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Government Institutes Largest Crib Recall in US History

Feb 27, 2008
Federal regulators recently recalled about 1 million cribs made by Simplicity Inc. because the drop rail on some of the nation's best-selling models can detach from the crib, creating a dangerous gap that has led to the deaths of at least three children.

On September 21 2007, following a Chicago Tribune investigation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of cribs sold under both the Simplicity and Graco name. It is the largest recall of full-size cribs since the agency was created in the 1970s. The agency initially said it was aware of two deaths in Simplicity-manufactured cribs with older style hardware where the drop-side was installed upside down. One of those children was a 6-month-old in Georgia; the other was a 9-month-old named Liam Johns. After more investigation, it became apparent that a third child had had died as a result of an accident involving the poorly designed cribs.

The CPSC is warning parents and caregivers to check all Simplicity and Graco cribs to make sure the drop-side is installed right side up and is advising that consumers who have one of the cribs cited in the recall should contact Simplicity (888-593-9274) to obtain a repair kit with new hardware. If the crib already has the newer hardware consumers should still check the crib's drop rail to ensure it is assembled right-side up.

The recall covers a number of models of cribs manufactured by Simplicity Inc., sold under both the Simplicity and Graco brand names.

The models recalled include -

* Simplicity Branded Models :
* Aspen 3 in 1
* Aspen 4 in 1
* Nursery-in-a-Box
* Crib N Changer Combo
* Chelsea
* Pooh 4 in 1
* Graco Branded Models:
* Aspen 3 in 1
* Ultra 3 in 1
* Ultra 4 in 1
* Ultra 5 in 1
* Whitney
* Trio

After the initial recall, the crib recall caused more uproar, as a U.S. congressman demanded to know why the CPSC had delayed so long in ordering the recall, given that the first incident involving the unsafe cribs may have occurred as early as 2004. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to explain why the agency took more than two years and the deaths of three infants before it recalled 1 million cribs for design and hardware flaws. The investigation into the CPCS's response remains underway.

Given the seriousness of the recall, many parents immediately followed the instructions from the CPSC to contact Simplicity Inc. regarding obtaining new hardware. The CPSC also stated that parents should not allow children to sleep in the recalled cribs for "even one more night." However, in the weeks following the recall, it has become apparent that Simplicity may not be providing parents with the proper resources to ensure their cribs are safe. Parents who are calling Simplicity, Inc. as instructed, to order a repair kit for the recalled cribs are finding those kits are not so easy to come by. In fact, Simplicity does not even have the repair kits ready.

More than two weeks after the recall notice went out, Simplicity is telling anxious parents that it could be three to four weeks before they get a repair kit to fix the cribs' defects. That's because the CPSC allowed the company to issue the recall prior to designing and manufacturing the kits. The CPSC said this was necessary because of the immediate danger posed by the hazardous cribs.

What's worse, parents who have asked Simplicity to overnight repair kits say they're not being told that the kits aren't ready. Rather, Simplicity is sending out replacement parts that don't even include installation instructions. Apparently, the replacement parts may not even have been approved by the CPSC.

If you or anyone you know has been negatively affected by either the faulty Simplicity or Graco branded cribs, fill out the form on this page to be put in touch with a cribs recall lawyer today, who can answer your questions and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
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