The Bumbo baby seat, a popular product in many families' homes, has caused over two dozen infant injuries despite its simple, foam structure. As a result of this, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bumbo International announced a second voluntary recall of the product in August 2012.
A product recall is a request to return a product to the manufacturer. Companies or government agencies often initiate a recall after a product proves to be defective or a safety issue has been discovered. Below, you'll find more information about the Bumbo baby seat recalls and the legal issues involved.
The First Bumbo Recall
The first Bumbo baby seat recall came in October 2007, when 1 million Bumbo seats were recalled in order to add warnings about using the seats on raised surfaces. According to the CPSC, since this recall, there have been at least:
50 incidents in which infants have fallen out of the seat - nineteen of which resulted in skull fractures.
34 reports of infants who have wiggled out of the seat used on the floor or at an unknown elevation - two of which reported skull fractures, while others reported minor injuries likes bumps and bruises.
As a result of these issues, seats manufactured after 2008 now have an additional label warning against the use on elevated surfaces.
The Second Bumbo Recall
The August 2012 Bumbo baby seat recall requested the return of 4 million seats and was initiated not only to provide additional warnings, but to add a restraint belt to the product as well. The belt is being provided to prevent infants from falling out of the seat. However, an infant should never be left unsupervised even when strapped into the seat.
The additional warning stickers have been provided to emphasize that the seat should never be used on a raised or uneven surface. Bumbo International and the CPSC stated that consumers should no longer use the product until they purchase and install a free repair kit, which includes several new warning stickers, instructions, and a restraint belt.
Bumbo International states that serious injuries can be prevented with the use of the new restraint belt and additional warnings. This recall was done in the hopes of limiting product liability cases for the corporation.
A product liability case may arise in many ways including, but not limited to, a failure to warn. A manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers about any hidden dangers that may be present in the product, along with instructing them on how to avoid those dangers. Bumbo initiated the recalls in order to limit the number of injuries caused by the baby seats and therefore, minimize the company's liability. Warnings must be clear, specific, and placed on an easily viewable location. Bumbo has attempted to do so by having parents apply new warning stickers and install the restraint belt. Bumbo has even supplied consumers with an instructional video demonstrating proper installation of the belt and usage of the seat, which can be seen here.
However, consumers should keep in mind that there must be a reasonable effort on their part to abide by these new warnings in order to have a successful claim. With that being said, it's still debatable whether the new warnings and belt will be enough to prevent infants from falling out of the seat. Some plaintiffs may argue that the product is also defective in its design and that it should either be banned altogether or that manufacturers should come up with an alternate design in order to improve child safety.
Own a Bumbo Baby Seat?
Bumbo baby seats were sold from August 2003 to August 2012 for anywhere from $30 to $50 at a wide range of toy and children's stores nationwide, including Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart.
Arrange a Legal Consultation to Answer Your Bumbo Baby Seat Recall Questions
If you own a Bumbo baby seat, it's imperative that you comply with the new warnings to prevent any injury to your infant. If you have an infant who has suffered an injury from falling out of a Bumbo seat you should contact a product liability attorney in your area. A legal consultation can help you determine whether you have a product liability claim worth pursuing.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.