If your child is injured by a defective crib, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the crib. Defects in cribs can occur in the manufacturing process. Cribs have been the subject of many recalls when they create a risk to the safety of children. Regulations attempt to make cribs safer for children.
Defective Cribs Presenting Potential for Child Injuries
The modernization of the construction of cribs over the years has made tending to young children easier on parents. With these improvements have come problems. Some defects in the cribs created potential hazards to children.
Federal Regulations Setting Standards for Crib Manufacturers
Effective June 28, 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) put into place standards for crib manufacturers. Cribs that do not meet these standards violate federal law. The standards include the following requirements:
- 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 law also requires warning labels.
Defects in Cribs That Create Dangers to Children
Defects found in cribs include:
- Drop-side cribs creating gaps
- 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
- Paint with high levels of lead
- Chipping paint
What type of injuries can these defects cause?
- Head entrapment
- Laceration of fingers
Drop-Side Cribs Banned Effective June 2011
Manufacturers designed drop-side cribs to make it easier for parents to place infants in and out of cribs. Unfortunately, the sides could chip or break, causing a gap between the mattress and the drop-side of the crib. This created a risk of suffocation or strangulation of a child.
Millions of drop-side cribs were recalled. Thousands of children were injured, and dozens of children died. The United States banned drop-side cribs as of June 2011. Day-care centers and hotels had one year to replace drop-side cribs.
Infant Travel Beds Recalled Because of a Risk of Suffocation
In November 2012, nearly 220,000 infant travel beds were recalled after the death of a child and reports of other children getting trapped. The danger was that infants could roll between the air mattress and the tent’s fabric sides. This could lead to suffocation.
Cribs Recalled Because of a Risk of Entrapment and Strangulation
In June 2008, over 300,000 wooden cribs were recalled after reports of crib slats and spindles breaking, resulting in children becoming entrapped in the resulting gaps. In June 2008, the recall expanded to include over 50,000 more wooden cribs because slats could break, creating a gap and posing a danger of entrapment and strangulation.
If your child is injured by a defective crib, call Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977.
What Parents Can Do To Prevent Crib Injuries
When buying a crib, check to see if the crib model has been recalled. A list of recalled cribs is on the CPSC’s website (www.cpsc.gov). 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.
When buying a crib, there are things you can do to protect your child. Here are some tips:
- The crib should be made after June 28, 2011, when safety standards went into effect.
- A soda can should not easily fit between the slats.
- There should be no corner post extension or cut-outs.
- All screws and bolts should be tight.
- No rivets, nuts, or knobs should protrude.
- There should be no gap between the side of the crib and the mattress.
- The wood should be free of splinters.
- All painting should be lead-free, and the paint should not crack or peel.
- The lowered crib sides should be at least nine inches above the mattress support, and the raised crib sides should be at least 26 inches above the mattress support.
- Avoid drop-side cribs.
Other precautions to take include:
- Use a tight-fitting mattress.
- Keep the crib a safe distance from windows or shelves.
- Do not place pillows and stuffed animals in the crib.
- Place the child on his or her back to reduce the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome.
Filing a Product Liability Suit Based on a Defective Crib
If your child is injured or dies in a crib, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor.
What Must Be Shown to Succeed in a Product Liability Suit
In your product liability suit, you must show that you used the crib in the manner intended. Three causes of action in your products liability suit are strict liability, negligence, or a breach of warranty. To prevail on a strict liability claim, you do not have to prove negligence. You must prove the crib was defective and that the defect caused your child’s injury. You may also contend that the warnings provided by the manufacturer were not adequate.
What Damages You Can Recover in a Product Liability Suit
In a product liability case, you can recover your child’s medical expenses. This includes any future medical expenses and rehabilitation costs for the child. You can also recover 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 punish the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor.
If your child died from his or her injuries, you can file a wrongful death action. You may recover the same damages as if the child had survived.
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.