Ergobaby Revealed as "Company Doe" in Product Safety LawsuitsMay 9, 2014
Ergobaby, a leading manufacturer of baby carriers, has been identified in a lawsuit against the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to National Law Journal, the company tried to conceal its identity in the product safety suit by using the pseudonym “Company Doe”. However, the company revealed its identity on Thursday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said the trial judge had improperly allowed Ergobaby to hide its name from the public. Ergobaby had been trying to hide a CPSC product safety report involving the death of an infant, National Law Journal reports.
The lawsuit was filed in Maryland, where a judge is expected to make case documents public within a few days. Ergobaby was trying to stop the CPSC from publishing an incident report regarding the death of an infant on saferproducts.gov. The disputed report says that Ergobaby’s carrier is at fault. According to National Law Report, an attorney for the company claims that the report is inaccurate.
The complaint, referred to as a “report of harm” was filed in 2011 by an unidentified local government agency in Maryland. The report stated that the mother had taken the baby out strawberry picking. She noticed that the baby was not breathing and called 911; CPR was performed.
Consumer advocates insisted that the court identify the company and to unseal documents. The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen spoke out against the sealing of court records, National Law Journal reports. An attorney for the group said Public Citizen was pleased about the news, stating “If companies like Ergobaby are able to litigate in secret, the Consumer Product Safety Information Database would be undermined.”
According to its website, the CPSC is responsible for “protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction,” The agency says that these risks include fire, electrical or mechanical hazards. The CPSC says that its work has “contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.”