On April 12, the Consumer Products Safety Commission ordered a recall of all Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play sleepers. The recall came after reports of over 30 infant deaths that have been linked to the product. At the time of the recall, there were nearly five million sleepers that had been sold. The Rock n’ Play sleeper, which is an inclined sleep product, has been alleged to asphyxiate infants sleeping in the device.
Fisher Price had advertised the product as an overnight sleep solution for infants up to 25 pounds. The Rock n’ Play sleeper has gained a large national following since it was introduced to the market in 2009. The product has been featured on several popular television shows. Users hailed the product as a “miracle” that helped their babies sleep. The sleeper was so profitable for Fisher-Price that they introduced 36 different versions of it.
However, in operation, it was not that simple. There have been reports over the years of the potential dangers of the product. Many parents had come forward and stated that their babies had died while sleeping in it. Further, the Rock n’Play sleeper has been linked with other deformities, such as flat head syndrome and torticollis, which is a twisted neck. The product had previously been recalled for issues with mold when moisture from the baby became trapped in the sleeper.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the concept of an inclined sleeper violated several key tenets of sleep safety. In order to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the AAP states that babies should sleep on a flat surface. If the surface is inclined, the baby’s face can press against the fabric, possibly causing strangulation. In addition, the mattress should not be padded because that increases the risk of asphyxiation.
Consumer Reports published an article in early April that detailed the myriad of safety issues associated with the Rock n’ Play Sleeper. The article conducted an analysis which linked the product to a total of 32 infant deaths. Immediately after the article was printed, the AAP called on the CPSC to issue a recall for all of the products. Within four days after the Consumer Reports article was published, the CPSC announced the recall and that sales of the product had been halted. Parents whose babies have suffered injuries from the Rock n’ Play sleeper may be entitled to financial compensation for the harm that their baby has sustained. Fisher-Price continued to sell this product for many years after there was an indication that it could have been dangerous. Product liability law states that a manufacturer who designs or makes a defective product can be held liable for the harm that their product has caused. If the manufacturer knows of a defect and fails to warn customers about it, they can also be held liable. Consumers can allege that Fisher Price designed a dangerous product given the number of babies that died in the Rock n’ Play Sleeper.
The lawyers at KBA Attorneys have experience in litigating claims relating to defective products like the Rock n’ Play Sleeper. They have dedicated expertise in product liability law and have helped families achieve justice when children have been injured by defective products. The families affected by this product can contact KBA Attorneys to discuss the possibility of filing a claim against Fisher-Price so that they can be compensated for the harm caused by their product.