Posts Tagged suffocation

Child Deaths Lead to Beanbag Chair Recall

22 August 2014

About 2.2 million bean bag chairs, made by Ace Bayou Corporation, are being recalled after two children were able to crawl inside, leading to their suffocation deaths. The chairs are made with zippers, which are easily opened by curious youngsters. A 13-year-old boy from McKinney, Texas, and a 3-year-old girl from Lexington, Kentucky, were found dead inside the chairs after they suffocated from a lack of air and inhaled the chair’s foam beads.

Significantly, the industry “voluntary” standard requires non-refillable bean bag chairs to have closed and permanently disabled zippers, to prevent such tragedies from occurring. Tragically and inexplicably, the standard was ignored by this manufacturer.

The chairs were sold at Bon-Ton, Meijer, Pamida, School Specialty, Wayfair and Walmart stores and online at Amazon.com, Meijer.com and Walmart.com. They cost between $30 and $100 and were sold before July 2013. They come in all different colors, shapes, fabrics and sizes.

Suffocation hazards presented by children’s products, as well as products made for homes and schools where young children are expected to be living and plating, account for numerous deaths and injuries each year. A dangerous beanbag chair, or other furniture items such as cribs and juvenile beds,  may have been poorly manufactured or designed, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or irresponsibly sold to or for children, many of whom are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards.

Parents and caregivers – please carefully inspect any such items prior to purchasing. Do not assume that because a product reaches retail shelves, it is necessarily safe. This example highlights that safety standards are not always followed by manufacturers.

If you or a member of your family has questions about a dangerous toy or hazardous product, please contact us. We will answer any questions you might have, and can advise regarding your legal rights.

Nan Far Woodworking Recalls Rockland Furniture Round Cribs Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards

26 July 2013

Nan Far Round Crib 800

This recall involves about 3,900 Rockland Furniture round cribs with model number 343-8314. The crib’s drop-side rails can malfunction, detach or otherwise fail. When this happens, the drop-side rail can fall out of position and create a space where an infant or toddler can become wedged or entrapped, posing a risk of strangulation or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib. In addition, drop-side related incidents can also occur due to incorrect assembly and with age-related wear and tear.

The cribs were sold exclusively at JC Penney stores and online at jcpenney.com from January 2005 to December 2008.

While proper labeling, recalls and regulations are important for safety of children’s products, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe products reach the marketplace, avoiding the potential to cause catastrophic injury. The millions of dangerous cribs flooding retail store shelves before their hazards are identified highlight the inadequacy of current safety protocols. There is simply no excuse for companies to sell dangerous cribs to consumers. The burden must be on manufacturers and retailers, not consumers, to identify hazards before their products enter the channels of commerce.

If you or a loved one has experienced personal injury as the result of using a defective product, speak with a personal injury lawyer at Swartz and Swartz PC to learn about the legal options available to you. Contact our Boston Law office – we are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call us at (617) 742-1900 or Toll Free at (800) 545-3732.

President of LM Import-Export Sentenced Prison and Fined for Importing Banned Children’s Products

6 June 2013

Florida Federal District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams issued a significant sentenced Hung Lam, President of LM Import-Export Inc., to 22 months incarceration in federal prison, three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine for pleading guilty to conspiracy to traffic and smuggle in banned children’s products that contained lead and small parts. Mr. Lam’s actions were deemed to have violated federal laws enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Mr. Lam was also convicted of one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

From about April 2000 through May 2011, defendant Lam and his related corporations LM Import-Export Inc., Lam’s Investment Corp., and LK Toys Corporation, conspired to sell and distribute in commerce banned children’s products imported from China.  These actions were in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.  These products allegedly presented the risk of choking, aspiration, and ingestion, and some contained lead above the federal limits.

The dangers of catastrophic injury that these products can cause are severe, and manufacturers who ignore laws in place to help ensure safety of our children must be held accountable. Efforts by our courts and government in this regard are to be applauded.

Pottery Barn Dolls Recalled

22 September 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Pottery Barn Kids, a division of William-Sanoma Inc. of San Fransisco, CA, has issued a recallof certain of its dolls. The doll recall is based on a strangulation hazard presented by the hair on the Chloe, Sophie and Audrey dolls, which contains loops that are large enough to fit around the head and neck of a child. The headband on the Audrey doll also poses a strangulation hazard because if loosened from the doll’s body, it can form yet another loop that can potentially strangle a child.

About 81,000 dolls in the United States and 1,300 in Canada were recalled. There were five reported instances of dolls with looped hair, including one report in which a loop of the Chloe doll’s hair was found around the neck of a toddler.

