Mattel Inc. and its subsidiary Fisher-Price were hit with two wrongful death lawsuits by two sets of parents who claim the company’s Rock ‘N Play Sleeper was defective and caused the deaths of their babies, according to Law360.
In April 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned consumers that the sleepers had been linked to at least 10 infant deaths since 2015. CPSC cautioned parents and caregivers not to put infants older than 3 months of age or infants unrestrained in the sleepers because babies could roll over and fall out of the sleeper. Despite warnings and reports of injuries and deaths of infants linked to the Rock ‘N Play Sleeper involving asphyxiation, twisted neck syndrome, and flat head syndrome, Fisher-Price refused to recall the device until a Consumer Reports analysis linked the sleeper to 32 infant deaths from 2011 to 2018.
Mattel and Fisher-Price have since been hit with multiple proposed class-action lawsuits over the Rock ‘N Play alleging the companies knew of the potential risks with the device but continued to sell them.
The two most recent wrongful death lawsuits were filed in California state court. One involves the case of Sara and William Jeffrey Thompson who claim the sleeper caused the death of their son William on Sept. 23, 2011. The other involves the case of Courtney and Justin Warnke, who claim the sleeper injured their daughter Isla on Dec. 4, 2018. She later died as a result of her injuries.
The parents claim that their children would be alive today if Mattel and Fisher-Price had listened to the concerns of doctors and done more research to ensure the safety of the products before putting them on the market in 2009.
“The product frequently caused children to suffer injury and death,” the lawsuits stated. “Fisher-Price and Mattel knew about this risk, and about multiple deaths and injuries that had already occurred, but continued to sell the product anyway.”
Products Liability Attorney
Currently, Beasley Allen attorney Demet Basar is sole lead counsel in In re: Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Fisher-Price and its parent, Mattel, in which she represents 4.7 million parents and caregivers. The MDL arises from the marketing and sale of Fisher-Price’s inclined Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, the use of which has resulted in numerous infant deaths and injuries.