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Bassettbaby Crib Recall Response Questioned

Nov 21, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP

The recent Bassettbaby crib recall has again sparked criticism of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), which took three weeks to send representative to pick up one of the defective products.  Problems have also been reported about the Bassettbaby company’s response to problems with the cribs.   One parent claims that when he contacted Bassettbaby about a defective Wendy Bellisimo Convertible crib, the representative he spoke with was less than helpful.

The parents said that after they discovered their baby daughter's fingers pinched between the sides of the Bassettbaby crib, they realized that the bolt holes had been drilled too close to the edge, causing the wood to split and resulting in the sides of the crib separating.  The parents immediately notified the company hoping the situation would be addressed, but Bassettbaby did not seem concerned or interested in pursuing the matter, telling the parents that theirs was the only complaint the firm had received about that crib.  The parents state that when they asked Bassettbaby to send an investigator to their home and notify the proper authorities, they were told the company was not going to send an investigator or take any action to notify anyone.

A recall was recently issued for nearly 9000 of the baby cribs due to a construction flaw that poses a serious danger to any child who might be placed in the crib.

This week, the firm's attorney responded to the parent’s claim that a company official's response was inappropriate and lacking.  Bassettbaby says they dispute the parents’ account of the events.

CPSC finally sent an investigator to the home on October 8th, taking the crib with them, nearly one month after the incident and complaint.  Bassettbaby claims they notified the CPSC within five days of speaking with the parents and prior to the parents notifying the agency.  Bassettbaby claims they conducted a joint investigation with the CPSC, issuing a voluntary recall and a joint press release on November 8th.  As part of its response to the situation, Bassettbaby is providing free repair kits.

This is the second major crib recall issued by the CPSC in recent months.  In September, close to one million Graco and Simplicity cribs were recalled due to a design flaw that resulted in three children’s deaths.  The CPSC was criticized for its handling of the investigation and, according to the Chicago Tribune, when the CPSC looked into the death of a nine-month old boy, the CPSC inspector never bothered to identify the type of crib involved nor did he inspect the crib.  The CPSC issued the recall after learning the Chicago Tribune was about to reveal the agency’s mishandling of the cases.

The CPSC says the Bassettbaby Crib recall involves several models of the Wendy Bellissimo Collection convertible cribs sold exclusively at Babies "R" Us nationwide from July 2005 through October 2007 and is due to an entrapment and strangulation hazard.  The bolts connecting the top corners of the crib may come loose, creating a gap.  According to the CPSC, Bassettbaby received 85 reports of bolts loosening, including one report of a 13-month old child's hand becoming trapped between the railings.


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