Despite knowing that its products were linked to a preventable risk of infant death, Fisher-Price continued to sell these products to unsuspecting parents resulting in numerous infant deaths.
Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price announced the recall of two Fisher-Price products, the 4-in-1 Rock’ n Glide Soother and 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Glider.
This announcement came after four infant deaths involving the 4-in-1 Rock’ n Glide Soother between April 2019 and February 2020. The CPSC reports the deaths occurred because “the infants were reportedly placed on their backs unrestrained in the product and later found on their stomachs,” which caused them to suffocate. There have been no deaths in the 2-in-1 Sooth’ n Play Glider, but Fisher-Price also recalled it.
This is not the first time Fisher-Price recalled one of its products for the very same hazard. Fisher-Price’s Rock’ n Sleeper spent ten years on the market before it was recalled in 2019 after being linked to 32 infant deaths.
With the recent infant deaths involving the 4-in-1 Rock’ n Glide Soother, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform performed an investigation on Fisher-Price. In this investigation, more information surfaced about the original Rock’ n Sleeper product and its recall. The report called out Fisher-Price’s failure to ensure its products were safe and its decision to leave the dangerous product on the market.
During the investigation, documents were obtained that showed Fisher-Price knew about the risks and concerns surrounding the Rock’ n Play Sleeper product soon after its release; however, Fisher Price left the product on the market until the voluntary recall in 2019.
The Committee found that Fisher-Price ignored warning signs that the product was dangerous. “Fisher-Price did not take adequate steps to ensure its product was safe before bringing it to market, ignored warnings and evidence that the product may be unsafe, and marketed the Rock’ n Play for overnight sleep despite evidence that sleeping at an incline could put infants at risk of serious harm or death.”
Although the Rock’ n Play Sleeper was recalled and taken off the market, the 4-in-1 Rock’ n Glide Soother and 2-in-1 Soothe’ n Play Glider had a similar structural design allowing for infants to lie on their backs at a thirty-degree angle. This created the same risk that a child could turn over on their stomachs and potentially suffocate.
Fisher-Price voluntarily recalled their original Rock’ n Play product. Still, they failed to recognize the risks and therefore continued to market products with a similar dangerous design.
It is a shame that Fisher-Price ignored such warnings of their products, which has led to four more recent deaths caused by their products.
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’s concerning that Fisher-Price knew the risks their products present but continued to sell multiple products for years without making any recalls or giving any warnings. The more dangerous a product is, the more consumers have a right to expect that manufacturers will make them safe. Fisher-Price needs to be accountable for those preventable infant deaths.
At DILLER LAW, we represent families of people injured or killed by dangerous products. If you have suffered an injury because of a dangerous product, you should consult with an experienced product’s liability lawyer who can evaluate whether or not the designer, 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 defective product.
For a free legal consultation call us now at (617) 523-7771.