Baby Stroller Safety Generates Concern From Consumer Advocate Group.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall warning in 2009 for the Maclaren baby stroller. The British company Maclaren recalled over 1 million of the popular strollers because of amputation of children’s fingers. At least twelve children lost some of their fingers in the metallic hinges of the stroller. Most of the injuries were to the fingertips of the children. Notwithstanding, these are horribly painful and permanent injuries. Perhaps plastic surgery would be able to repair the damage,but that is no consolation to the parents of the children whose hands were deformed because Maclaren failed to take the appropriate measures to guard against children getting their hands caught in moving metallic parts.
Parker Waichman LLP is Reviewing Cases Involving Dangerous Baby Strollersc
At Parker Waichman LLP, we fight for people and their families who were injured by defective products like the Maclaren stroller. The products liability lawyers from Parker Waichman LLP have dedicated their careers to recovering financial compensation for people who were injuredby no fault of their own. Financial compensation might not heal a physical wound,but it helps the injury victim feel a sense of justice and closure so they can move on with their lives and that is something for which fighting is worth.
Maclaren Stroller Recalls
In 2009, Maclaren learned that children’s fingers were getting trapped in the hinge mechanism that allows the stroller to fold for storage ease. Maclaren distributed the stroller without any guards over the hinges. For an adult, getting a finger caught in the hinge would hurt; it might cause a bruise or a small cut, but the wound would not be catastrophic. A child’s finger is obviously much different. Consequently, Maclaren recalled the products and distributed guards for owners to install around the hinges to prevent little hands from getting caught.
One would think that the injuries of which Maclaren learned in 2009 would ensure the company exhausts its efforts to prevent additional injuries. That was not the case. In May of 2011, Maclaren issued another recall for the Maclaren umbrella strollers.
According to the information available at the time of the recall, 149 children suffered injuries to their hands. Thirty-seven of those injuries happened after Maclaren initially recalled the strollers two years prior. The company received reports on an additional five finger amputations. Also, the company received complaints about 16 more cuts and 16 more cases of fingers becoming trapped and bruised.
Strollers Remain a Constant Source of Injuries For Infants and Children
Several baby stroller manufacturers issued recall notices to this point in 2017. Children continue to suffer injuries from defective designs and manufacturing procedures. The following list isjust a few examples of the strollers recalled,and the types of injuries children have suffered as a result:
- “J-is for Jeep” jogger-stroller. The manufacturer notes that the leg of the stroller can break which could allow the child to fell through the opening and suffer injuries. In September of 2017, the consumers lodged four complaints about a leg breaking on the stroller, causing one child to fall entirely out of the stroller. The child suffered bumps and bruises but was thankfully not severely injured.
- “Combi Shuttle Travel System.” This product is a combination of a stroller and a car seat manufactured by CombiUSA. The company indicates that when the stroller and car seat are usedtogether, it is called a travel system. The company noted that it had not received complaints about any injuries to this point, but issued the recall because the car seat could become separated from the stroller portion while used as the traveling system. This could cause a child to fall and land on his or her head.
- “Britax BN-Agile and BOB Motion Strollers with Click & Go Receivers.” This product has a similar defect to the Combi Shuttle travel system. It has a car seat and a separate stroller part which can detach when used as a stroller. According to Britax, the receiver mount on the stroller is damaged The car seat detaches from the stroller when the receiver has been damaged. This problem creates a danger for the child riding in it from falling and striking his or her head. Britax’ problem is more pervasive than the Combi Shuttle. Britax received 33 reports of car seats separating from the stroller. Among those, 26 children suffered various injuries such as cuts, scrapes, bumps, and bruises. Britax received notice of over 1,300 instances of broken receiver mounts.
- “Aria Q-Bit Lightweight Stroller.” Aria issued this recall in late December of 2016. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the danger with this stroller was two-fold. First, Aria designed the stroller with a space near the hinge. This gap allowed the user to place their hand within reach of the hinge. People suffered severe cuts when their fingers and hands were trapped in the hinge. Secondly, the faulty design of the stroller caused it to fold unexpectedly as the child is pushed. Naturally, such an event could hurt the child and the person pushing the child. Four people needed sutures to close wounds which happened when their fingers got caught in the hinge. Additionally, Aria received 71 reports of the stroller folding without warning while in use. Consumers reported 12 minor injuries. However, one adult fell and broke their elbow and wrist when the stroller unexpectedly folded.
New Federal Standards Should Create Safer Environment for Children and Adults Alike
The Consumer Products Safety Commission enacted new federal regulations for car seats and strollers. The new regulations became effective in September 2015. In the five-year span from 2008 to 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received 1,300 complaints about defective car seats and strollers. That averages out to be about five complaints per week. Out of those 1,300 incidents reported, four were fatal.
These regulations should not be onerous for companies to satisfy. Under these new rules, the car seat and stroller manufacturers must:
- Design and manufacture hinges that cannot pinch or amputate,
- Install seat belts that children cannot unfasten by themselves or do not loosen,
- Create a system of latch locks that have safeguards against folding and unlocking,
- Install a parking brake that cannot spontaneously unlock designed to prevent carriages from rolling away when an adult is not watching the child,
- Prevent wheels from braking and detaching, and
- Add stabilizers and increase theoverall structural integrity of the stroller to prevent collapse or spontaneous folding.
A Manufacturer Owes its Customers a Duty to Keep Them Safe
A manufacturer of consumer goods in the United States or a foreign manufacturer selling consumer goods within the U.S. owe their customers a duty to keep the consumer free from injuries and death. There are three theories of liability for manufacturers of consumer goods: defective design, defective manufacturing process, and marketing defect, known as a failure to warn about the possible safety hazards a product might cause. A company is liable for the injuries it customers suffers if the injury can be traced back to one of these three areas of liability.
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