Two weeks ago, Fisher-Price, along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, initiated a full recall of the popular Rock ‘N Play infant sleeper over concerns that a change in sleeping position for the baby could lead to suffocation. Class-action lawsuits alleging that the corporation knew about the dangers brought on by the sleeper’s design years before that recall have now been filed as a result.
At issue is the 30-degree angle that the infant is held to while at rest in the sleeper. If left unrestrained, the infant can roll over and put its head into such a position that suffocation becomes a threat. In fact, 32 infant deaths have already been attributed to the Rock ‘N Play’s design, and with 4.7 million of the units under recall, that number could climb higher. The Rock ‘N Play has been on the market since 2009.
At present, two separate class-action lawsuits seek to hold Fisher-Price and its parent company Mattel responsible for the dangers, injuries, and deaths caused by the sleeper. One suit has been filed by a woman who received a Rock ‘N Play as a gift. However, it is currently unclear whether she had either lost a child because of the sleeper or if her child had even been injured by one.
The other suit involves two parents who lost their 3-month-old daughter when she suffocated in her Rock ‘N Play this past December. Both suits hold Fisher-Price at fault for the design defect as well as waiting too long to come clean about it and issue a recall. In addition, both suits appear to want to create two classes of claimants: one for those who simply purchased a Rock ‘N Play and are affected by the recall and one for those whose children were either injured or killed by one.