Drop-side cribs have a special feature allowing one or more sides of the crib to slide up and down. This feature was intended to make it easier to place infants in the crib. However, the drop-side feature has instead created a risk of danger to the infant or toddler who is placed within such cribs.
This danger has been recognized by legal authorities and has resulted in bans and recalls of drop-side cribs. Many product liability lawsuits have since been filed in connection with drop-side crib personal injuries.
What Are the Dangers Involved in Drop-Side Cribs?
Basically, the drop-side design panels create hidden hazards that can lead to suffocation or strangulation of the baby. Some hardware in the drop-down panels can slip, break, or get stuck. This can cause a gap in between the drop-side panel and the crib mattress, where an infant can easily become trapped or stuck.
Other dangers involve hazards resulting from loose, broken, or missing parts. Improper assembly has also been found to create safety hazards for babies placed in drop-side cribs.
What Is the Status of Drop-Side Cribs?
Due to the dangers and reports of injuries involved with drop-side cribs, they have been banned by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in June 2011. Drop-side cribs can no longer be produced, and their use and distribution is banned for:
- Owners of drop-side cribs
- Providers of cribs such as daycares, hospitals, and hotels/motels
Therefore, you should not purchase, use or distribute drop-side cribs. You should be especially wary of purchasing used drop-side cribs through yard sales or garage sales, as they have been deemed unsafe for use.
In addition to the CPSC ban, drop-side cribs have been recalled by many manufacturers such as:
- Bassett Baby
- Pottery Barn
- Stork Craft
If you have purchased a drop-side crib in a past, you may want to contact the crib’s manufacturer for more details regarding product recalls.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
It may be possible to hold the manufacturer responsible for infant injuries under the theory of design defect. Design defect is a sub-category of product liability law, and requires proof that:
- The product was defective when it left the defendant’s control
- The product was not altered in any way by the consumer
- Due to its defective design, the product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary person would expect
It may also be possible to hold an independent distributor or provider of cribs liable if they continue to supply persons with drop-side cribs. Ignorance of the CPSC ban would not relieve the defendant of liability in such cases.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Drop-Side Crib Recalls?
Cribs are a central aspect of caring for infants. If your infant has been injured by a drop-side crib, you may wish to contact a personal injury lawyerin your area. A competent, experienced attorney can help you obtain legal relief for any losses that you or your family may have suffered.