The recent recall of some 3.7 million Graco car seats has brought up an important issue we would like to address: product safety and how it affects our children . If you are a parent, you probably never want to see your child in harm's way. You may purchase products like car seats, childproofing products and other gear to protect your son or daughter. Of course, some bumps and bruises are a part of life and we have to learn from our mistakes, but we should not have to worry that a product will cause more harm than good in an emergency.
That was the issue with the Graco car seat recall. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the red release button in the center of the harness can become stuck, making it difficult or impossible to remove a child from the seat in an emergency. Graco explained that "food and dried liquids" can affect the latching mechanism on the buckle and is offering replacement harness buckles to affected consumers at no cost.
The NHTSA asked Graco to recall 18 models of car seats, and the company has issued a voluntary recall for 11 of these. This comes out to nearly 3.8 million car seats, with an additional 1.8 million if Graco complies with the requested recall of the 7 other models. At this time, the recall affects convertible, harnessed booster seats. If it is expanded to include all requested model recalls, infant car seats would be recalled as well.
Recalls such as this can protect consumers from future harm, but they cannot help those who have already been injured by defective and dangerous products. Though Graco has reported no injuries associated with the affected car seats, the situation could have been extremely serious if the buckling issue had not been addressed.
Take the 2012 recall of about 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats in the U.S. This baby seat was recalled after it became apparent that babies could maneuver out of the seat and fall. There were at least 50 incidents reported from 2007-2012 and an additional 34 post-recall incidents where babies fell from Bumbo seats while they were being used on raised surfaces. 19 of the 50 first incidents included reports of skull fractures. The South African manufacturer of the baby seat issued a voluntary recall, providing safety belts and additional warnings against use on raised surfaces, but the damage had already been done for dozens of babies.
If your child was injured because of a poorly designed or defective baby product, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer, retailer or distributor. These companies have an obligation to produce, distribute and sell products that are safe for our children to use, and if they violate this obligation they may be held legally responsible. Lawsuits may be filed for manufacturing defects, design defects, lack of warning labels, improper instructions for use, or misleading marketing or advertising.
Cases of this kind fall under the category of product liability. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we help consumers across South Carolina in individual and class actions for defective baby products and all other types of consumer products, including auto parts, appliances, electronics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tools, safety equipment and more. We are committed to representing individuals and families in these often complex cases, standing up to large corporations to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing. To learn more about our firm and how a South Carolina product liability attorney can help you, please call for a free case review.