The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), along with distributor Ace Bayou, has again issued an alert regarding the voluntary recall of about 2.2 million bean bag chairs sold from 1995 to 2013. So far, only 790 purchasers have responded to the recall, which highlights the importance of preventing hazardous products from entering the streams of commerce in the first instance. Recalls, while important, are not foolproof, and do not lead to the recovery of all defective products.
There is a continuing concern that these recalled bean bag chairs are still being used by children. The foam beads inside the chairs are serious suffocation and choking hazards for children. Two children died after suffocating on the chair’s foam beads. An additional incident has been reported to CPSC involving a 6 year old boy who opened bean bag and reportedly swallowed some foam beads and had others in his nose and mouth. The two deaths involved a 13-year old boy from McKinney, Texas died and a 3-year-old girl from Lexington, Ky. who suffocated from lack of air and inhaling the chair’s foam beads. Both children were found inside the chairs.
According to the CPSC, the recalled bean bag chairs were sold at Bergner’s, Big Lots, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, Meijer, Pamida, School Specialty, Wayfair, Walmart and Younkers stores and online at Amazon.com, Meijer.com, Walmart.com and other websites from 1995 to 2013 for between $30 and $100.
Designers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products can be safely used in foreseeable home environments. Even when a product is not sold or marketed as a toy or children’s product, if it will foreseeably be used in a home with small children, it must be sold with the appropriate cautions and warnings, and most importantly, with design safeguards to prevent the needless and tragic loss of life.
If you or a family member has questions about a defective product or negligence in the design or manufacture of a bean bag chair or children’s product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or call us toll-free at 1-800-545-3732 in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S.