Other Defective or Dangerous Products

Hersh & Hersh has long been a consumer advocate in the area of defective or dangerous products. We have been instrumental in bringing numerous products to manufacturers' attention and obtaining their removal from the market.

We welcome inquiries from people who believe that they may have suffered injury or ill effect from such products. We will evaluate your case or potential case and advise you regarding the potential merits of a lawsuit.

Please contact us for a free consultation with an attorney.

Recent Important Cases

Hersh & Hersh Files Suit Against Disney for Infant Bassinet Death

Hersh & Hersh has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Roy Brotherton and Tiona Jones, of Kansas City, whose seven-month old daughter, Kennedy died in a Disney branded Winnie the Pooh 4-in-1 bassinet. The infant was entrapped in a gap between the bassinet’s metal side bars, strangled and died. After learning of Kennedy’s death, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the bassinet on August 27, 2008 citing the large and dangerous gap between the metal side bars.

The lawsuit alleges that Kennedy’s aunt, Rachel Brotherton, purchased the Winnie the Pooh 4-in-1 bassinet at a Walmart in Shawnee, Kansas in early February 2008 basing her selection on Disney’s well known “reputation for quality and product safety.” Disney’s advertising and promotion is also alleged to stress the company’s concern for “the quality and safety of its consumer products, especially those products that are enjoyed by children.”

According to the lawsuit, the large gap in the bassinet’s side rails is defective and that Disney, which licensed the Winnie the Pooh brand to the bassinet’s manufacturer, Simplicity, Inc, is responsible for Kennedy’s death under California law because Disney should have known of the defect after a Missouri infant slipped through the metal side bars of the same model of bassinet and died in September 2007. The lawsuit further alleges that Disney failed to prevent the continued distribution and sale of the bassinets, including the one sold to Rachel Brotherton and that Disney engaged in deceptive business practices in their licensing, marketing and sale of the bassinet.

Prior to filing suit, the plaintiffs requested that Disney compensate them for Kennedy’s death, because they relied on Disney’s reputation for safety in their purchase of the bassinet, but Disney took the position that it was not responsible for the defective bassinet although it bears the Disney brand.

“Incredibly, despite profiting from the sale of the Winnie the Pooh 4-in-1 bassinet, Disney now refuses to stand behind the bassinet, claiming that Kennedy’s death is someone else’s fault. This is not the Disney Company that most Americans thought they knew,” commented Charles Kelly, the Plaintiffs’ attorney.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Disney. (Brottherton v. Walt Disney Company) was filed on December 17, 2008 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Hersh & Hersh Files Class Action Suit on Behalf of All Parents Who Unwittingly Purchased Defective Simplicity and Graco Cribs

San Francisco attorney Charles Kelly of Hersh & Hersh filed a class action lawsuit in Federal court on behalf of Amber Spitzer and other parents who purchased defective Simplicity and Graco cribs. The poorly-designed cribs, which were manufactured by Simplicity in China, led to the deaths of 3 infants, the entrapment of 7 additional infants, and at least 55 other incidents of hardware failure that could have led to injury or death.

The cribs are at the center of the largest crib recall in history and covered extensively by national and local media since the national recall.

When Amber Spitzer purchased a Simplicity Aspen 4-in-1 crib in April 2006, she believed that it met the required safety standards. Amber’s 1-year-old daughter, Briana, slept in that crib until the recall was announced regarding several Simplicity and Graco models.

The first known death related to the faulty hardware occurred in June 2005, when 9-month-old Liam Johns succumbed to a defect in the crib’s design. His parents Nicola and Chad Johns have been working with Charles Kelly of Hersh & Hersh to instigate a recall of crib models subject to the potentially deadly design flaw. Despite the numerous related incidents since Liam’s death, Simplicity and Graco are only now recalling the cribs.

“Simplicity and Graco have proposed to provide repair kits to owners of these defective cribs as a remedy,” said Charles Kelly, who will also represent Spitzer in the class action case. “Such a remedy is simply unacceptable, particularly since the defect that led to many of the reported incidents was a result of improper assembly.”

The complaint argues that the proposed remedy is insufficient. Among other demands, the suit seeks to force the manufacturers to provide a full refund to families who purchased these cribs.

“The crib manufacturers have knows for several years that these cribs contained fatal flaws,” continued Kelly. “These companies have blatantly put profit above the health and safety of sleeping infants; enough is enough.”

