The manufacturer of a popular infant jogging stroller model was the subject of a Washington Post investigation shedding light into how the company resisted a product recall despite more than 100 reports of serious stroller injuries (adults, infants and children) over six years, along with U.S. regulators demands that the manufacturer warn consumers and remove the product from shelves. As longtime Bangor child injury attorneys, such revelations are deeply troubling, but not wholly surprising. The report indicated that shifting federal policies toward more relaxed regulatory standards have the potential to allow manufacturers of dangerous products to go unchecked by public and consumer safety agencies for longer stretches at a time.
Our Maine defective product attorneys help equalize the playing field between huge corporations with an army of defense attorneys and individual consumers harmed by unsafe, defective products. It’s important to note: a product doesn’t have to be recalled in order for someone to file a lawsuit, particularly when there is an extensive on-the-record pattern of severe injuries involving similar causes over a period of time, as was allegedly the case here.
Often one of the biggest issues in these cases is whether a defendant adequately warned the public about a danger they knew/reasonably should have known about. If they actively tried to conceal it, this can even be grounds for punitive damages (intended to penalize a defendant for egregious wrongs, versus compensatory damages intended solely to make a person “whole” for losses sustained).
Britax Child Stroller Injuries Well-Documented
Britax Child Safety is a large company specializing in a wide array of products for infants, young children and new parents – everything from gas-reducing milk bottles to car seats. The brand is well trusted by many consumers. More than 500,000 of this particular product, the BOB stroller, were sold.
In 2012, both the company and government agencies began receiving increasing reports of child injury or near-crashes. In each case, the wheels reportedly came unhinged while the stroller was in motion, sending the carriage careening and flipping as the adult operator fought for control. In addition to child injuries, adults frequently reported injuries also.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2017 began gathering these reports from 2012 to 2018, time after time reporting the same defect and terrible injuries. A few months into their review, the CPSC urged a full voluntary recall of this stroller model. The agency wanted this done immediately, with one later saying the danger it posed was “so obvious.”
The manufacturer refused, insisting the strollers met all industry safety standards and weren’t dangerous so long as people were using them the right way. The CPSC responded with a dangerous product lawsuit filed last year – and the manufacturer fought back. This is atypical of most child product manufacturers, who often would rather pay the fine than deal with months of bad press.
Not long after, the CPSC leadership was overhauled by the White House. As reported by the Washignton Post, it was at this point CPSC began to considerably back off the case. The case was settled last fall, but only after a rare 3-2 split vote by the commissioners which divided on party lines. The stroller maker was required to produce safety videos and provide free replacement parts upon request. In a press release issued by the company, an executive indicated the company was “pleased” with the outcome, which did not require a recall.
We remain committed to fighting for YOU. As long-time product liability attorneys in Maine, we understand these cases are a lot more complex and often require extensive investigation and expert witnesses.
If you have been injured due to the use of a dangerous or defective product in Maine, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-804-2004 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.