CPSC Sues Defective Infant Lounger Manufacturer
March 2, 2022
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is suing Leachco, an infant lounger manufacturing company, after its refusal to undergo a voluntary recall despite two infant deaths. According to a recent report from the Commission, Leachco’s “Podsters” line, which features the Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie, and the Podster Playtime, poses such a great threat to consumer health and safety that the agency is issuing an urgent alert to the public.
Protecting infants, who are the “most vulnerable members of our society”, is the Commission’s number one priority, says Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. The CPSC is prudent when it comes to filing an administrative complaint; usually, it is a last resort. The Commission’s complaint against the Leachco “Podsters” line cites numerous hazards, including:
- The products can cause airway obstruction if an infant rolls, moves, or is placed in a position where the Podster lounger obstructs the infant’s nose and/or mouth
- Per consumer’s actual use, the CPSC deems the product defective because of the foreseeable likelihood that caregivers will use the loungers for infant sleep and without supervision, despite product warnings and instructions
So far, the CPSC is aware of two infants who lost their lives by suffocating after being placed on Leachco’s Podster loungers. The children were only 17-days-old and four-months old and died in 2018 and 2015, respectively.
To date, Leachco has sold an estimated 180,000 Podster loungers in the United States. The Podsters involved in the CPSC’s recall measure between 71 and 75 inches in circumference. Their approximate dimensions are 23.75 x 21.5 x 8 inches. The products have a padded insert and removable cover. The Podster covers come in an array of prints are either 100% polyester or a cotton/polyester blend. The cover also contains an elastic center that is made from a nylon/spandex blend. Per the CPSC’s administrative notice, the Commission’s complaint against Leachco demands that the manufacturer notify every person, by mail and email, to whom the product was sold or delivered, of the defect, and to offer customers a full financial refund of the purchase price of the product.
Safe Sleep Recommendations for Infants
Safe sleep practices are critical for protecting infants against preventable injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unsafe sleep practices contribute to about 3,500 infant deaths each year. The good news is that it is far easier and simpler to provide infants with a safe and secure sleep environment than you may have thought. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) provides numerous useful recommendations for how caregivers can maintain a safe sleeping environment for infants. The academy also notes that vigilance and planning are essential, since parents are often overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. Here are a few of the academy’s recommendations that are important to follow:
- Never place your baby to sleep on a sofa, couch, or armchair
- Babies should sleep alone in their own crib, play yard or bassinet, on a firm, flat mattress with a taut sheet
- Keep the sleep surface free from clutter. This means no blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, stuffed animals, or other objects in the child’s sleep area
- Place your baby on their back for every sleep. If your baby is comfortable moving both ways (back to tummy, tummy to back), then you do not need to return your baby to their back if they roll over independently
- If possible, keep your baby’s bassinet, play yard or crib in your room for the first six to 12 months. Room sharing reduces the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome
- Only bring your baby into your own bed to feed or comfort. Return the baby to their own safe sleeping environment when you are ready to fall asleep
- Make sure the baby is not overheated during sleep time. Do not swaddle your child if they show signs of rolling over
To read more safe sleeping tips from the AAP, visit their website.
Injured? Filing a Products Liability Claim
Manufacturers have a duty to produce and sell safe products. If a product like the Leachco Podster infant lounger causes an injury due to an unsafe design, defect, malfunction, or the failure to provide proper instructions and warnings, the victim or their family may have a products liability lawsuit. A successful claim requires the work of a highly credentialed attorney with years of experience; at Galfand Berger, we have a team of skilled litigators who can help. If you would like to learn more about filing a claim for injuries caused by an unreasonably dangerous or defective product, contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If your child sustained injuries associated with a defective infant lounger and you would like to pursue a full recovery of damages, contact our Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.