Madigan sues bassinet maker after two deaths

Nick Rees Oct. 30, 2008, 11:21am

Lisa Madigan (D)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline) -- The makers of a bassinet that has caused the deaths of two infants in Illinois now face a product recall and lawsuit from the state of Illinois.

SFCA, Inc., makers of the Simplicity bassinets that have caused the deaths, are also being told to issue a refund-only recall policy for the bassinets. The office of the attorney general has also issued a comprehensive 22-page Rest Assure guide listing recalled cribs, bassinets and play yards to help parents identify dangerous products.

"To protect Illinois families from products that we know are dangerous, we must begin by holding distributors accountable. Our investigation revealed that SFCA continued to distribute recalled products that posed serious risks to children," Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, said. "I will not allow this company to wash its hands of responsibility to Illinois families."

SFCA, Inc. acquired the Simplicity brand in March 2008 and, according to the lawsuit, with the knowledge that the bassinets had already caused at least one death, continued to supply the design-flawed bassinets to Illinois retailers.

SFCA, Inc. refused to participate in a recall under the belief that they were not responsible for Simplicity's design flaw, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

The lawsuit calls for the court to stop SFCA, Inc. from selling and distributing the bassinets in Illinois and to hire an independent consultant to develop a safety protocol for product designs as well as recall all Simplicity bassinets that used the recalled designs.

The suit also calls for refunds to retails who gave refunds or store credits to consumers who returned the bassinets and for SFCA, Inc. to advertise in newspapers throughout Illinois of recalls.

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