Last week Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against SFCA, Inc., a distributor of baby cribs, bassinets and playpens, claiming that SFCA continues to sell and distribute the subject bassinet, even after voluntarily recalling 1,000,000 of the products in 2007.
The bassinet allegedly has design flaws. Federal regulators warned consumers that the bassinet caused the death of two infants. The bassinets are equipped with sides that drop down for easy access to the baby. Unfortunately the design creates a gap that the baby can slide through. The two infants that died did slide through and hung to death.
SFCA is not taking responsibility regarding the product liability claim for the defective bassinet, which is manufactured and marketed through Simplicity, Inc., a subsidiary company of SFCA, Inc. SFCA maintains that it wasn’t responsible for the items produced by Simplicity because it only just bought the Simplicity brand in August 2008. Yet closer examination reveals that SFCA bought the Simplicity brand bassinets, but then shipped them from its own facility using the same design of the products that killed the 2 infants.
In conjunction with her lawsuit against SFCA, Inc., the Illinois Attorney General criticized the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for allowing this manufacturer to simply send repair kits to its customers in an attempt to correct the defective item. Madigan called for a refund-only recall policy saying that the Product Safety Commission’s current policy is ineffectual.
Madigan’s office is not only going after the manufacturer responsible for defective bassinets, but is also doing its part to keep the public informed. The Illinois Attorney General’s office is distributing Rest Assured, a guide detailing cribs, bassinets and playpens recalled over the last 13 months to citizens of Illinois. The booklet is available at the Illinois Attorney General offices in Chicago or in Springfield, through its website , or by calling the product recall hotline 888-414-7678.
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