As a Dania Beach injuries to minors attorney, I was alarmed to see a report from NPR Nov. 9 that a manufacturer is recalling strollers because of a serious risk they pose to their young passengers. Maclaren USA is recalling every umbrella stroller it’s sold in the United States since 1999 — about a million altogether. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it has received 15 reports of children putting their fingers in the hinge used to unfold and open the high-end strollers, leading to cuts and, in 12 cases, the loss of fingertips. Parents are advised to stop using the strollers immediately and contact Maclaren for a free repair kit that covers the offending hinge. For more information, they can visit Maclaren’s recall page or the CPSC recall information, or call toll-free at 1-877-688-2326.
This is a huge recall for Maclaren, both in size and in potential damage to reputation. Maclaren strollers — made in China by a British company — are considered dependable but expensive “yuppie” strollers. As a Miami Gardens child injury lawyer, I am also surprised by the huge scale of this recall. More than a million strollers are involved, which means at least that many children were exposed to the risk of a finger amputation or serious cut. The 15 cases reported to the CPSC may be just the tip of the iceberg, especially considering that the majority involved amputations. In any medical emergency, reporting the incident to the CPSC is not likely to be parents’ top priority. That might be especially true if the injury didn’t result in an amputation, or if the parent though the incident sprung from the child’s actions rather than a flaw in the stroller itself.
In its release announcing the recall, Maclaren emphasized that adults should read instructions before operating the strollers. It also put out a video (dated Nov. 10 on YouTube) instructing operators on safely using the strollers. This implies, but doesn’t outright say, that the problem may be traced to carelessness by adult operators. However, it’s worth pointing out that the hinge problem arises when children stick their fingers into the hinges. Not only are young children’s actions difficult to predict, but we don’t generally expect children under the age of five to take responsibility for avoiding dangers. Indeed, the manufacturer of any children’s product should design its products with that in mind. If it does not, it may be liable in a defective consumer products lawsuit.
Cohn, Smith & Cohn is proud to represent families of children and teens who were seriously injured by someone else’s careless actions. That includes the carelessness of a manufacturer that sent a defectively designed or manufactured product to market, or failed to adequately warn about a danger from using the product as intended. All manufacturers in Florida are legally required to avoid these defects — and legally liable for injuries when they do not. Our Sunrise injuries to minors attorneys help families sue careless manufacturers for all of the costs and damages of their injuries, including compensation for a permanent disability or wrongful death of a child, as well as medical bills and other financial costs.
If a kid or teenager in your family has suffered an injury because of someone else’s carelessness, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn today. To set up a free, confidential consultation, you can reach us through our Web site or call (954) 431-8100 today.