Michigan Products Liability Lawsuit Seeks Wrongful Death Damages Against Nap Nanny Maker

The parents of a 4-month-old girl who died after she became entrapped in her portable baby recliner is seeking $75K in Michigan products liability damages from manufacturer Baby Matters LLC. The baby, Juliette Thiel, died on July 9, 2010 from asphyxiation.
The infant was found hanging from the Nap Nanny’s side while her face had gotten caught between the recliner and the crib bumper. In their Michigan wrongful death complaint, Brian and Mako Thiel accused the manufacturer of failing to make sure there were proper warning labels that came with the infant recliner cautioning against suffocation injuries.
Following Juliette’s fatal accident, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 30,000 Nap Nanny recliners. The federal safety agency said the recliners posed fall, entrapment, and suffocation hazards. CPSC and Baby Matters also reported that there had been least one other known incident of a an infant entrapment accident happening while the Nap Nanny was being used in crib. That baby, who fell over the recliner’s side, got caught between the Nap Nanny and the crib’s side and sustained a head cut. Additionally, 22 reports involving harnessed infants falling out of or hanging over the Nap Nanny’s side were filed.
In their Michigan child products liability lawsuit, the Thiels are contending that not only are there two patents indicating that the Nap Nanny was made to be used in a crib, but also, product marketing materials prior to March 2010 promote that the child recliner be used this way. The CPSC has since advised that the Nap Nanny not be used inside a crib, play yard, or another confined space. Placing the Nap Nanny on an elevated surface is also not recommended because the baby might fall out.
The Thiels say that as early as March 2010, the CPSC told Baby Matters it was looking into whether the Nap Nanny had defects. At the time, the manufacturer said denied this. However, the couple says that in May 2010, the CPSC found that the Nap Nanny was defective, came with a harness that did not properly restrain infants or keep them secure, and if used in a crib placed the baby at risk of becoming entrapped and suffocating. Warning labels and directions also were found inadequate. Juliette died two months later. Her parents are seeking over $75,000 in Michigan wrongful death damages.
Manufacturers are supposed to warn of any safety risks that come with using a product. This includes making sure that a product comes with the appropriate warning labels and operating instructions. It would be even better if products did not have any design defects that made them dangerous for children and infants to use–especially while they are asleep and unsupervised.
Couple sues firm in death of infant, The Detroit News, November 19, 2011
Baby Matters Recalls Nap Nanny® Recliners Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards; One Infant Death Reported, CPSC, July 26, 2010
More Blog Posts:
New Crib Safety Standards Go Into Effect Today, Product Liability Law Blog, June 28, 2011
Choking, Entrapment, Fall, and Suffocation Hazards Prompt CPSC’s Latest Recalls Involving Children and Infant Products, Product Liability Law Blog, April 5, 2011
22,000 Dream on Me Drop-Side Cribs Recalled Because They Pose Laceration, Entrapment, Suffocation, and Fall Hazards, Product Liability Law Blog, May 24, 2011

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