On September 21, 2007, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) ordered a recall of 1.2 million Simplicity and Graco cribs that were responsible for the deaths of at least two infants. The CPSC issued the recall announcement because a flaw in the design of the cribs allowed consumers to install a drop rail upside down. When this happened, the drop rail could detach from the crib, creating a gap where an infant could become entrapped and suffocate.
The dangerous cribs were manufactured in China by Simplicity, Inc. of Reading, Pennsylvania. The recall included cribs sold under the Simplicity and Graco names. The recalled Simplicity models included: Aspen 3 in 1, Aspen 4 in 1, Nursery-in-a-Box, Crib N Changer Combo, Chelsea and Pooh 4 in 1. The recall also involved the following Simplicity cribs that used the Graco logo: Aspen 3 in 1, Ultra 3 in 1, Ultra 4 in1, Ultra 5 in 1, Whitney and the Trio. The cribs have one of the following model numbers, which can be found on the envelope attached to the mattress support and on the label attached to the headboard: 4600, 4605, 4705, 5000, 8000, 8324, 8800, 8740, 8910, 8994, 8050, 8750, 8760, and 8996. The cribs were made in China and sold throughout the US between January 1998 and May 2007.
The CPSC said that the defective cribs were responsible for the deaths of a 9-month-old infant in California, and a 6-month-old in Georgia. At the time of the recall, the CPSC was also investigating the death of a 1-year-old child that was possibly connected to the recalled Simplicity and Graco Cribs. In addition, the CPSC said that it knew of at least 55 other accidents that were related to the cribs.
The CPSC warned caregivers to check the recalled cribs to insure that the drop rail was properly installed. However, the CPSC also said that it was aware of incidents involving the recalled cribs even when the rail was installed right-side-up. For that reason, consumers were warned not to use the hazardous cribs until they obtained a repair kit from the manufacturer. The repair kits can be ordered by contacting Simplicity (888-593-9274 or www.simplicityforchildren.com). Once the hardware is installed, consumers should still check the crib’s drop rail to ensure it is assembled right-side up.
Chicago Tribune Investigation
The same day the CPSC ordered the crib recall, the Chicago Tribune revealed that it had been investigating the defective cribs, and was preparing to publish an expose on the dangers of the recalled Simplicity and Graco Cribs. The Tribune said that its investigation would detail the death of one of the infants in 2005, including an allegation that the CPSC failed to identify the model and manufacturer of the crib that killed that child. The Tribune story will also document many other complaints about the defective cribs received by the CPSC over the past several years. According to that newspaper, it was only after its reporters started asking questions that the CPSC sent an investigator to retrieve a crib and look at its flaws. That inspection took place only three days prior to the recall and it is what apparently finally prompted the CPSC to act.
Legal Help for Victims of Defective Cribs
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP understand that the cribs involved in the Graco and Simplicity recall can cause devastating injuries to children. If your child has been injured by a defective Simplicity or Graco crib, you may be entitled to compensation. Please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified product liability attorney.