Parents in Louisiana should take note if they own a Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, together with Fisher-Price, has issued a warning that all models of the Rock 'n Play Sleeper, an inclined baby seat, can put babies at risk for injuries or death if they roll over in the product.
The safety commission knows of 10 infant deaths since 2015 involving the Rock 'n Play Sleeper. Since babies begin to roll over at approximately three months, the report advises parents to stop using the product when their babies reach that age (all 10 of the babies who died were over three months old).
Fisher-Price had given this advice earlier, yet the reported deaths show that some consumers did not follow through or did not use the three point harness restraint on the sleeper. In a joint statement with the safety commission, Fisher-Price reminds consumers of all its products, including its cribs, bassinets and play yards, to create a safe sleep environment for the baby, always lay infants on their backs, always use the provided restraints and never add blankets, pillows or stuffed toys in the environment.
The Rock 'n Play Sleeper is not being formally recalled. According to the Fisher-Price general manager, the product meets all applicable safety standards.
As mentioned above, some parents may have failed to take the warning into account, in which case it may be difficult to file a product liability claim after an infant's death. For such claims to be valid, plaintiffs must show that the other party was guilty of one (or more) of the following defects: a design defect, manufacturing defect or marketing defect. Since the sleeper meets all safety standards, and since Fisher-Price gave warning, one might say there was a manufacturing defect. This is where legal advice may prove beneficial.