December 5, 2012 — The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Baby Matters, LLC, the manufacturer of Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill infant recliners. The CPSC has received reports of 6 infant deaths and nearly 100 incidents associated with the products. The CPSC alleges that the recall that Baby Matters issued in 2010 did not adequately address foreseeable safety concerns with the product, and as a result, infants continued to be injured or killed by the products.
CPSC Commissioner Nancy A. Nord issued a statement to announce the 3-0 vote to issue an administrative complaint against Baby Matters, LLC. She wrote:
“My heart goes out to the parents and families of children who are injured or lose their lives in incidents associated with consumer products. … I believe that the legal theory described in the complaint concerning the reasonably foreseeable misuse of Baby Matters’ products deserves a thorough vetting by an administrative law judge.”
The CPSC first addressed issues with the Nap Nanny infant recliners in 2010, after the CPSC received reports of one infant death and 22 reports of infants hanging or falling out of the recliner — despite the fact that most infants were placed in the harness.
Baby Matters and the CPSC announced a recall in June 2010. Customers were offered an $80 coupon toward the purchase of a newer model with improved warnings and instructions for safe use. The warnings instructed parents to always place children in the harness and never use it in a crib.
Unfortunately, the Generation Two Nap Nanny infant recliners had many of the same safety hazards as Generation One. Despite the additional warnings, the CPSC received 4 additional reports of infant deaths in Generation Two recliners, and one report of death in a Nap Nanny Chill model. They also received 70 additional incident reports.
When CPSC staff contacted Baby Matters, LLC regarding the incidents, the CPSC reported that discussions “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.”
Commissioner Nord described the issue of inadequate recalls as “nebulous and incompletely defined even as the agency has dealt with it over the years.”
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