If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective toy or children’s product, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the product liability attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

 

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

 

Major Children’s Product Recalls in January 2011

3 February 2011

Children’s products provide our kids with opportunities for hours of enjoyment and learning. Unfortunately, improperly designed or manufactured playthings can also cause death and debilitating injury among the most innocent of victims. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have long been a leader in the fight to rid our country’s store shelves and toy boxes of unsafe playthings, in the process bringing about improved standards, toy recalls, and safer designs.

Nevertheless, the sad reality remains that thousands of children are killed and injured every year as a result of unsafe children’s products. Over the years, a consistent pattern of design hazards has emerged. Examples include:

  • Small toy parts that can be ingested, inhaled, or aspirated
  • Sharp points and edges that can puncture, cut or bruise
  • Flammable fabrics that can ignite in flame or melt to a hot, sticky mass
  • Chemicals that can be poisonous if swallowed or explosive if heated
  • Strangulation hazards due to long strings, cords, or elastic straps
  • Electrical toys using high voltage current
  • Projectile toys and “weapons” sold as toys

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have already been several major recalls of children’s products within the first month of 2011. These recalls include:

  • Family Dollar Stores Recalls Remote Controlled Toy Tanks Due to Burn Hazard
  • Kang Sheng Group Recalls Butterfly Push Toy Due to Choking Hazard
  • Toy Mobile Phones Recalled by Discovery Toys Due to Choking Hazard
  • Teething Rings Recalled by Calisson Due to Ingestion Hazard
  • Kid O Products Recalls Baby Rattles Due To Choking Hazard
  • Infant and Toddler Footed Pajamas Recalled by Pajamagram Due to Choking Hazard
  • Children’s Hooded Sweatshirts and Jackets With Drawstrings Recalled by Hot Kids Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • Prairie Mountain Inc. Recalls Youth Jackets Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • Alpha Industries Recalls Children’s Hooded Sweatshirts with Drawstrings Due to Strangulation Hazard
  • The Land of Nod Recalls Status Furniture “Rosebud” Drop-Side Cribs Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards

Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately.

Dangerous children’s products may be misleadingly advertised, or be sold with inaccurately or inadequately labeled packaging. The target market  consists of children who are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards, or defend against them.

If you or a member of your family has suffered serious injuries due to a defective product, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of the product liability attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We will forward your information to an appropriate member of our staff.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Parents Warned about the Dangers of Crib Bumpers

19 January 2011

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is fighting to place a ban on crib bumpers. Crib bumpers are pads that can be attached inside the crib to cushion babies from crib bars. Since 2008, there have been 14 infant deaths linked to crib bumper pads. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a span of 20 years, has received 52 reports of infant deaths in which bumper pads were mentioned but not necessarily ruled as the cause, according to a report released in July.

Babies can suffocate or be strangled if they roll against the crib bumper, press their faces against the bumper, wedge their heads between the pad and mattress or crib side, or if their necks get wrapped by the tie that secures the bumper to the crib.

The CPSC is currently working to gauge the potential harm of crib bumpers, but they suggest that parents stop using these bumpers right away. Madigan says that manufacturers should not wait to take action until regulators decide if the bumpers should be used, and is urging manufacturers to stop the production of crib bumpers. Immediate action is necessary due to the number of infant deaths and injuries attributed to the pads.

Federal regulators have known for years that bumper pads pose a potential suffocation hazard, but have failed to warn parents of the dangers, and bedding manufacturers have yet to take action. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American SIDS Institute and the Canadian Health Department have all urged parents not to use crib bumpers.

While proper labeling, recalls and regulations are important for safety of children’s products, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe products reach the marketplace, especially when such products have the potential to cause catastrophic injury or death. The potential hazards posed by cribs bumpers flooding retail store shelves highlight the inadequacy of current safety protocols. There is simply no excuse for companies to sell dangerous products, such as crib bumpers, to consumers. The burden must be on manufacturers and retailers, not consumers, to identify hazards before their products enter the channels of commerce.

If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries or death as the result of a defective product, such as a crib bumper, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Drop-Side Cribs Banned Due to Safety Hazards

23 December 2010

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new mandatory standards to address the hazards of cribs. In the last five years alone, the CPSC has announced recalls of over 9 million drop-side cribs due to hazards of strangulation and suffocation. According to the CPSC, since January 2000 there have been 32 infant and toddler suffocation and strangulation deaths and hundreds of other accidents that were caused by or related to drop-side detachments in cribs.