Spitzer v. Target Corporation; Graco Children’s Products, Inc.; and Simplicity, Inc. was filed on September 24, 2007 in a Minneapolis Federal Court. For a copy of the complaint, or for more information, contact Severn Williams at 510-336-9566 or sev@sevwilliams.com. To join the class action lawsuit call Hersh & Hersh at 800-441-5545.

Death of Infant Suffocated by Defective Graco 3 in 1 Crib Prompts Largest Crib Recall in History: Charles Kelly of Hersh & Hersh Settles Wrongful Death Complaint Against Manufacturers and Wal-Mart

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the largest crib recall in its history, calling for about 1 million Simplicity and Graco cribs to be recalled. The cribs' defective hardware and poor crib design can allow the side rail to easily detach from the headboard, creating a gap between the side rail and the mattress large enough to trap an infant. At least three infants have died after being trapped in these cribs.

Earlier this summer, Attorney Charles Kelly of Hersh & Hersh settled a complaint against Simplicity, Inc., Graco Children Products Inc. and Wal-Mart for the wrongful death of Liam Johns, a nine-month old infant who suffocated to death after becoming trapped between the side rail and the mattress of a crib manufactured by Simplicity Inc. The settlement amount is confidential.

If a loved one has been injured by a Simplicity or Graco crib, please contact Hersh & Hersh.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls Approximately 1 Million Simplicity and Graco Cribs; Failures in Crib Hardware and Design Lead to Infant Deaths

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today a voluntary recall with Simplicity Inc., of Reading, Pa., of about 1 million cribs. The drop-side can detach from the crib, which can create a dangerous gap and lead to the entrapment and suffocation of infants. CPSC is aware of two deaths in Simplicity manufactured cribs with older style hardware, including a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child, where the drop-side was installed upside down. CPSC is also aware of seven infant entrapments and 55 incidents in these cribs.

CPSC is also investigating the death of a 1-year-old child in a Simplicity crib with newer style hardware, in which the drop-side was installed upside down. CPSC is warning parents and caregivers to check all Simplicity cribs to make sure the drop-side is installed right side up.

The drop-side failures result from both the hardware and crib design, which allow consumers to unintentionally install the drop-side upside down. This, in turn, can weaken the hardware and cause the drop-side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side detaches, it creates a gap in which infants can become entrapped.

CPSC is also aware of two incidents that occurred when the drop-side was correctly installed with older style hardware, though the upside down installation greatly increases the risk of failure.

The recalled Simplicity crib models include: Aspen 3 in 1, Aspen 4 in 1, Nursery-in-a-Box, Crib N Changer Combo, Chelsea and Pooh 4 in 1. The recall also involves the following Simplicity cribs that used the Graco logo: Aspen 3 in 1, Ultra 3 in 1, Ultra 4 in1, Ultra 5 in 1, Whitney and the Trio.

The recalled cribs have one of the following model numbers, which can be found on the envelope attached to the mattress support and on the label attached to the headboard: 4600, 4605, 4705, 5000, 8000, 8324, 8800, 8740, 8910, 8994, 8050, 8750, 8760, and 8996.

The cribs, which were made in China, were sold in department stores, children’s stores and mass merchandisers nationwide from January 1998 through May 2007 for between $100 and $300.

As an immediate precaution, consumers should check to see if the drop-side is installed right side up. To do this, check to see that the slightly rounded rail with the decorative groove is installed at the top and the plain rail is on the bottom. Next, consumers should make sure the drop-side is securely attached to the tracks in all four corners.

If the drop-side is installed upside down or not securely attached, consumers should stop using the crib immediately. Incorrect installation can cause permanent damage to the hardware and re-installing the drop-side using the same hardware is unsafe.

Consumers should check to see if their crib contains the recalled hardware. Recalled hardware has a flexible tab at the bottom of the lower tracks and the top of the lower tracks are open. Newer hardware, which is not subject to the recall, has the flexible tab located at the top of the lower track, and a permanent stop at the bottom.

Consumers who have a crib with older style hardware can receive a free repair by immediately contacting Simplicity toll-free at (888) 593-9274 between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, or by visiting the firm’s Web site at www.simplicityforchildren.com.

Consumers who have a crib with newer style hardware and have installed the drop-side upside down or have broken hardware, should also contact Simplicity immediately.”

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