CPSC Under Fire for Settling with Stroller Manufacturer Instead of Forcing Recall
The U.S. government is suing Britax, a South Carolina company that manufactures children’s products, to stop it from continuing to sell jogging strollers that have been blamed for at least 97 injuries including 50 children. According to a CBS news report, consumers have filed more than 200 complaints since January 2012 alleging that the wheels detach from certain models of Britax Child Safety’s B.O.B jogging strollers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries to children include concussion, injuries to the head and face requiring stitches, dental injuries, contusions and abrasions.
Injuries to Children and Adults
Adults suffered injuries including bone fractures, torn ligaments, contusions and abrasions. The commission voted 3-1 to proceed with its lawsuit after Britax refused to recall or repair the defective strollers, which the agency says, poses substantial risk of injury to children as well as adults. The complaints seeks to make the company stop selling the faulty strollers, to notify the public and offer to repair, replace or refund the product.
Britax defended its actions and products in a statement saying the strollers are safe when they are used as intended and instructed. A spokesperson told CBS that injuries from these strollers are “rare.” The front wheel detachments are because of a quick release mechanism being improperly secured. The current design of the strollers allows them to be rolled even if the front wheel is not properly secured. This could cause the front wheel to suddenly detach causing the stroller to tip over, possibly injuring the children riding in the stroller as well as the adult operator.
The company imported and distributed 493,000 of these strollers between December 2011 and September 2015. The strollers were sold at retailers and independent stores across the United States for $400 to $650 and many are now available in second-hand stores as well, the commission said in its complaint.
Product Defects and Liability Issues
A product may be defective by virtue of how it’s manufactured or due to its design. Sometimes a manufacturing flaw makes the product malfunction even when it is used as intended. Sometimes, defective design causes the product to fail. In this case, it appears that the malfunction was due to defective design. By filing this lawsuit, CPSC has taken the right step to hold this manufacturer accountable and to force them to do the right thing.
If you or your child has been injured as a result of these jogging strollers, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to help ensure that you are fairly compensated and that the negligent manufacturer is held accountable.