Family files lawsuit over Rock 'n Play sleeper death

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Delaware family files lawsuit over Rock 'n Play Sleeper death
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Delaware family files lawsuit over Rock 'n Play Sleeper death. Nydia Han has more on Action News at 5 p.m. on April 24, 2019.

A grieving family in Delaware has filed a class action lawsuit against Fisher-Price. They said their baby girl died in the Rock 'n Play sleeper. The lawsuit comes two weeks after the company recalled the popular product. The Mundy family alleges Fisher-Price recalled the product far too late.

Their lawsuit filed just days ago said if the Rock 'n Play recall had come sooner, their daughter would still be alive. The family said in September she was just shy of three-months-old and in the sleeper for only a few minutes but that was enough time for her to turn over and suffocate.

"What my clients are hoping to do is make some positive change for others out of this situation and to warn others about the dangers of this product and products like it," said Jonathan Sorkowitz , the lawyer for the Mundy family. "They absolutely used this in a reasonable way and in a way that should be expected by the manufacturer when they put this product on the market."

The lawsuit alleges "The Rock 'n Play causes death or injury to infants because its defective design enables them to move into positions in which they cannot breathe."

"The manufacturer was aware of this product for a long period of time, ignored a series of warning signs was aware of other deaths and other injuries that had occurred, knew of restrictions and outright bans of this abroad and continued to sell it," said Sorkowitz.

The Mundy case also alleges Fisher-Price and its parent company, Mattel, lobbied the Consumer Product Safety Commission to allow the companies to avoid regulations that would have kept the product off the market.

"That's part of this story, the fact that this sleeper product was carved out of a regulatory category and that voluntary standards were adopted instead," Sorkowitz explained.

Under the current recall program, cash refunds are being offered only to consumers who bought the sleeper after October 12, 2018.

Other consumers will get vouchers for another Fisher-Price product.

The Mundy lawsuit is seeking money back for all buyers and seeking more people to participate in the class action.

The Mundy case is one of two class action lawsuits involving the Rock 'n Play.

Another case was filed out of Nassau County, New York.

Fisher-Price released this statement to Action News:

"A child fatality is an unimaginable tragedy. For almost 90 years, Fisher-Price has made the safety of children our highest priority," said Chuck Scothon, general manager of Fisher-Price. "In recent days, questions have been raised about the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper. We stand by the safety of our products. However, due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions, we have decided to conduct a voluntary recall of the Rock 'n Play Sleeper in partnership with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Fisher-Price has a long, proud tradition of prioritizing safety as our mission. We at Fisher-Price want parents around the world to know that we have every intention of continuing that tradition."