The CPSC has determined that drop-side cribs are less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed sides and are prone to break, deform or experience other problems during normal use. If an infant or toddler moves into the space created by a partially detached drop-side, the child can become entrapped or wedged, potentially resulting in suffocation. It is also possible for infants to be strangled by the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detached in the upper corner.

Safety hazards involving cribs have included drop-side hardware failures, drop-side entrapment issues, failures of mattress support, and detachment or breakage of the crib slats. These defects have the potential to cause entrapment or suffocation of babies. In addition, these hazards can lead to infants falling out of their cribs.

The CPSC has issued a ban on the cribs, which will go into effect in June 2011. The new safety regulations require that the four sides of a crib be rigidly attached to one another. Childcare facilities, hotels and other places of public accommodations must have compliant cribs two (2) years after the publishing of the rule.

Consumer Advice:

  • Check your crib regularly.
  • Make sure your crib has not been recalled.
  • Do not use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts.
  • Tighten hardware from time to time to assure that the crib is sturdy.
  • Check all sides of a crib for disengagement.
  • DO NOT try to repair any side of the crib. Infants and toddlers have died due to repairs attempted by caregivers.

If a loved one has been the victim of an injury due to a drop-side crib, contact an injury lawyer at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

Four Infant Deaths Linked To Recalled Graco Quattro™ and MetroLite™ Strollers

22 October 2010

In October, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced a recall of about 2 million Graco strollers due to risk of entrapment and strangulation. Reports surfaced that the manufacturer, Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Atlanta, Ga., received four reports of infant strangulations that occurred in its strollers between the years 2003 and 2005. Furthermore, the government became aware of five reports of additional infant entrapments, as well as one report of an infant having difficulty breathing.

Children who are not harnessed in the strollers at issue can reportedly pass through the opening between the stroller tray and seat bottom, with the potential for his/her head and neck to become entrapped by the tray.  Unsecured infants younger than 12 months of age were reported to be particularly susceptible to the hazard. Infants who become entrapped at the neck risk strangulation.

The recall targeted older versions of the Graco Quattro Tour™ and MetroLite™ strollers and travel systems manufactured prior to the implementation of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller’s tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings in an effort to prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

If a loved one has suffered serious injuries, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. for a free consultation.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz P.C.Permalink

Recall of Infant Sleep Positioners Prompted By Reports of Twelve Infant Deaths

1 October 2010

On September 29, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. In recent years, the government received 12 reports of infants (ages ranging from 1 month to 4 four months) who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners, or became trapped and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. According to reports, most of the babies suffocated after rolling from a side to stomach position. In addition to the reported deaths, dozens of reports were received regarding infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, later to be found in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the products.

The two main types of infant sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters. The FDA has never cleared an infant sleep positioner to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, at the time of the recall, the government are unaware of any scientific studies demonstrating that infant positioners prevent SIDS or are proven to prevent suffocation or other life-threatening harm.

CPSC and the FDA warned parents and child care providers to:

  • STOP using sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.
  • NEVER put pillows, infant sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
  • ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time. To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing infants to sleep on their backs and not their sides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also does not support the use of any sleep positioner to prevent SIDS.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. for a free consultation.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz P.C.Permalink

Kids’ Tent Recalled Due to Strangulation Hazard

19 July 2010

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada (HC), in cooperation with Tots in Mind Inc., of Salem, N.H., is announcing that a recall was issued on July 15, 2010 of about 20,000 “Cozy Indoor Outdoor Portable Playard Tents Plus Cabana Kits”, sold in the United States by Tots in Mind Inc. of Salem, N.H., at retailers including Walmart and Amazon.com. Clips that attach the tent to the top of the playard reportedly can break or be removed by a child, allowing the tent to be lifted, potentially entrapping the child at the neck between the rigid playard frame and the metal base rod of the tent. The CPSC has warned that the product poses a strangulation hazard.

The government became aware of the death of a 2-year-old boy in December, 2008 in Vinalhaven, Maine. The boy was found hanging with his neck entrapped between the playard frame and the metal base rod of the tent that had been partially tied by pieces of nylon rope and partially attached by clips. The tent was tied to the playard because the child was able to pop off the clips. Apparently, the child became entrapped while attempting to climb out of the playard. In at least three other incidents, children were able to remove one or more clips and place their necks between the tent and the playard.

Families and caregivers have been warned to stop using these playards immediately. There have been previous recalls of other cribs and play yards for similar hazards, yet remarkably, such products can still be found in the streams of commerce. The dangers of catastrophic injury that these products cause is severe and the manufacturers need to be more diligent in making sure these kinds of accidents are not possible.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz P.C.Permalink

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