Understanding product law and how it applies to children injured from recalled products or baby seats can ease the stress often felt when a child has been injured.Often times, parents and guardians don’t realize that if their child has been injured due to a defaulty or recalled product they should file a personal injury claim.
The Bumbo Baby Seat is a popular product that allows babies as young as 3 months old to sit up before they are able to do so on their own. Parents and caregivers find the seat very useful, but there have been many cases of child injuries. According to data from a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) blog post, infants have been tumbling out of the seat, suffering cracked skulls, broken legs and other serious injuries.
According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, the seat was recalled in 2007 after numerous skull fractures were reported. However, the article adds the following disturbing information: “While many companies change the design of a recalled product or send consumers a kit to fix it, Bumbo made no alterations beyond a new label on the front that reads ‘Prevent falls! Never use on any elevated surface.’ The warning was also added to packaging and instruction manuals.”
Despite being on the recall list and without any alterations to their product after the recall, more than 45 infant skull fractures linked to the Bumbo have been reported since. An unsettling case of the blind spots in product law, the culprit of all these child injuries remains at large among the general public. However, a coalition of children’s health and advocacy groups last month urged the CPSC to remove the Bumbo seats from the market until the safety issues have been resolved.
While no removal has occurred yet, the CPSC issued the following strong recommendations to prevent child injuries:
- NEVER put a Bumbo baby seat on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface.
- ONLY put an infant in a Bumbo seat if it is on a floor.
Product law involves unsafe or defective products and the manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers that are responsible for bringing these dangerous products into the marketplace. All consumer products, including: toys, baby seats, furniture, electronics, real estate, maps, food, drugs, clothing, motor vehicles, medical devices, instruction manuals, home and office appliances, and commercial airplanes, fall generally under this area of law. In fact, according to the U.S. CPSC, more than 29 million people are injured and over 21,000 are killed because of a defective or unsafe product each year.
There is a recourse that you can take if you or a family member (including children) is injured due to a defective product. Product law holds that the party held liable does not necessarily need to have acted negligently, carelessly, or be found “at fault” in order for there to be grounds for a products liability claim as long as the following are true:
- The product was found defective or unsafe
- The product was the cause of the accident and/or injury
- The person who was injured was using the product correctly
There also may be more than one party that can be held liable for your products liability injury, which is why it is important that you retain the services of a personal injury law firm that understands products liability law and the kinds of claims that can be brought.