More tragic baby deaths have been linked with Fisher-Price infant sleepers, even after the products were recalled.
Back in April 2019, Fisher-Price issued a product defect recall for nearly 5 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers – almost all of them on the market at the time – because three dozen children died after being entrapped in these inclined sleepers. But further deaths occurred, even after the recall.
More Tragic Deaths Reported Due to Infant Sleepers
But Consumer Reports, which exposed these dangerous and defective products, reports that by the end of 2020 (18 months after the company’s recall announcement) fewer than 8% of the dangerous sleepers had been accounted for.
The results of that lack of action have been tragic and devastating. In 2020, after the recall, seven additional infant deaths occurred as a result of these products and in 2021, the CPSC was notified that a 4-month-old baby died after rolling over in a Rock ‘n Play while sleeping.
Consumer Reports says Fisher-Price disclosed the number of returned products in monthly reports to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency that oversees the safety of thousands of products, to document the progress of the recall. The reports, which are typically not available to the public (and the media), were filed in an ongoing lawsuit filed by dozens of consumers. The plaintiffs allege they never received a recall notification, according to the complaint reviewed by Consumer Reports.
Lack of Efficacy with Product Recalls
Low response rates are sadly common for consumer product recalls. At the heart of that is the fact that product manufacturers don’t aggressively spread the word about the recall or make it simpler for consumers to return defective products. Consumer Reports rightly points out that Fisher-Price’s response rate, given the dangerous nature of these products and perils to the most vulnerable among us (infants), is unacceptable.
Fisher-Price had years to get these inclined infant sleepers out of people’s homes but did very little to accomplish that. Inclined infant sleepers like these are dangerous because they position babies at an angle greater than 10 degrees. This could allow an infant’s head to fall forward, which could increase the risk of suffocation.
While these products are no longer sold in stores, they may still be available in stores that sell used products or in online marketplaces or garage sales. If you are a parent or caregiver, please stop using inclined sleepers right away. If your child has been injured while using one of these sleepers, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.