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Simplicity Bassinet Recall Includes Graco, Winnie-the-Pooh Beds

Sep 12, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
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Last month's massive Simplicity bassinet recall included some sold under the Graco brand name, as well as "Winnie-the-Pooh" models licensed by Disney.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is now urging parents and caregivers to check their bassinets to make sure they are not included in the Simplicity bassinet recall. These defective bassinets have been implicated in the strangulation deaths of two infants.

The Simplicity bassinets with the Graco logo were sold between 2001 and 2004. The Simplicity bassinets with the “Winnie the Pooh” motif were sold between 2002 and 2008. All of the bassinets included in the recall contain metal bars that are covered by an adjustable fabric flap which is attached by velcro. The fabric is folded down when the bassinet is converted into a bed-side co-sleeping position. If the velcro is not properly re-secured when the flap is adjusted, an infant can slip through the opening and become entrapped in the metal bars and suffocate. This warning does not cover bassinets produced in recent months that have fabric permanently attached over the lower bar.

According to the CPSC, the Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1, Graco and Winnie-the-Pooh bassinets are being recalled by the following retailers:  

Wal-Mart Stores.
Toys “R” Us
Kmart Corp.
Big Lots!
Target
J.C. Penney
AAFES
Amazon.com
Bed Bath & Beyond
Burlington Coat Factory
Buy Buy Baby
Chelsea&Scott LTD (One Step Ahead)
CSN Stores of Boston, MA
Fingerhut Direct Marketing
Frogs and Lily Pad
Kohl’s Department Stores
ShopKo Stores, Inc.
Sweet Pea Déco
USA Baby #47, Overland Park, KS
USA Baby #58, Brookfield, WI
USA Baby #136, Berlin, CT
USA Baby #141, Waipahu, HI
USA Baby #142, Virginia Beach, VA
USA Baby #147, Clovis, CA

The Simplicity Bassinet recall followed the death of a six-month old girl in Kansas last month.  Police in Shawnee, Kansas said the baby became caught in the metal bars of a 4-in-1 Bassinet. As a result, she was strangled.

Last September, the same bassinet claimed the life of a 4-month-old Missouri girl. The infant had slipped out the side of the bassinet between a lower horizontal railing and her mattress, and had become trapped in a 4-inch gap between the railing and top of the mattress. The little girl’s death was ruled an “accidental positional asphyxiation.”


When the Missouri child died last fall, Simplicity was already in dire financial straits, owing to another massive crib recall it had issued earlier in the summer.  With creditors circling, Simplicity sold its assets at auction two months later.  According to The Washington Post, the assets were purchased by SFCA Inc.,  an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital, a Bethesda, Maryland private-equity fund with $88 million dollars under management. Under the deal, SFCA bought the right to sell products under the Simplicity brand but did not take legal responsibility for products made under its previous owners.  So when the CPSC asked SFCA to recall the deadly bassinets, it refused.  

Because of SFCA's refusal to issue a recall, the CPSC had to approach individual retailers and request that they recall the bassinets.  The participating companies will provide a refund or store credit to consumers who return a recalled bassinet to the store where purchased.

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