Walmart Bassinet Lawsuit Filed Over Death of 6-Month Old Child

The parents of a 6-month old girl who died as a result of a defective bassinet made by a company that has since gone out of business, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart for selling the bassinet that strangled the infant.

The Walmart bassinet lawsuit was filed this week by the parents of Kennedy Jones, who died in a “Winnie the Pooh” bassinet sold by the retailer on August 21, 2008. The bassinet was manufactured by Simplicity, Inc., a company that was driven out of business after recalling millions of cribs and bassinets that violated federal safety standards.

According to the complaint, Jones was strangled in the bassinet after she was put to sleep, because the bars were spaced too far apart and allowed her neck to become trapped. The plaintiffs say the bassinet was unreasonably dangerous and that Wal-Mart is liable for selling the defective product.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning about the bassinets after another child strangled to death in September 2007. The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart did not recall the bassinets until a year later, on August 27, 2008.

Simplicity, Inc., formerly of Reading, Pennsylvania, had all of their assets sold at public auction to SFCA, Inc. in April 2008. After SFCA, Inc. failed to cooperate with the CPSC, the federal safety regulators issued a statement on their own in August 2008, urging parents to stop using the bassinets. Shortly thereafter, several major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penny, Kmart, Toys “R” Us and Big Lots!, agreed to issue a Simplicity bassinet recall and offer refunds or store credits to consumers who purchased the product at their store.

Since Simplicity ceased operations, the CPSC has continued to issue recalls for unsafe baby products the company manufactured, including more than 900,000 bassinets in August 2008, 600,000 Simplicity drop side cribs in September 2008 and 200,000 portable play yards recalled in January 2009.

Jones’ parents previously filed a bassinet wrongful death lawsuit in early December against Walt Disney Co., which licensed the “Winnie the Pooh” images used on their bassinet. The family alleged in that complaint that Disney allowed sales of the Winnie the Pooh bassinets to continue, despite a flawed design that had been linked to the September 2007 infant death.

1 Comments

  • valerieJune 14, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Something more needs to be done about getting the word out for recalls because we had no idea at all! Thank god my children are ok but maybe when people buy these things stores should take parents numbers and emails to let them know if there is a recal!

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