BABY DEATHS MOUNT DUE TO DESIGN DEFECTS IN INCLINE AND IN-BED SLEEPERS AND GLIDERS
June 8th, 2021
A recent investigative report by the nonprofit Consumer Reports has concluded that at least 32 babies have died while using the Fisher-Price® Rock ‘n Play Sleepers and that the product is a serious safety threat.
As identified by Consumer Reports, the problem with the rocker seems to be its overall design. Intended to offer babies a means of laying on their backs while at an incline — the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper appears to violate one of the cardinal rules of infant care: that newborn babies should lay flat on their backs. According to the medical experts interviewed by Consumer Reports, when babies lie on their backs at an incline, it can increase their risk of accidental suffocation given the weight of a baby’s head and posture in the incline sleeper.
CPSC Issues Alert, Warning Consumers About Rock ‘n Play Sleeper™
On June 2, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3 to 1 to approve a final rule to require that all products sold and marketed for infant sleep meet established safety standards for sleep products. CPSC, the federal agency that oversees thousands of household products, is working on a draft rule that would, if approved, would effectively eliminate from the marketplace several types of unsafe or potentially hazardous sleep products meant for babies up to 5 months old.
Since 2015, at least 10 infants have died as a result of rolling over from their backs onto their sides while in the Rock n’ Play Sleeper™. As warned by medical experts, these infant deaths occurred as a result of accidental suffocation.
Further research by Consumer Reports found at least 32 deaths linked to the sleeper since its debut in 2009.
In all of these tragic deaths, the infants involved were around 3-months-old. This is important to note, because according to medical experts, 3 months is right around the time that infants start to reach the milestone of being able to roll themselves over onto their sides.
CPSC’s alert stated:
“Because deaths continue to occur, CPSC is recommending consumers stop use of the product by three months of age, or as soon as an infant exhibits rollover capabilities. CPSC has previously warned consumers to use restraints in infant inclined sleep products.”
After the alert, Fisher-Price warned owners of the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper™ to stop using the product once their infant reaches the milestone of being able to roll over. Now, around 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers have been recalled.
The Company also recalled its 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide which has been associated with at least four infant deaths.
Fisher-Price® Recall: Too Little, Too Late
Unfortunately for many families the Fisher-Price warning came far too late given how long that company has been on notice of the product safety hazards.
In response to Consumer Reports’ original request for recall, Fisher-Price issued the following statement:
“The loss of a child is a devastating tragedy. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that parents and caregivers have the information necessary to create a safe sleep environment for infants.”
Even after the recall, Fisher-Price reiterated that it does not believe that “any deaths have been caused by the product.”
However, consumer advocates continue to challenge the company’s position and assert that the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper’s design flaws are responsible for both deaths and injuries. Other incline sleepers are implicated as well. Kids II also recalled 700,000 of its inclined infant sleepers after the baby product was linked to the deaths of dozens of infants. In October 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff recommended that parents immediately stop using any inclined baby sleepers or inclined inserts after reports of at least 93 deaths. Graco recalled 51,000 inclined sleepers in December 2020.
Take Action Now
If your child or the child of a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury or death in a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, any other brand of inclined baby sleeper, or any other baby, contact one of the product liability/wrongful death attorneys at Halunen Law. Our lawyers have achieved substantial results in product liability lawsuits against major manufacturers and we are ready to fight for you. Give us a call, we offer a free case evaluations and there is NO CHARGE for our services unless we obtain a recovery for you.
Call us at (Tolle Free) 866-921-0029 if your child suffered a severe injury or death as a result of using a Fisher-Price Sleeper.