Five babies had to die in a Nap Nanny infant recliner before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finally took action and sued the manufacturer, Baby Matters, LLC, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Two of the three Nap Nanny models were recalled in July of 2010 (Nap Nanny® Generation One and Two and Nap Nanny Chill™), but with only a modification of the warning label, the CPSC allowed the products to continue to be sold to unsuspecting parents and other caregivers (more on this below). Before the 2010 recall, 2 babies had been found dead in their cribs, their faces pressed between the Nap Nanny and the crib bumper.
Below, we discuss the recall and its aftermath, but before that, every reader needs to think about the reality of this situation: innocent babies were found dead in their cribs by a parent. The CPSC complaint (document filed with the court to commence the action) provides some information about the first two deaths:
On April 17, 2010, a 6-month-old girl died when she suffocated while using the Nap Nanny Generation Two model. She was not secured in the harness. She was found with her face pressed between the Nap Nanny and the crib bumper. The medical examiner determined that the probable cause of the baby’s death was positional asphyxia.
On July 9, 2010, a 4-month-old girl died when she suffocated while using the Nap Nanny Generation Two. The product’s harness was secured around the infant, but it failed to adequately restrain her in the seat. She was found by her mother in the Nap Nanny, with the harness secured but with her head tilted back and her neck hyp0erextended. Her face was pressed against the bumper pad of her crib. The medical examiner determined that the probable cause of the child’s death was position/compression asphyxia.
After the recall, 3 other babies suffered the same fate (2 in a Nap Nanny Generation Two and one in a Nap Nanny Chill), according to the complaint. There is something seriously wrong:
- No baby product should be sold without testing to show it is safe for use under foreseeable circumstances. As to the Nap Nanny, the CPSC complaint states that it was foreseeable that parents would use the product in a crib, play yard or other enclosure, even though the warning said not to do so. According to the compaint, this is because 1) parents don’t always carefully read warnings, 2) the warning did not state that the baby could die and 3) Baby Matters marketed the Nap Nanny as a sleep product, even though the company knew there was a greater risk of injury and death if the product was used in a crib overnight.
- The same day as the recall of the Generation One (sold between January-April 2009) and Generation Two (sold between August 2009 and April 2012), Baby Matters executed a corrective action plan in cooperation with the CPSC. The company modified the warnings, instructions and labeling and continued to sell the Generation Two. Did anyone really think moving the warning label to the front of the product, making the font larger and adding some text would prevent more deaths? Was it worth the lives of three babies to allow Baby Matters to keep selling the Generation Two and make more money from the product?
- To add insult to extreme injury, the complaint seems to suggest that another modification of the warning label may be all that is necessary for Nap Nanny Generation Two and the Nap Nanny Chill to stay in the market.
Child safety lawyers Fred Pritzker, Eric Hageman and their Bad Product Law Team help parents whose children are hurt or killed by defective products.They have won millions for their clients in personal injury lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others.