Infant Recliners Recalled by Retail Stores after 5 Infant Deaths

The company that makes the Nap Nanny, a device marketed as a portable recliner for infants to sleep on, has refused to recall the defective product, even after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 70 complaints, including 5 deaths.  So now, in an unusual move, four major retailers that sell this product have announced that they will recall the Nap Nanny themselves., Buy Buy Baby, and Toys ”R” Us/Babies ”R” Us have already agreed earlier this month to stop selling the product. These retailers are offering customers a chance to return the Nap Nanny.

On its website, Toys ”R” Us said, “Consumers should stop using this product immediately and return the product to your nearest Toys ”R” Us/Babies ”R” Us for a refund or store credit.

The Nap Nanny was designed to mimic the curves of a baby car seat, elevating an infant slightly to help reduce reflux, gas, stuffiness or other problems.

The devices sold for about $125.

CPSC spokesman, Scott Wolfson, praised the companies.

“The retailers were great. They were not obligated to carry out this recall,” he said. It’s estimated that 150,000 of the Nap Nanny have been purchased since the product came on the market in 2009.

The Nap Nanny was created by mom and Philadelphia sportscaster, Leslie Gudel, who sold the recliner through her company, Baby Matters. CPSC said it has been negotiating with Baby Matters for a mandatory recall but Gudel refused to go along, insisting the product is safe. The recliners are made by Baby Matters, based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The commission said the company was “unable or unwilling to participate in the recall.”

There have been 92 reports of infants “hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny, even though most of the infants had been placed in the harness,” said the commission.

Gudel said parents have misused the product by placing the device on a table or in a crib, or not strapping in the infant. Initial versions of the Nap Nanny were recalled and redesigned in 2010 after the first reported infant death. The sides were raised, warnings added and an instructional video was added to the website.

The CPSC said that injuries and deaths continued. The agency believes that the Nap Nanny contains defects in design, warning and instruction, “which pose a substantial risk of injury or death to infants.”

This month, CPSC took the rare step of suing Baby Matters to force a recall. That lawsuit continues, said the agency.

Wolfson told ABC News, “Many smaller mom and pop stores also sold the Nap Nanny, so our lawsuit will continue. CPSC staff is seeking for Baby Matters to provide consumers with a refund of the cost of the Nap Nanny.”

5,000 Nap Nanny Generation One and 50,000 Generation Two models were sold between 2009 and early 2012. About 100,000 Chill models have been sold since January 2011. All models were priced at about $125-130.

Meantime, Gudel shut down her company because, she said, it couldn’t afford to continue the fight with the CPSC. She continued to defend the product and told ABC News in her email, “We look forward to presenting our case before a judge who will hear all of the facts.”

For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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