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Deadly Simplicity Bassinets Tied to More Deaths

Aug 20, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Two more infants have died in defective Simplicity bassinets, prompting the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to re-announce a year-old recall for the dangerous beds.

Roughly 900,000 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 Convertible “Close-Sleeper” Models Simplicity bassinets were recalled last August, after they had been implicated in the death of six-month old girl in Kansas that occurred that month, as well as a fatality involving a 4-month-old Missouri girl that occurred the previous September.  

According to the  CPSC, the recalled Simplicity bassinets contain metal bars paced farther apart than 2 3/8 inches, the maximum distance allowed under federal crib safety standards.  These metal bars are covered by an adjustable fabric flap secured by Velcro© fasteners, which are intended to be partially removed when the bassinet is converted into the bedside/close-sleeper mode. If the Velcro© fasteners are not properly re-secured when the fabric flap is adjusted, or if the consumer entirely removes the fabric flap exposing the metal bars, an infant can slip through the opening between the lower metal bar and the mattress support and become entrapped and suffocate or strangle.

According to today's notice, the CPSC has learned that  in September 2008, a two-month old Georgia girl suffocated when she rolled into the adjustable fabric siding of the bassinet, pressing her face into a "pocket" which formed near the Velcro© fasteners. In another incident in January 2009, a six-month old female Texas girl appears to have been fatally entrapped in the bassinet’s bar opening created when the Velcro© fasteners were not secured. An investigation into this infant’s death is ongoing. In addition, the CPSC has received two separate reports involving a 10-week old and a 3-month old whose heads became entrapped between the lower bassinet bar and the mattress support. The infants were freed by their caregivers without injury.

Consumers are urged to check their bassinets to ensure they are not using one of the recalled Simplicity bassinets.. Bassinets manufactured prior to the 21st week of 2008, “2108” (before May 18) are recalled. The model numbers for recalled bassinets manufactured prior to “2108” are: 3000; 3010; 3011; 3012; 3013; 3014; 3015; 3016; 3017; 3020; 3025; 3026; 3027; 3030; 3040;  3045; 3046; 3047;  3050; 3060; 3070; 3111; 3112; 343-8363; 343-8399; 5730; 5750; 8383; 9250; TD2500.

According to the CPSC, SFCA Inc., the Reading, Pa.-based company that purchased the assets of Simplicity Inc. after foreclosure, no longer appears to be conducting day to day operations. SFCA Inc. is no longer answering phone calls or responding to e-mails from consumers.  As such, several retailers have agreed to conduct this recall and provide a refund or store credit to consumers who return the product to the store where purchased.  A complete list of those retailers is available here.

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