These Recalled Chests Turned into Coffins for 14 Children
At least 14 children have reportedly suffocated in Lane or Virginia Maid cedar chests between 1977 and 2015. According to a report in the Miami Herald, children have climbed into open storage chests and suffocated inside when the lid closed and locked automatically. That’s about 12 million of these chests were recalled in the middle of the 38-year period. It’s also why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recent plea urging consumers to immediately replace or remove a latch and lock on these recalled cedar chests.
Replacement Latches and Locks
The CPSC said it has confirmed that millions of these recalled chests still remain unfixed in consumers’ homes and continue to pose a serious danger to young children. The chests, with the “Lane” or “Virginia Maid” brand name inside, haven’t been made since 1987 and were first sold in 1912. Before contacting the manufacturer, United Furniture Industries, for a free replacement latch and lock, owners are asked to remove the original latch and lock.
Then, order the replacement by phone at 877-251-5010 or email LaneRepair@ufifurniture.com. Once consumers receive replacement latch and lock, they should be installed immediately to protect children from becoming trapped inside and suffocating. Consumers who previously received a free replacement latch and lock as part of the recall should verify that the replacement parts are installed.
Dangerous and Defective Products
Product manufacturers have a duty or a responsibility to make items that are safe for consumers to use. Defects could occur during the manufacturing process or during the design process. These chests would fall under the category of defective design. If you own one of these chests, keep it out of the reach of young children until you can get the repair kit and fix them.
If your child has been injured due to these defective products, you may be able to seek compensation for damages by filing a product liability claim or wrongful death lawsuit. Product manufacturers may be ordered to pay compensatory and punitive damages in such cases. Injured victims or families would be well advised to contact an experienced product defect lawyer who will be able to advise them regarding the best course of action to take. The best product defect law firms always offer free consultations and comprehensive case evaluations to injured victims and their families.