An investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform alleges that executives at Fisher Price ignored safety warnings and infant deaths tied to its popular Rock n Play infant sleeper. The report finds that the company didn’t properly vet the sleeper before putting it on the market in 2009. They then ignored criticism for over a decade until the sleepers were recalled in 2019 after the deaths of 50 infants.
Even before the product was placed on the market there were signs that it was not safe. According to the Congressional report, the company’s internal safety committee raised the alarm about the potential dangers posed by an inclined sleeper. These concerns were raised as soon as 2008. In addition, evidence showed that Fisher-Price only consulted with one doctor when developing its product. The doctor was not a pediatrician and was later charged with practicing medicine without a license.
Once the Rock n Play was placed on the market, the company was warned of the danger of an infant rolling over and suffocating. Despite the dangers posed by the product, Fisher-Price pushed on with marketing it as safe. The company told the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that it was aware of 14 infant deaths caused by the product by February 2018, more than a year before the product was recalled.
The company claimed it never placed profits over safety and that the product was safe if consumers followed warnings. Fisher-Price made approximately $200 million dollars from sales of the Rock n Play over the decade it was on the market.
The CPSC was prohibited from releasing data provided by companies to warn the public of the safety of a product. The commission lacked the regulatory authority to deal with the crisis even after learning of the infant deaths. The Committee report recommended that Congress give the CPSC more power to institute mandatory recalls of products it finds to be unsafe. It also called for the establishment of a database of deaths and serious injuries caused by consumer products.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dangerous product, you should have an experienced product liability attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the victims of dangerous products for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.