Despite Take-Down Efforts, Legislators Allege Infant-Fatal Products Continue to Be Available on Facebook Marketplace.
Lawmakers assert that products known to be implicated in over 100 infant fatalities remain accessible for purchase on Facebook Marketplace, ignoring numerous official requests for their removal.
Lawmakers highlighted two particular items that continue to pose risks: the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play, connected to nearly 100 fatalities, including eight subsequent to its recall, and the Boppy Newborn Lounger, associated with at least ten deaths.
In a recent letter addressed to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, bipartisan representatives expressed their dissatisfaction with Meta’s efforts to inhibit the online resale of these dangerous products. They emphasized that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has not seen any proactive steps from Meta to avoid such future listings.
Legislators condemned Meta’s inability to halt the sale of recalled items on its platform, stating that this lapse has exposed users and their children to serious risks, including life-threatening situations, with products that the CPSC has already flagged as hazardous.
Meta clarifies that all items available for sale across its platforms, which include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, must align with the company’s commerce guidelines. Specifically, products under recall are identified as forbidden content.
A spokesperson for Meta responded, saying, “Instances do exist where people either deliberately or inadvertently offer recalled items on the Marketplace. We recognize the gravity of this issue and promptly remove such listings when identified.”
Last year, a Meta representative informed CBS MoneyWatch that Meta employs “40,000 individuals dedicated to maintaining safety and security, including teams that actively enforce policies against the sale of recalled items.”
CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric has penned multiple letters to Meta about this critical issue. Last year, he noted that approximately half of all CPSC take-down requests were directed at Facebook Marketplace, a proportion that increased to around 75% in 2022.
“Between February 7, 2022, and March 7, 2023, our monitoring staff issued 3,981 removal orders specifically for the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper,” Hoehn-Saric wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg. “This averages to about 306 removals a month or nearly ten daily, with the majority targeted at Facebook Marketplace.”
While acknowledging that Meta does act swiftly to remove flagged listings, he insisted that the company must take more aggressive actions to prevent hazardous products from appearing on its platforms in the first place.
CPSC Chair Hoehn-Saric told CBS News that he was pleased to see bipartisan action pushing these platforms to take responsibility for product safety. He added that given their vast resources, there’s no excuse for not eliminating hazardous and recalled products from their platforms. Hoehn-Saric also stated that the responsibility should not be on consumers to identify unsafe products. According to Hoehn-Saric, the CPSC is urging platforms to make consumer safety a priority, and he appreciates the support from lawmakers in this endeavor.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Damages
Filing a civil lawsuit for damages is a legal avenue people can take to seek financial compensation for losses or injuries they’ve suffered due to someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence. The following are steps commonly involved in the process:
Consultation Our Attorneys: The first step in filing a civil lawsuit is typically to consult with an attorney experienced in the relevant area of law, such as personal injury and product liability. Our lawyers will assess the merits of your case, estimate its value, and explain the legal options available to you.
Investigation and Gathering Evidence: If you decide to proceed, your attorney will begin investigating the case, collecting evidence to support your claim. This could include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and other relevant documents.
Filing the Complaint: Your attorney will draft a legal document known as a “complaint,” which outlines your allegations against the defendant(s) and specifies the damages you are seeking. This complaint will be filed in a court of law, officially starting the lawsuit.
Serving the Defendant: Once the complaint is filed, the next step is to serve it on the defendant. This means delivering a copy of the complaint and a summons, which informs the defendant of the lawsuit against them and how much time they have to respond.
Defendant’s Response: The defendant usually has a specified time (often 20 to 30 days, depending on jurisdiction) to file a formal response to the complaint, either admitting to or denying each allegation and possibly presenting a counterclaim.
Discovery Process: After the defendant’s response is filed, both parties enter the “discovery” phase, where they exchange information relevant to the case. This can include depositions, interrogatories, and document requests.
Settlement Negotiations or Trial: Many cases are resolved before going to trial through a negotiated settlement. If a settlement is not reached, the case will proceed to trial where both parties will present their case before a judge or jury.
Verdict and Judgment: If the case goes to trial, the judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is liable for the damages you’ve claimed and how much compensation you are entitled to.
Enforcement and Collection: Once a judgment is issued, the final step is to collect the awarded amount. This could involve various legal maneuvers if the defendant refuses or is unable to pay.
Each jurisdiction may have its own specific steps and procedures, so it’s crucial to consult with an attorney who understands the laws applicable to your case.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous products like this defective product. For your free consultation, contact our national product liability law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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