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By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Product Liability on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Infant Products Are Not Tested As Much as You Think They Are

Most new parents have their go-to brand that they use for all their child’s needs. Fisher-Price is one of the largest companies in the market of early childhood furniture, toys, and care items. Did you know that they often do not test their products as much as we would like to believe they do? Issues with the company’s Rock n’ Play Sleeper line have only served to highlight this.

The Rock n’ Play Sleeper was released in 2009 as a safe way to let your baby sleep at an incline. At this time, there was no crib that would safely allow an infant to sleep like this, so Fisher-Price made one that purportedly was. They were able to sell over 4.5 million of these cribs over the next decade. Last month this product was recalled after it was determined that the Rock n’ Play was heavily involved in over 30 infant deaths.

It has come out in recent years that this product went through minimal testing and research before its release. So while it met certain US regulations and safety standards, it met those only just barely. The designer of the product testified that she created it because many years prior, her son’s doctor had advised her to keep her infant’s heads elevated to assist with reflux control. The same year of this product’s release, the American Academy of Pediatrics adopted findings that indicated inclining a child’s head actually worsened reflux reactions. Fisher-Price contacted one doctor when doing research on this product. The doctor approved the product and sent over two articles in support of his opinion, one research article pertaining to breathing issues when a child was breastfeeding from 1997 and a 2-page brochure entitled “A Parent’s Guide to Safe Sleep.” No other research was done by or provided to Fisher-Price. No other doctors or pediatricians were consulted.

After Fisher-Price was brought into litigation in 2013, they performed an in-house experiment to prove that the Rock n’ Play did not lead to any respiratory issues.  They placed infants in the sleepers for 45 minutes, which was far from a regular night’s rest, and found no exacerbation of any breathing issues. They took this finding and used it in court to have lawsuits against them dismissed.

Sleep death is the leading cause of infant fatality and results in the death of 3,600 children annually. These deaths occur most often in cribs and car seats. So it would make sense that these things which are designed to keep infants safe and healthy while they are asleep were researched and tested extensively before being released. While this may be common sense, it does not make it true. The Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play is not the only product on the market that should have been tested responsibly, many more are still out there. These products can and will harm children. If your child has been harmed or even died from a product like the Rock n’ Sleep, you may be entitled to Damages.

Kristensen LLP is one of the leading firms on recall law and defective products. We have successfully litigated a number of lawsuits on behalf of parents seeking compensation for injuries caused by defective children’s products. While we hope that you are never affected by tragedy like this, we are here to help guide you through the legal process in order to regain some of what was taken from you and your child. If you think you may have a claim, contact our office at 310-984-1297 to schedule your  initial consultation.