When we buy products such as cribs, we expect them to function in a manner that keeps our children safe and contained. Unfortunately, defective cribs (especially drop side cribs) have led to the wrongful deaths and injuries of a number of children across the country.
The fact of the matter is that many of these events could have been averted if crib manufacturers acted in a responsible manner during the manufacturing and assembly process.
Manufacturers owe a legal duty to consumers in regard to product safety, and companies who produce defective or otherwise unsafe cribs can be held financially responsible when a child is injured or killed due to a crib defect.
For most families, the compensation recieved through a product liability lawsuit is not the main goal, but it is often the only way to compel a company to address these serious safety flaws in the future.
Most-Common Safety Issues Associated with Cribs
- Defective drop sides may come down on their own, causing a child to tumble and fall out of its crib.
- Poor spacing between slats can result in the baby getting stuck or entrapped between two slats, ending in serious injuries or even death. Poor side panel spacing can also lead to a baby falling out of its crib onto the floor.
- Loose material which can come off and cause the child to suffocate itself. This can be things like nylon covering the mattress or netting around the crib.
- Poorly-designed hardware can lead to cuts and lacerations.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), over 11 million cribs, bassinets, and play yards were recalled in just one 3-year period from 2009-2011. In fact, ALL cribs manufactured after June 28th, 2011 must now meet additional federal requirements regarding overall crib safety.
For this reason, we strongly advise against using a second-hand crib unless it was manufactured after 2011, and has no active recalls.
While every crib recall announcement is troubling, it’s important to understand that recalls are necessary to prevent future injuries and deaths, as well as let parents and other consumers know which products to avoid for the safety of their loved ones. In fact, most recalls are the direct result of a previous claim or lawsuit relating to a child injury or fatality.
Here is a list of some of the most recent crib recalls:
- The Bexco DaVinci brand cribs were recalled in July of 2015. The product, manufactured by Brexco Enterprises, Inc., has a piece of metal which connects the mattress support to it which has been shown to break, creating a gap or an uneven surface which can trap babies while sleeping or lead to them falling or suffering lacerations. The recall affects ~17,600 units.
- The Bexco Franklin & Ben Mason 4-in-1 convertible cribs were recalled in August of 2014. These cribs were recalled due to a defect where the front can separate from the side panels, creating a gap which can allow a child to become entrapped between the front and side panels.
- Oeuf’s Sparrow line of cribs were recalled back in July of 2014 due to the spindles and the top rail detaching and posing an entrapment hazard. The recall was for ~14,000 units, and covers cribs that were manufactured between July 2007 and January 2014.
- PT Domusindo Perdana and Nan Far Woodworking have both issued similar recalls for their cribs (both sold exclusively by JCPenney) after it was found that the drop-side rails can malfunction, detach, or fall out of position and create a space in which an infant or toddler can become wedged and/or entrapped.
- IKEA’s VYSSA and SULTAN crib mattresses have been recalled for two reasons. In January of 2015, VYSSA style crib mattresses (model names: VACKERT, VINKA, SPELEVINK, SLÖA and SLUMMER) were recalled because the mattresses could create a gap between the mattress and crib ends (larger than allowed by federal regulations), posing an entrapment hazard to infants. In May, this recall was expanded to cover the SULTAN BLUNDA, SULTAN DRÖMMA, SULTAN SNARKA, SULTAN SUSSA mattresses as well. Most-recently, the VYSSA SPELEVINK crib mattresses were also recalled due to failing to meet the federal open flame standard for mattresses.
Product Liability, The Law, and Your Legal Options
It’s possible to hold the crib makers responsible for your child’s injuries under the concept of product liability law. These type of cases can be complex, but we suggest seeking the services of a product liability attorney in your area who works on contingency. This way, you never risk a penny of your own money to pursue a claim as the law firm only gets paid if they win your case.
As consumers, it’s our responsibility to hold manufacturers responsible for their negligence. By pursuing a claim, not only could you recover compensation to cover your family’s related losses, but you could also help bring about change and prevent similar injuries from occurring in the future.