The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed an administrative enforcement action against Baby Matters LLC, the manufacturer of infant recliners allegedly linked to several deaths and dozens of reports of children falling out of the products. In re Baby Matters LLC, No. 13-1 (CPSC Docket, filed December 5, 2012).
According to the complaint, an early version of the products at issue, Nap Nanny® and Nap Nanny® Chill™, has harness straps that were secured only to the fabric that covers the foam base, “so that there is no means of anchoring the harness to any fixed point.” The next generation products apparently had harnesses with two straps sewn into the fabric cover that could be secured with Velcro™ tabs to rings embedded in the foam seat base. A third strap had no means of attachment to a fixed point on the foam base. “[T]his defective design,” claims CPSC, “allows an infant to fall or hang over the side of a Generation Two even while the harness is in use, which can result in injury or death.”
CPSC also claims that the product warnings were inadequate because they were printed in “extremely small” font on the underside of the product. The commission claims that two infants died after being placed in the company’s generation two recliners. The products were recalled in 2010, and, while the company took some corrective actions, CPSC claims that these changes did not address products already purchased or remaining in retailers’ inventory. It also alleges that current marketing for these products conflicts with the current warnings and instructions.
Claiming that the products are defective and create a substantial risk of injury to children, CPSC seeks an order requiring the company to cease any remaining distribution of the product, notify all those in the chain of distribution to cease distribution, notify state and local public health officials, provide prompt public and individual notice of the defects, refund consumers, reimburse retailers, and submit a satisfactory corrective action program. According to a news source, this is the third administrative action complaint CPSC has undertaken in the last six months. The company reportedly went out of business in November 2012. See Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter, December 6, 2012.