 2009) stated that Stork Craft cribs’ drop-side plastic hardware can break or deform, or parts can become missing. As a result, the drop-side can detach in one or more corners, creating space between the dropside and the crib mattress. Infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space and suffocate to death. In other cases the babies have fallen out of the cribs and suffered injuries that have included concussions.
The CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately stop using the recalled cribs, wait for the free repair kit, and do not attempt to fix the cribs without the kit. They should find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby.
Legal Rights of the Injured
The law in most states provides parents with legal claims and the right to compensation for injuries their children suffered as a result of a defective product. Parents may file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their child’s pain and suffering, current and future medical expenses, and punitive damages.