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Assigning liability when nursery products injure children

Parents of newborns and toddlers in Bozeman no doubt go to great lengths to ensure their nursery products are safe. Yet no amount of product research can eliminate the dangers that certain items may pose to infants. Should a baby or toddler be injured or killed by a nursery product, one might inevitably question who is to blame.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that between 2010 and 2012, 311 children under the age of five were killed by nursery products. Of the many products identified in these tragedies, the five involved in the most cases included:

  •          Cribs and crib mattresses
  •          Cradles and bassinets
  •          Playpens
  •          Baby carriers
  •          Baby baths and bath seats

In many cases, the outcomes of accidents associated with these products may be directly attributed to user error. An example of such an error could be a parent placing too much bedding into a crib or bassinet, inadvertently causing a child to suffocate. Another may be a drowning death after one leaves a baby unattended in a bath seat. In other cases, however, obvious product failures may be to blame, such as a playpen collapsing in on a child.

The aforementioned scenarios may leave little to question when assigning liability. However, sometimes the cause of a nursery fatality may not be so obvious. Situations where a potential design flaw in a product that can pose a risk may not be easily apparent to users. Thus, parents of toddlers and newborns may want to remain aware of product recalls. According to information shared by USA Today, over 100 recalls on children’s products occur every year. It should be remembered, too, that having a recall in place does not absolve a manufacturer of liability should its product injure a child. 

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