Massive Recall of Children's Beds Demonstrates Relevance of Post-Accident Remedial Measures
Parents who are in the process of shopping for their children or purchasing equipment like portable playpens, new child safety restraints and travel beds to facilitate travel need to be aware of a recent recall.
However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently announced a recall of approximately 220,000 infant travel beds manufactured by KidCo Inc. following at least one fatal accident and reports of other children suffering entrapment according to Associated Press reports.
The mattress of the Pea Pod Travel Crib is hazardous because of a gap around the edges that allows infants to roll off and become entrapped between the fabric sides of the tent and the sides or ends of the mattress which can cause suffocation. These travel beds were initially sold in 2005. The recall is linked directly to a fatal suffocation accident in New York, allegedly caused by the travel bed, and several other near misses. Along with the death allegedly related to the travel beds, there are nine other reports of entrapment incidents involving infants.
The company has made a repair kit available that will purportedly mitigate the danger. The changes include a mattress that is not as thick to prevent suffocation. The repair kit also includes supports to strengthen the sides of the tent to eliminate the gap where a baby may become wedged between the side of the tent and the mattress.
Remedial measures taken after an accident are not generally admissible as evidence to prove fault, but as a practical matter, the changes suggest that the manufacturer is aware that the presence of the gap is dangerous. Despite the practical implications of the repairs, most states do not allow evidence of post-accident remedial measures to be introduced as evidence of fault. The theory is that public policy supports encouraging changes that make products or conditions safer without waiting for litigation to be resolved. The danger of permitting introduction of remedial measures as evidence is that it may result in more injury or wrongful death victims because negligent parties are afraid to correct potential hazards in the aftermath of accidents.
There are many children’s products that pose a danger because of shoddy workmanship during the manufacturing process, poor designs and a lack of warnings of potential hazards. We recently reported on the joint efforts by the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that have resulted in the confiscation of over 2 million children’s toys and products at ports of entry. During the last four year period, the federal agencies have coordinated their efforts to prevent 8.5 million units of 2,400 toys and kids' products from entering the U.S.
During the current fiscal year, 38 separate toys have been recalled, and some of the recalls were based on unsafe lead levels. Our Georgia products liability attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.