Fisher-Price has issued a product defect recall for an infant sleeper accessory that comes with its Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards following report of at least 50 child deaths that have been linked to inclined sleepers. According to news reports, the company is recalling an inclined sleeper, which is an accessory that sits on top of the playpen. This action comes months after the company had to recall millions of Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers tied to dozens of tragic infant deaths.
The most recent Fisher-Price recall includes the inclined sleeper accessory sold with all Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards with model numbers CBV60, CHP86, CHR06, CJK24 and DJD11. The model numbers can be located on the fabric label inside the playpen on the fabric label on the back of the inclined sleeper pad. The recalled items were sold nationwide between October 2014 and June 2019. CPSC has warned parents and caregivers to immediately stop using these products and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher.
A Defect with Tragic Consequences
Consumer Reports found that the 10- to 30-degree incline causes airway compression and suffocation in infants. So far, at least four families have filed a joint lawsuit saying their infant children suffocated and died in an inclined sleeper. According to a statement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), infant fatalities have been reported in connection with other inclined sleep products.
These deaths occurred when infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side when unrestrained or under other circumstances. The Washington Post reports that Fisher-Price developed these products with no clinical research or safety tests. The Post reports that the first safety tests were conducted on the product eight years after the inclined sleepers were put on the market.
Holding Manufacturers Accountable
There have been a number of reports including from the Washington Post where it appears that Fisher-Price may have been negligent in failing to test these inclined sleepers before putting them on the market. Parents and caregivers have also not been warned over the years regarding the dangers of these products and how they have the potential to cause deaths.
In such cases, where negligence or carelessness is a factor, product manufacturers can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Product liability lawsuits and class action lawsuits perform an important function by exposing truths about such negligence on the part of large corporations and holding them accountable so such tragedies can be prevented in the future.