The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the death of Kaylee
Ishii, a 4-year-old California girl who sustained fatal injuries after
she climbed into a washing machine and got tumbled around in the device
for at least two minutes before her mother found her. An autopsy report
indicates that Kaylee died from blunt-force trauma. Police say they believe
that her death was accidental and that her younger brother, who is 15-months-old,
may have unintentionally pressed the start button to activate the Kenmore 417.
This washing machine is a front-loading machine that comes with an “easy start” button that is located just 20 inches off the ground. The CPSC is trying to find out if it needs to issue a recall of this particular Kenmore model to prevent further injuries and deaths from happening.
This is the first death of a young child involving a front-loading washing machine. There have been three child fatalities involving washing machines since 2004, only they involved top-loading machines. Now, the federal agency will determine whether safety standards that halt agitators when a top-loading machine is open should be implemented with front-loading machines.
In 2005, the mother of Rebecca Hope Wagoner, a 5-year-old who became asphyxiated after becoming trapped in a triple-load, coin-operated washing machine, filed a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer for $18.9 million. Her Virginia wrongful death lawsuit against Pellerin Milnor Corp. and a local Laundromat claims that the washer turned on even though no coins had been inserted. 11 quarters are needed to operate the machine, which won’t accept money until the washer door is shut. As long as the machine is in operation, the door cannot be opened.
Rebecca’s mother had to smash the door with a rock to rescue her daughter. Her complaint says she sustained serious cuts from doing so and experienced the trauma of watching her daughter die violently. She accused the washer manufacturer of knowing that particular washer model had started up in the past even when coins hadn’t been inserted yet the company failed to remedy the defect.
You are entitled to file a products liability claim if you suffered injuries because a manufacturer made a product that was defective or malfunctioned. If your son or daughter is a minor, you can also file aproducts liability case involving injuries to minors on his or her behalf.
Safety Agency Probes Girl’s Washing Machine Death, KTLA, February 9, 2009
Mom of girl who died in washing machine sues, MSNBC, August 5, 2005
Related Web Resources:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Please contact Gilbert & Ollanik, PC and ask for your free case evaluation with our California products liability lawyers.