Maker Of ‘Nap Nanny’ Fights Recall Of Product Linked To Death Of Five Infants

The second generation Nap Nanny.

The second generation Nap Nanny.

We’ve been following the saga of the Nap Nanny baby recliner since it was first recalled back in 2010 following the death of one child. Then in early December, the government filed suit against the company after learning of several additional fatalities. Now, the company is fighting back.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, lawyers for Baby Matters LLC, the Philly-area company that made the Nap Nanny seats, is seeking to dismiss the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s mandatory recall effort.

Almost all product recalls you hear of are undertaken as a joint effort by the CPSC and the manufacturer. The CPSC has said it took the incredibly rare step of issuing a mandatory recall — something it has only done three times in the last 11 years — after it could not come to an agreeable recall arrangement with Baby Matters.

The Baby Matters’ legal team claims that the mandatory recall was merely a “vehicle to give the commission leverage to strong-arm a complete recall without having to prove its case.”

The complaint, filed with the same administrative court judge who will rule on the CPSC’s lawsuit, takes particular issue with a statement in the agency’s most recent press release on the subject, which announced that four major retailers had agreed to pull the Nap Nanny from their shelves.

In the original release, the CPSC wrote that “it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.”

But the Baby Matters lawyers claim this is “materially false, misleading and deceptive,” as the Consumer Product Safety Act only makes it illegal to sell recalled items after the manufacturer undertakes a voluntary recall effort.

Baby Matters claims that CPSC deliberately waited until after 6:30 p.m. on the day of the press release to correct this statement on its website — “after the news of the press release had achieved maximum impact.”

Thus, the company is asking the judge to require the CPSC to issue a retraction and to clarify that retailers are still legally allowed to sell the Nap Nanny, at least pending the outcome of the CPSC’s administrative hearing.

A rep for the CPSC says the agency “will be responding to the Nap Nanny’s filing as appropriate and any response will be available for viewing on the public docket.”