Many, if not most, parents believe that children are safe when strapped into highchairs and may even leave their children unattended in reliance on this mistaken assumption. Yet, thousands of children are injured or killed every year in highchair-related accidents. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), falls from strollers and highchairs account for the majority of fall injuries or deaths sustained by children each year. A great many of these accidents occur as a result of faulty restraints, failure to secure children in proper restraints, and failure to supervise children while they are in highchairs.
Strangulation accidents may also occur while children are in highchairs because of a defect in the highchair or a parent’s or other caregiver’s failure to properly secure a child in a non-defective highchair restraint. On July 23, 2014, the CPSC announced the recall of approximately 2,800 Dream On Me Dinah High Chairs for both fall and strangulation hazards. The highchairs, which were exclusively sold online through Walmart.com and Amazon.com, have leg and side openings through which a child’s body may pass, allowing the child to either fall from the chair or become trapped and hung up by the neck. The manufacturer has instructed consumers to immediately stop using the highchairs and to contact Dream On Me for a free repair kit.
The recalls of these and other children’s products need to be taken very seriously by parents and others who have purchased such products. Continued use of these highchairs may result in a child’s serious injury—including brain injury—or death.
Nationally-recognized child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has extensive experience with cases involving injuries or death to children resulting from someone’s negligence or from the use of a defective children’s product and is dedicated to obtaining justice for such victims as well as preventing future injuries and deaths. If your child has been injured or killed while using a defective children’s highchair or other children’s product, or through the negligence of an individual entrusted with your child’s care, attorney Killino and his team of child accident and defective children’s products lawyers will help you obtain the justice to which you and your child are entitled from those responsible for your child’s injury or death.
Legal Liability for Injuries or Deaths Caused by Defective Highchairs or Caretaker Negligence
Who is responsible when a child is injured or killed in a highchair accident? Highchair injuries or deaths may be caused by the negligence of a child’s caregiver, a defect in the highchair, or a combination of both these factors. Thus, in some cases, a caregiver as well as the manufacturer of a defective highchair may be found liable for the damages suffered by a child as a result of his or her injuries. If the negligence or defect resulted in the child’s death, the same defendants may be found liable in a wrongful death suit brought by the child’s family members for damages suffered by the family members as a result of the child’s death.
Responsibility of Manufacturer of Highchairs and Other Children’s Products
The manufacturer and others in the chain of a product’s distribution may be found liable under the product-liability law of most states for injuries or deaths caused by a defect in the product. This applies to children’s products, including highchairs such as those recalled by Dream On Me.
Under most states’ product-liability laws, the manufacturers of children’s and other products are held strictly liable for injuries or deaths caused by defective products. This means that the plaintiff need not prove negligence by the manufacturer in order to recover such damages, as long as the plaintiff can prove that the defect exists, that it caused the victim’s injuries or death, and that the injuries or death resulted in legally compensable damages.
In addition to the manufacturer of such products, the designers, distributors, retailers, suppliers, and others in the chain of the product’s distribution may also be found liable for injuries or deaths caused by a product’s defect. The defect may occur in the product’s design or manufacture, or through a failure to warn of the product’s dangers.
Responsibilities of Daycare Centers and Babysitters
Children are often injured when daycare center employees, babysitters, nannies, or others who have agreed to care for children fail to adequately supervise those children. The duty to take proper care for a child’s safety arises when any individual or entity takes on the responsibility of watching over or otherwise caring for a child. Under the laws of most states, the duty of such a caregiver is one of “ordinary care.” This is generally interpreted to mean that the caregiver has the duty to take the precautions that a person of ordinary prudence would take in the same or similar circumstances.
When a daycare center or other child caregiver leaves a young child unattended in a highchair and the child sustains a fall, strangulation, or other injury while not being properly watched, the babysitter or the daycare center as well as the negligent daycare-center employee may be held liable for the child’s injuries or death, even if the injury or death resulted in part from a defect in the highchair in which the child was placed. Through the institution of a negligence action by a daycare or personal injury attorney, the caregiver’s negligence may be found to have contributed to the child’s injury or death if it is determined that the presence of the caregiver would more likely than not have prevented the child’s injury or death.
Obtain Expert Assistance from Child-injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino
If your child has been injured or killed in an accident caused by a defective highchair or other children’s product or as a result of the negligence of a person or entity entrusted with your child’s care, nationally-recognized child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino and his team of child injury and wrongful death attorneys will fight for the compensation you and your child deserve.