Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Product liability: U.S. pulls defective baby monitor

A baby monitor provides Illinois parents with peace of mind because they can attend to other things, while keeping track of their baby. However, a recent defective product recall has shattered that illusion after two babies died, proving the monitors to be a great threat to a child's safety.

According to CNN, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has ordered Canadian manufacturer Angelcare to recall their baby monitors after a history of unsafe use, including eight deaths occurring with use since 2002. The baby monitor uses a sensor pad, which has an electric cord that can be placed under the crib's mattress. If a child pulls the electrical cord, it is long enough to wrap around a baby's neck and cause strangulation.

In the most recent cases, more than seven years apart, deaths resulted from strangulation by the monitor's sensor pad cord of an 8-month-old girl from Salem, Oregon, and a 13-month-old girl from San Diego. When questioned about why the recall time and deaths were so far apart, the CPSC director of communications stated that the agency reacted as swiftly as it could, adding that it needed more time to gather information.

U.S. manufacturers are expected to test any product for potential harm to consumers, before that product is released to the marketplace. Any product that proves toxic with exposure, has removable parts that can be a choking hazard or generally compromises consumer safety is a consumer liability, which should be addressed by the manufacturer.

Chicago residents injured by a defective product manufactured in Illinois or elsewhere may be entitled to financial compensation for damages if he or she files a claim. If a defective product has led to a death, family members can file a claim on behalf of a victim. In both cases, a legal professional's expertise can be beneficial.

Source: CNN, "Angelcare Recalls Baby Monitors After 2 Deaths," Tom Watkins, Nov. 22, 2013

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