On October 20 of 2010, Graco, one of the nation's largest makers of baby products, announced the recall of 2 million strollers. That's right-2 million strollers. Consumer Reports calls it the largest stroller recall ever.
At issue is the stroller's tray that sits in front of the infant. If an infant is unsecured by the belt provided, he or she can slip down the front of the stroller, but become caught at the head by the tray and be strangled. This problem has been addressed in changes to Graco strollers as well as those from other manufacturers, but not before four unbelted infants died in just this way from 2003 to 2005.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall, also is aware of at least five other infants who suffered cuts, bruises or had difficulty breathing after similar incidents.
Graco is offering a free recall repair kit for users of the affected strollers, the Quattro Tour model manufactured prior to November 2006, and the MetroLite model manufactured prior to 2007.
Consumer Reports says Graco has a "bad track record" of allowing safety incidents to mount before recalling hazardous products. In one instance, the Consumer Product Safety Commission assessed a $4 million penalty against Graco for not notifying the government in a timely manner about dangerous products it offered.
USA Today reports that at least one of the deaths due to the recalled stroller was litigated in court, but the jury in that particular case did not return a verdict for the family whose child died. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes multiple deaths due to a faulty product to convince a jury-or a manufacturer-of the dangers posed by that product.
Those who have lost their baby due to products like the defective stroller can turn to Nevada's wrongful death statute, which allows family members to receive damage awards for their grief or sorrow, companionship and other losses. Family members can also receive compensation for the pain and suffering of the person who died, or disfigurement that he or she may have suffered.
If you have any questions about the recall and which models are affected, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's stroller recall web site at www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml11/11015.html. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a faulty product, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Doing so may make the manufacturer aware of the problem, and could even save the life of someone else in the future.