Rock 'n Play Sleeper Lawsuit
What to do if your child died in a Rock ‘n Play sleeper?
Our team is knowledgeable about the dangers of the Rock ‘n Play sleeper and is currently litigating claims on behalf of seven families who lost their infants to the Rock ‘n Play sleeper (see below).
Is Calcaterra Pollack LLP representing families suing Fisher-Price and Mattel regarding the dangers of the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper?
Calcaterra Pollack LLP, together with Blank Rome LLP, represents seven families whose infants tragically passed away in Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper (“Plaintiff Families”). The Plaintiff Families now seek to hold Fisher-Price, Inc., and its corporate parent Mattel (“Defendants”), accountable for their children’s untimely and avoidable deaths. The complaints filed on their behalf allege that the Defendants had actual knowledge that the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper could cause infant deaths if used as a sleeper, yet nevertheless callously persisted in marketing and selling the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper to unsuspecting families for years, until it was eventually recalled in April 2019. Three cases filed on behalf of all seven Plaintiff Families are pending in the California Supreme Court, Los Angeles County. These cases include Butler, et al. v. Fisher-Price, et al., No: 19STCV20490 and Sanders, et al. v. Fisher Price, et al., No. 19STCV24243.
Why was the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper recalled in April 2019?
After over 30 reported infant deaths, Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was finally recalled- too late to save the lives of the Plaintiff Families’ infants. Around a year after the recall, it was reported that over 80 infants had died while sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play sleeper between 2009 and 2019. Now the reported deaths are up to around 92.
Defendants began selling the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper in 2009 and sold at least 4.7 million units of the product, even though the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is inherently unsafe to be used as a sleeper. It positions infants at a 30-degree incline, significantly increasing the risk that the infant’s head will slip into a life-threatening position, tilt to constrict the windpipe, and/or press the infant’s head against the padded fabric surface of the sleeper, causing death by suffocation or asphyxiation.
Despite the tragic deaths of over 92 infants in Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, Defendants continue to blame parents and caregivers for these deaths. After recalling all 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers sold and taking the product off the market on April 12, 2019, Chuck Scothon, General Manager of Fisher-Price, stated the recall was “due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions” and that Defendants “stand by the safety of our products.”
As alleged in the complaints filed by the Plaintiff Families, Defendants undoubtedly knew their product, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, posed a real risk of death to infants if used as a sleeper, yet continued to market and sell this product as safe for babies to sleep in. In particular:
- Even before 2009, when the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was first introduced to the market, the American Academy of Pediatricians and other infant sleep safety experts advised that infants should be placed to sleep flat on their backs on a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet and without soft materials and other objects near the infant. Obviously, the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper does not comply with any of these safety recommendations, since it places infants at a 30-degree incline on a padded fabric surface.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as numerous other individuals and organizations with knowledge of infant sleep safety, warned defendants that the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was designed in a manner that put infants who were sleeping in it at risk of suffocation or asphyxiation.
- In 2011, Defendants were banned from selling the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper as a sleeper in Canada and Australia due to the danger of death and injury that it posed to infants sleeping in it – again, putting Defendants on notice that the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was a dangerous product.
The Plaintiff Families have brought causes of action against Defendants which include strict liability, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, gross negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, intentional misrepresentation, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful death.