August 1, 2014 — A lawsuit (PDF) has been filed on behalf of a child who died in a Safety 1st car seat that was manufactured by Dorel Juvenile Group., Inc.
The lawsuit was filed by Ralandria Brown, the mother of the child, on May 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The incident occurred in Houston in June 2012.
According to the complaint, the car seat is defective because the shoulder strap adjustor fails to contain a safety lock to prevent the child from pulling up on the shoulder strap while sitting in the seat. If the shoulder strap is pulled, it creates a chest vise that can prevent the child from breathing, leading to asphyxiation.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendant previously used a safer design on Safety 1st car seats that were manufactured before March 2007. When the car seats were re-designed, the defendants are accused of failing to conduct adequate testing and/or failed to conduct a thorough engineering analysis.
Brown accuses Dorel Juvenile Group of negligence for selling an “unreasonably dangerous” and defective car seat:
“The child seat in question was not reasonably fit for unintended, but clearly foreseeable, accidents and incidents. … Defendant knew or should have known of safer alternative designs which would have prevented the death of J.B., a minor child.”
In July, Graco expanded a recall of 4.2 million child car seats and booster seats to include 1.8 million infant seats. The problem was a defective buckle that could become progressively stickier over time due to contamination with food or beverages. In an emergency, the problem could make it difficult or impossible to remove the child from the car seat. Recalls were also issued by Evenflo and Baby Trend.
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