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Drop-side crib ban under product liability law

It's hard to imagine that a place that should be one of the safest for an infant can potentially be the most dangerous. This is true of certain types of cribs specifically designed for ease of access by the parent. There are several reasons that these cribs are deemed unsafe by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, or CPSC. There is a product recall on certain types of cribs because they are deemed unsafe.

Drop-side cribs were originally designed with the parent's needs in mind. The side of the crib drops down in order to allow easier access to the infant. What the designers didn't consider is the safety hazard either in the design itself, or in the case when such a crib is not assembled properly. The crib can malfunction even when assembled correctly. The crib can leave a gap between the mattress and the side that can trap the infant which can lead to injury or death. The crib also was often manufactured with cheap components that can break or malfunction after assembly.

Under products liability law, the manufacturer committed a design defect when that manufacturer failed to design a safe crib when the dangers could have been easily avoided using a different design. Over 9 million cribs have been recalled since 2007 based on this design defect. This design of crib is also susceptible to manufacturing defects, which are unintended defects that occur when components deviate from their original specifications. Also, manufacturers of drop-side cribs may be liable for failure to warn which occurs when a manufacturer fails to warn consumers of any known hidden dangers in the design.

Drop-side cribs are very dangerous based on the design itself, and what can happen when that crib departs from the original design. There are several other crib designs available that do not pose such safety hazards to infants. Unfortunately, thousands of infant injuries and dozens of deaths have occurred due to drop-side cribs. It is important that any drop-side crib be repaired with a free repair kit or removed in order to best protect the infant.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Drop-Side Cribs" accessed Sept. 23, 2014

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