New Study: Fisher-Price Sleeper Design Led To Infant Deaths
Earlier this year, after mounting pressure from the media, parents, and pediatricians, Fisher-Price announced a voluntary recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘N’ Play sleepers when numerous reports surfaced that as many as 32 infants had died while using the sleeper. Now, that death toll has risen to as high as 59 infants nationwide and a new study has confirmed that the design of the sleeper is what led to their deaths.
The study, released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, indicated that none of the sleepers that were tested were deemed safe for babies to use. “Babies are dying and have died in these products,” said Dr. Erin Mannen, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Mannen and her team of biomechanics experts and medical doctors spearheaded the study for the commission. “Based on the results of our research, it’s something that has to do with the design of the product,” said Dr. Mannen.
In the over 10 years since Fisher-Price introduced inclined sleepers into the market, the circumstances surrounding the infant deaths in their recliners were all strikingly similar: the infants were all found turned over into an unsafe “face-down” position, causing them to suffocate, however, this new study is the first definitive, scientific proof that the design for these inclined sleepers is deeply flawed, unsafe, and deadly.
Dr. Mannen’s study, titled Biomechanical Analysis of Inclined Sleep, also concluded that sleepers with a 2o degree incline will put infants at risk for muscle fatigue and suffocation. For reference, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N’ Play sleeper could be set to have an incline as high as 30 degrees. The study also added that sleepers with an incline between 10 degrees and 20 degrees must be more thoroughly studied.
The report is now being used as part of a proposal by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to adopt stricter design safety guidelines for all sleepers manufactured and sold nationwide.
VIDEO: CBS News Speaks With Grieving Parents Whose Infants Were Victims Of The Rock ‘N’ Play Sleeper
Report: Fisher-Price Did Not Run Safety Tests On Their Sleeper As It Continued To Kill Infants
An investigation reported by the Washington Post uncovered that Fisher-Price invented the inclined sleeper, the Rock ‘N’ Play, without running any proper safety tests or doing any clinical research on the safety of their own product, even after reports surfaced that infants were dying as a result of their sleeper.
According to the investigation, the first time Fisher-Price consulted with a pediatrician to evaluate the sleeper’s safety was when it was part of their defense strategy against pending product liability lawsuits; a full eight years after the sleeper was released to the market.
Transcripts of depositions taken by employees at Fisher-Price reveal horrifyingly stunning negligence on behalf of the product designer and the product safety department and highlight an institutional failure to prevent such a dangerous product to be sold to the public.
What Should I Do If I Own A Rock ‘N’ Play Sleeper?
If you own a Rock ‘N’ Play sleeper, you should stop using it for your child immediately. According to the recall, owners of any Rock ‘N’ Play sleepers should return them to the original store of purchase for a refund.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also provided public information on how babies should safely sleep in a campaign called Safe To Sleep.
What Should I Do If My Baby Was A Victim Of The Fisher-Price Rock ‘N’ Play?
You should consider speaking to an experienced defective product injury lawyer immediately. Partnering with an injury lawyer could help pay for things such as medical expenses and future care or could help acquire justified compensation for the wrongful death of your child.
Also, if you believe your baby was injured due to the Rock ‘N’ Play, do not throw away the sleeper as it may be needed for evidence and examination by pediatric experts and engineers.
Partner With The Defective Product Injury Lawyers At Moore Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one have been a victim of injury or death due to the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N’ Play sleeper, you need to contact the defective product injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm today for your private, free consultation.