Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Recall Reannounced After Additional Infant Deaths
Federal safety officials have re-announced a Fischer-Price recall that impacted nearly 5 million “Rock ‘n Play” infant sleepers, after receiving dozens of additional reports of infants becoming trapped and suffocating to death against the fabric years after the products were removed from the market.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted new information about the Fischer-Price infant sleeper recall on January 9, 2023, warning that many consumers are placing their children’s life at serious risk by continuing to use the recalled inclining sleepers.
Infant suffocation risks have been linked to a number of inclined sleeping products sold in recent years, including rockers, gliders, soothers, and swings. However, concerns over the design of Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play sleepers were first raised in early 2019, after the products were linked to at least 30 infant fatalities.
According to the latest update, the CPSC has now become aware of an additional 70 infant deaths involving inclining sleeper products. The agency stated that Fisher-Price has been investigating the reported incidents and in some of the cases has been unable to confirm the circumstances or whether the product was a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.
Fischer-Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper Recall
In early April 2019, the CPSC first raised concerns over the inclining design of Fischer-Price Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers, warning consumers to stop placing infants in the sleepers before they begin to show signs that they can roll over independently. Officials warned that infants may have the ability to roll over on their stomach and become trapped against the inclined bed, creating a suffocation risk.
Shortly after the initial CPSC warning, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement, calling for the commission to issue an immediate recall for the Rock’n Play Sleepers. The AAP determined the inclined sleepers were unsafe, and that the CPSC warning did not go far enough to ensure the safety of infants.
Just 12 days after the warning, the agency issued a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper recall, impacting approximately 4.7 million units. The recalled included all models of Rock ‘n Play sleepers that were distributed for sale throughout the United States to major retailers for between $40 and $149 since 2009.
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Fischer- Price Rock ‘n Play Lawsuits
Following a nearly two year investigation after the recall, a House Oversight Committee report was released in June 2021, alleging Fisher-Price failed to adequately vet the Rock’n Play inclined infant sleeper for safety before putting it on the market in 2009, and indicating the manufacturer intentionally ignored pre-market warnings and concealed reports of infant deaths to avoid issuing costly recalls.
The report also revealed Fisher-Price and its parent company, Mattel Inc., were aware of dangers posed by the 30 degree inclining sleepers well before the products were available to consumers. According to the findings, the company’s internal safety committee raised alarms about the dangers posed by an inclined sleeper as early as 2008.
According to the report, Fisher-Price had documented at least 14 infant deaths in the sleepers by February 2018, which is more than a year prior to publicly recognizing any potential risks to consumers, and allegedly never reported the deaths to the CPSC.
Since the recalls, Fisher-Price has been hit with a number of inclined sleeper individual wrongful death lawsuits and at least 10 class action lawsuits alleging the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of problems, yet delayed announcing a recall or warning, and knowingly allowed parents to continue purchasing life-threatening sleeper devices.
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