A recent voluntary recall of over 4.7 million models of Rock’n Play Sleep products has been issued following at least 30 infant deaths tied to use of the product. Fisher-Price and its parent company, Mattel, are issuing the recall following outcry from several consumer groups and the main independent product safety agency of the United States government.
History of the Rock’n Play Recall
Between 2009—the first year the Rock’n Play product came to market—and 2019, the Rock’n Play Sleep product resulted in about 30 known infant deaths.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the deaths occurred “after the infants rolled over while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.” Safety manuals accompanying the product stress the importance of using the three point harness properly to secure infants and prevent them from rolling over.
In addition, the safety instructions urge consumers to avoid using the product once infants are able to roll over, which usually occurs at about 3 months of age or sooner for most infants.
The delay in issuing the recall has received harsh criticism from numerous consumer advocate organizations. For instance, Consumer Reports magazine and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued stern warnings following the release of information about the sleep-related infant deaths.
In addition, former CPSC commissioner Marietta Robinson, who served on the commission July 2013-June 2018, alleged that the agency knew of the risk of these types of products for years and could have taken action sooner regarding the recall.
Mattel Issues Refunds and Vouchers for Product
Following the voluntary recall, Fisher-Price parent company Mattel provided detailed instructions for consumers to receive either a refund on a Rock’n Play sleeper product or a voucher towards a product from a selected list Mattel provides.
Whether or not consumers are eligible for a refund or a voucher depends on their date of purchase.
Similar Products Lead to Infant Death
In addition to the Fisher-Price sleeper product, infant deaths have also been associated with products of a similar nature from children’s product company Kids II. The two models of sleepers tied to the deaths—Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper and the Bright Starts Playtime to Bedtime Sleeper—were featured in a Consumer Report magazine ongoing investigation published in April 2019, the same month as the Fisher-Price recall.
The Bright Starts Product, according to the investigation, was discontinued in 2016; however, the Ingenuity Moonlight Rocking Sleeper product is still sold in stores.
“Babies should be put to bed alone, on their backs, on a flat, firm surface in their own space,” William Wallace, senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, said. “If any infant sleep product doesn’t align with this advice, the CPSC should get it off the market right away, so that parents and caregivers don’t unwittingly put their babies at risk.”
What to Do If You Have a Fisher-Price Rock’n Play
If you own a Fisher-Price Rock’n Play product, discontinue use of the product immediately. Also, be sure to follow the instructions from Mattel to receive either a refund or a voucher.
What to Do If Your Infant Was Injured or Died in a Fisher-Price Rock’n Play
Although products are tested and include safety precautions for consumers, these are rarely enough to prevent injury or death if the inherent flaw is in the design of a product.
Families impacted by the Fisher-Price recall may be able to hold the company accountable through a product liability claim.
Attorneys representing injured parties may investigate the product by asking the Manufacturer:
- Did the company provide adequate testing of the product before it went to market?
- How long was the company aware of a potential product defect?
- What action, if any, did the company take to address the problem when it came to light?
- Did the company make adequate modifications or issue recall of the product after potential defects were brought to its attention?
If your infant suffered an injury or death following use of this product, it is important to take steps to preserve the product and any accompanying documents you might have for use in a defective product claim. Information such as safety manuals, receipts, and the product itself will be useful, as well as any medical records necessary to prove the product caused the injury or death.
Contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm
If your infant or the infant of a loved one was injured or died as a result of using a Rock’n Play Sleep product or similar sleeper products, contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm to discuss your case.