A grieving mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit saying teething necklaces that are meant to alleviate pain caused her 1-year-old son’s death. According to a CBS news report, Deacon Morin was found dead in December 2016 after a necklace he was wearing tightened around his neck and did not release. His mother, Danielle Morin, received the necklace as a gift from a close friend who had bought it on the website Etsy.com. The online receipt describes the product as a “Baltic amber teething necklace for your baby.” The necklaces are still being sold on Etsy.
Morin has filed a lawsuit saying Etsy is liable for Deacon’s death. The lawsuit also names the Lithuanian company that manufactured necklace. The lawsuit states baby necklaces should have a releasing safety clasp so that it releases if there is any pulling on it. The necklace purchased on Etsy had a screw-on clasp that could not be released. Etsy says on its website that it doesn’t make any warranties about the quality, safety or even legality of the products sold in its online marketplace.
FDA’s Warning on Teething Jewelry
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned parents against purchasing teething jewelry, which includes necklaces or items work around ankles or wrists. The agency says on its website that this type of jewelry poses the risk of choking, strangulation, oral injuries and infection. Choking can occur if the jewelry breaks and a small bead gets into the child’s throat or airway.
Strangulation can happen if a necklace is wrapped too tightly around the child’s neck of if the necklace catches an object such as a crib. In addition, amber teething necklaces contain a substance called succinic acid, which may be released into an infant’s blood stream in unknown quantities. Manufacturers claim that succinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves teething-related pain. But, the FDA has not evaluated these claims for safety or effectiveness and recommends that parents and caregivers not use these products.
Product manufacturers and retailers (online or retail stores) have a duty to manufacture and sell products that are safe for consumers. If your child has been injured by one of these or other dangerous and defective products, you may be able hold the manufacturer and seller accountable. An experienced product defect attorney will be able to provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.