In April 2019, Fisher-Price, recalled their popular “Rock ’n Play Sleeper” after over 30 infant fatalities occurred. These fatalities were reported to be the result of infants rolling from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained in the sleeper.
Fisher-Price had been selling these products since 2009 but had to put out a recall halting production and telling consumers to immediately stop using the product. Customers could contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher. The recall included 4.7 million units.
Since this recall in 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that approximately 70 additional infant death occurred from the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and at least 8 of those fatalities happened after the original recall.
How did this happen?
Well, although the recall stopped production and sales of new units, people who previously owned the product were still using them in their homes.
When a product gets recalled, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to remove the product from the market and to get people who already own the product to stop using it. A Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter states that “safety experts just haven’t seen Fisher-Price do enough in that area.”
Last March Mattel, Fisher-Price’s parent company, reported that only 9.5% of the recalled Rock ’n Play Sleeper products had been accounted for, meaning the other 90.5% were potentially still being used by consumers. Although Fisher-Price worked to remove the recalled products from the market, they did not do a good job of making their customers aware that they must stop using the sleeper.
Since hearing about the 8 most recent deaths, Fisher-Price has again recalled the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. Warning consumers to stop using the product and to contact the company for a refund or voucher. Additionally, as part of this recall they stated that it is illegal to sell or distribute the recalled product.
In Massachusetts, the law requires product manufacturers like Fisher-Price to sell products that do not pose an unreasonable risk to consumers.
Manufacturers are required to:
- Eliminate dangers, if possible
- Guard against those dangers if the danger cannot reasonably be eliminated
- Warn against these dangers when the danger cannot be avoided otherwise.
It is disheartening that Fisher-Price knew about the dangers associated with their products but did not do enough to warn against these dangers and stop consumers from using the products. As a result of their lack of efforts, more infants died. If Fisher-Price had made a stronger push in 2019 to encourage consumers to stop using the Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, these additional deaths may not have occurred.
Fisher-Price and other companies who recall products should be more diligent in removing dangerous products from the community.
At DILLER LAW, we represent families of people injured or killed by hazardous products. If someone in your family has suffered an injury because of a hazardous product, you should consult with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate whether or not the manufacturer, and/or seller of the product failed to keep you safe and free from foreseeable danger.
The lawyers at DILLER LAW do not charge a fee for the initial consultation because we generally work on a contingency fee, and we understand how difficult financially it is for those who have recently suffered an injury resulting from a hazardous product.
For a free legal consultation call us now at (617) 523-7771.