Fisher Price “Rock ‘n Play” Puts Washington, D.C. Babies at Risk

Products that are made for young children and marketed to parents are assumed to be safe. However, that is not always the case. Each year, hundreds of Washington, D.C. product liability lawsuits are filed based on dangerous or defective products; many of these products are designed for children.

In April, the toy giant Fisher-Price issued a recall of its popular baby sleeper, the Rock ‘n Play, after there had been more than 30 reports of babies dying while using the sleeper. According to an article by the Washington Post, the Rock ‘n Play was created in 2009 in response to the common concern for many parents that their babies would not sleep through the night.

Unlike cribs, bassinets, and other baby sleepers, the Rock ‘n Play allows babies to lie at a 30-degree angle, which was believed to help infants sleep longer. In fact, the company advertised that, “Baby can sleep at a comfortable incline all night long!” However, according to the Washington Post, Fisher-Price developed the sleeper without any clinical research, based on what have now come to be faulty beliefs about babies and how they sleep.

There is also evidence to suggest that the foundations of the Rock ‘n Play were not called in to question at the time the product was in research and development stages. The company did not have the product evaluated by a pediatrician until eight years after it was released to the market. And even then, the company only did so concerning a pending product liability lawsuit that was filed after an infant died while using the Rock ‘n Play.

Since the discovery of the first death caused by the Rock ‘n Play, there have been over 30 reports of babies dying while in the Rock ‘n Play. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is the government agency that assisted Fisher Price with the recall, said that the deaths were the result of babies not being strapped into the sleeper and then rolling over. However, the CPSC did not state that the Rock ‘n Play was definitively responsible for the deaths.

Parents across the country have expressed surprise that such a dangerous product could be marketed and sold to the parents of young children. However, according to the commissioner of the CPSC, regulators do not automatically review a product for safety before it is released to market; it is generally up to the manufacturer to ensure that a product is safe.

Has a Dangerous Product Injured Your Child?

If your child has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, the Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC can help. The attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have extensive experience handling a wide range of personal injury and wrongful death claims, including Washington, D.C. product liability claims. At our Maryland law firm, we holistically represent our clients, rather than merely handling their case, addressing all of our clients’ needs. To best serve our clients, we approach every case with unrivaled compassion, tenacity, and professionalism. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.

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