Baby Deaths Prompt ‘Infant Recliner’ Lawsuit
By Todd Sperry
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The deaths of five infants and more than 70 reports of children nearly falling out of a popular infant recliner have the federal government looking to stop the sales and manufacture of the product.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday it filed an administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC, after discussions with the company and its representatives seeking a voluntary recall plan broke down.
The recliners, manufactured by Baby Matters, LLC, based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, include the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant models. The CPSC alleges parents who continue to use the products are putting their infants at significant risk of injury and death.
“My heart goes out to the parents and families of children who are injured or lose their lives in incidents associated with consumer products,” CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord said in a statement released in conjunction with the agency’s announcement.
The complaint seeks a court order requiring the company to notify the public about the defect and offer consumers a full refund.
CNN contacted Baby Matters, LLC, but did not receive a response.
The administrative complaint, a charging document used by the courts, is the latest in an ongoing dispute between the government and Baby Matters over the safety of the recliners. In July 2010, Baby Matters and the CPSC issued a joint recall and refund of the company’s Nap Nanny Generation One recliner.
There was one death and 22 reports of infants hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny regardless of whether parents used the harness as instructed, the CPSC said.
“I joined my colleagues in voting to issue the complaint because I believe that the legal theory described in the complaint concerning the reasonably foreseeable misuse of Baby Matters’ products deserves a thorough vetting by an administrative law judge,” Nord said.
Despite design improvements, warnings and instructions to the company’s Generation Two model and Nap Nanny Chill recliner, there have been four more fatalities, the CPSC alleged.
The Nap Nanny recliner is designed for sleeping, resting and playing and includes a shaped foam base with an inclined indentation for the baby to sit and a fitted fabric cover with a three-point harness, the CPSC said.
Five thousand Nap Nanny Generation One and 50,000 Generation Two models were sold between 2009 and early 2012 and have been discontinued. One hundred thousand Chill models have been sold since January 2011, according to the CPSC. All were priced around $130.
For more information on the lawsuit, click here.