CPSC Sues Nap Nanny Manufacturer in Wake of Infant Deaths

According to its website, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is the federal agency "charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction." Often, the manufacturers of a dangerous or defective product issue voluntary recalls in response to CPSC concerns; however, when the manufacturer fails to address safety issues or comply with CPSC demands, the agency may file an administrative complaint against the non-compliant company or issue a mandatory recall of defective products. [caption id="attachment_1454" align="alignleft" width="276"] Image from CPSC.gov[/caption] Last week, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC, manufacturer of  the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill.  The Nap Nanny and Chill are popular infant recliners marketed as "the only portable infant recliner designed for sleep, play--and peace of mind."  However, the CPSC is aware of five infant deaths associated with the use of the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny chill, and has received 70 reports of infants nearly falling from the product despite being buckled in the harness. In 2010, the CPSC and Baby Matters, LLC, issued a joint recall which included improved product warnings and provided a coupon for purchase of a newer model.  At the time, the CPSC was aware of one death and 22 near-falls; however, subsequent to the joint recall, four additional deaths occurred, prompting the agency to file an administrative complaint. According to a CPSC press release, the agency "filed the administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in an adequate voluntary recall plan that would address the hazard posed by consumer use of the product in a crib or without the harness straps being securely fastened."  The Consumer Product Safety Commission determined the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill to be defective products because of the risks of injury or death associated with use. The agency says that design defects and marketing strategies created foreseeable risks that were neither obvious nor intuitive for consumers.  According to the complaint: 102. The nature of the risk of injury includes death if a child becomes trapped between the side of the Subject Products and the bumper pad or side of a crib. 103. The nature of the risk of injury also includes death if a child is not restrained in the seat of the Subject Products and suffocates on the interior wall or well of the seat. 104. Infants, a vulnerable population protected by the CPSA and FHSA, are exposed to risk of injury by the Subject Products. 105. The risk of injury associated with use of the Subject Products in a crib is neither obvious nor intuitive. 106. The risk of injury associated with use of the Subject Products without the harness or without tightly securing the harness is neither obvious nor intuitive. 107. Warnings and instructions cannot adequately mitigate the risk of injury and death associated with use of the Subject Products. 108. Because Respondent promoted the use of the Subject Products for unsupervised, overnight sleep, use of the Subject Products in a crib or other enclosed areas is foreseeable. 109. Use of the Subject Products without securing the harness around the infant is foreseeable. 110. The type of the risk of injury renders the Subject Products defective. Problems associated with the Nap Nanny include marketing and promotion strategies that contradicted the product's safety warnings, harnesses that were attached to the fabric and not attached to a fixed point, and harnesses that were difficult to use and adjust. If your child was injured using a Nap Nanny, Nap Nanny Chill, or other infant recliner, you may be able to obtain financial compensation from the manufacturer  of the defective product.

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