After learning of the deaths of five babies in Nap Nanny infant recliners, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission took the unusual step of suing the manufacturer to get them acknowledge the product is defective and refund consumers.
The lawsuit was filed today against Baby Matters, LLC, of Berwyn, Pa., which makes Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill. The CPSC said it was aware of the deaths of four infants in Nap Nanny Generation Two recliners and another in a Nap Nanny Chill.
At least 70 reports of infants falling out of the recliners have been received by the agency, the CPSC said.
Typically, when a company or the CPSC identify that a product has a defect that can cause serious harm the two sides negotiate a resolution - the recall - that could include a wide variety of remedies. In this case, the CPSC said the government and the company could not agree on a resolution and action needed to be taken.
The first set of Nap Nanny recliners were recalled in July 2010 -- and consumers were offered an $80 coupon for a newer model recliner as well as improve warnings and instructions. One child had died in the older model prior to the recall.
“This is a product that falls outside of the scope of tough standards such as those recently developed for cribs and play yards,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger. “Parents assume that if a product is sold, someone made sure it is safe, but as the history of this product shows, that isn’t the case. Trying to backtrack design changes after a baby dies is not the way to make a safe product.”
“A sleeping environment for a baby should not pose safety hazards and tragically, this product does.” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and Senior Counsel with Consumer Federation of America. “We applaud the CPSC for taking strong action to protect infants from the serious hazards posed by the Nap Nanny."
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Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com