If your child is injured by a defective crib, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the crib. While regulations set minimum safety standards for cribs, defects can occur in the design or manufacturing process, and have been the subject of a safety recall.
Defective Cribs Presenting Potential for Child Injuries
In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued new safety standards for cribs. The regulations, which represented the first upgrade in nearly 30 years, became effective in June 2011. They banned traditional drop-side cribs, along with immobilizers and repair kits; and required stronger wood slats to prevent breakage, the addition of crib hardware with anti-loosening devices to keep components from falling off, more durable mattresses and more rigorous safety testing.
The standards require that cribs be constructed with:
- No more than two and three-eighth inches between slats
- No loose or missing slats
- No decorative corner that extends one-sixteenth of an inch or more above the post
- No lead-paint coat
- No odd or sharp cut-outs in the headboard that could potentially snag a child’s limbs or clothing
Crib manufacturers must include proper instructions and diagrams for assembling cribs. Federal regulations also require warning labels.
Crib Defects Cause Injuries
Despite tougher standards, baby cribs continue to injure children and to be recalled. A 2017 study of emergency room data collected 2003-2011 found a 23.7 percent increase in injuries related to nursery products, with more than 18 percent associated with cribs and mattresses. Defective cribs can result in strangulation, head entrapment, suffocation, choking, falling and lacerations.
Crib defects can include hardware failures allowing portions of mattresses to fall or a gap to form; slats separating from headboards; gaps between side rails and crib mattress supports; Spindles loosening and detaching; and lead paint.
Some recent crib recalls include:
- In July 2015, DaVinci Cribs recalled 11,660 full sized cribs, including the Reagan, the Emily, the Jamie and the Jenny Lind crib models manufactured from May 2012 through December 2012. The defect involves a metal bracket connecting the mattress support to the crib that can can break, creating an uneven sleeping surface or a gap. If this occurs, a baby can become entrapped in the crib, fall or suffer lacerations from the broken metal bracket.
- In May 2015, Baby’s Dream recalled about 4,600 full-size cribs, furniture and accessories sold in a vintage grey paint finish that exceeded federal lead limits. Cribs and furniture included in this recall were manufactured between March 2014 and March 2015 in Chile and were marketed under the Brie, Braxton, Heritage, Everything Nice and Legendary collections.
- In January 2015, IKEA recalled 169,000 crib VYSSA style crib mattresses with the following five model names: VACKERT, VINKA, SPELEVINK, SLÖA and SLUMMER because they could create a gap between the mattress and crib ends larger than allowed by federal regulations, posing an entrapment hazard to infants.
- In August 2014, Franklin & Ben Mason style 4-in-1 style cribs model number 5601 that were manufactured from January 2012 through August 2012. The crib front can separate from the side panels and create a hazardous gap that can allow a child to fall out or become entrapped between the front and side panels. The firm has received 14 reports of the front separating from the side panels of the crib. No injuries have been reported.
To learn more about crib recalls and crib safety, go to:
- cpsc.gov: This CPSC website maintains a recall list for consumers to check if there is a crib recall.
- saferproducts.gov: This CPSC website has a key-word searchable database where the public can report problems with crib, read consumer complaints about cribs, and find recall notices. Checking the recall list is particularly important if you are buying a used crib at a yard sale, at a flea market, or on a website such as eBay.
Filing a Product Liability Suit Based on a Defective Crib
If your child is injured or dies in a crib, you can file a wrongful death action to seek compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor. There are three causes of action in a products liability suit:
- Strict liability: When a product liability case is based on strict liability, you do not have to prove the manufacturer’s negligence. You must only prove the product was defective and that the defect caused your injury.
- Negligence: When a product liability case is based on negligence, you must prove the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer did not exercise the care that would be considered reasonable by other experts – in legal terms, the “standard of care.”
- Breach of warranty: When a product liability case is based on breach of warranty, you must prove that the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer violated an implied warranty — their assurances that a product is safe when it is used as it was intended.
In a product liability case, you can recover your child’s current and future medical expenses, as well as compensation for the child’s loss of earning capacity and the child’s pain and suffering. In some cases, you can recover punitive damages, which are damages designed to penalize the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor.
If your child is injured by a defective crib, call a defective baby crib injury lawyer at Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 for a free consultation or make an appointment on our website.