Another Simplicity Crib Recall
There's been so many Simplicity recalls, it's getting hard to keep them straight.
A few weeks ago, retailers recalled 900,000 Simplicity bassinets.
Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that nine major retailers are recalling about 600,000 Simplicity cribs sold between January 2005 and August 2008 because the drop side can come loose, creating a gap in which babies can get caught and suffocate to death.
Fortunately in this case, no deaths were associated with the cribs.
Simplicity recalled 1 million cribs last September because of problems with the drop side detaching, after the death of three infants.
The models being recalled today are of a slightly different design than the ones recalled last year, but apparently pose the same hazard.
Unlike the last recall, SFCA, the company that now owns Simplicity's assets and has basically continued its business, is on record as cooperating with CPSC and retailers to make sure the recall goes smoothly. In August, CPSC issued a warning about the bassinets, in which it called out SFCA for not cooperating by not doing a recall.
SFCA, which is an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital, a Bethesda private equity firm, initially said that it is not legally responsible for products previously made by Simplicity. SFCA isn't saying that as loudly, but if you notice the retailers are doing this recall too, taking back merchandise and handing out refunds and store credit.
There is a legal argument that SFCA has little choice. If SFCA did assume responsibility for some old Simplicity products, it might open itself to lawsuits for products that it didn't design or manufacture.
Safety advocates, however, have argued that there is the legal option and then there is the social one and have called on SFCA to do more to help consumers with recalled bassinets.
What do you think SFCA should be doing?
By Annys Shin |
September 17, 2008; 11:20 AM ET
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