The Eddie Bauer Sling & Hip Carrier is the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week in Cook County Court. The plaintiffs believe that the defective product caused their newborn daughter to suffocate while her father carried her. The family has named the retailer that sold the sling, as well as the manufacturers of the product in the suit. By holding these businesses accountable for the tragic result of the dangerous product, they may be able to protect others from similar harm.
Defective products cause serious injuries and deaths every day. Whether that product is contaminated food, dangerous machinery, a defective toy or any other type of consumer good, the purchasers and users of the product are placed at risk. Businesses must think about the risks their products pose to consumers. The public is not a testing ground for companies to determine whether their products are safe. By holding these businesses accountable in court, injured people help protect all of us from a similar fate.
A baby sling should obviously account for the fact that infants cannot defend themselves. Suffocation is an ever present risk for products intended for infant use. Cribs, strollers, toys and baby carriers should all be designed with the potential threat to helpless infants in mind. In this case, the carrier allegedly caused the baby's head to be forced down towards her chest. When her nose and mouth were blocked, she was unable to cry or free herself. Her parents are now left to deal with the horror of losing a child in an accident that could have been prevented.
Hopefully, the lawsuit will serve as a warning to the makers of these devices that greater care must be taken in designing products for infants.
Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Parents sue, saying newborn baby suffocated in baby sling," 11 November 2011