Makers Of Recalled Nap Nanny Sued By CPSC Following Deaths Of 5 Infants

The second generation Nap Nanny.

The second generation Nap Nanny.

In 2010, the death of an infant in a Nap Nanny baby recliner led to the recall of 30,000 of the devices. But since then, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has learned of additional fatalities and more than 70 potentially harmful incidents involving the Nap Nanny.

Feeling that Pennsylvania-based Baby Matters LLC, the makers of the Nap Nanny, did not do enough to make its product safe for small children, the CPSC has filed an administrative complaint against the company.

According to the CPSC, there are defects in the design, warnings and instructions for both generations of the Nap Nanny and the Nap Nanny Chill that “pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants.”

The complaint, which will be handled by an administrative court judge, seeks an order requiring that Baby Matters notifies the public of the alleged defects and offers full refunds to consumers.

In total, the CPSC says it has received more than 70 incident reports involving children nearly falling out of the Nap Nanny. The agency says that it attempted to work with Baby Matters to come up with a voluntary recall plan “that would address the hazard posed by consumer use of the product in a crib or without the harness straps being securely fastened.”

When those discussions failed, the CPSC took the unusual step of filing the lawsuit. This is only the third time in 11 years the agency has filed such a complaint.

“We want parents to understand that the government is filing the lawsuit because we believe the product to be a substantial hazard and we want parents to know that we allege that there have been five deaths associated with the products,” a CPSC rep tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We want the parents to understand why we are taking such a rare and serious step.”

The founder of Baby Matters tells the Inquirer that she was surprised by the lawsuit and that she had shut down her company, which was expected to take in around $6 million this year, earlier this month in anticipation of a recall.

In a statement, she claims that the incidents involved in the reports are a result of improper use of the Nap Nanny. It is known that at least four of the five deaths involved the Nap Nanny being used inside of a crib; the sewn-on instructions for the Nanny direct users to only place the item on the floor.

“Nap Nanny has helped thousands of babies and their tired parents the last four years and when used properly, no infant has ever suffered an injury requiring medical attention,” said the company’s founder.