Fatalities from stroller accidents trigger new regulations

The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a new safety standard for strollers in the United States. The changes were prompted by multiple reported amputations, lacerations and four fatalities since 2008.

Key changes aimed at reducing the risk of releasing a defective or dangerous product that could injure a child include:

  • Braking systems. One of the reported lacerations occurred when a stroller rolled off a train platform. The stroller, with the child still strapped inside, fell onto the tracks. The child suffered a laceration on the head. New testing methods are designed to help catch potential brake malfunctions before the product is sold.
  • Restraints. The buckles used to keep the child within the stroller are also receiving new standards. One reported incident involved a child unbuckling the restraint and attempting to leave the stroller. The child got caught on a rivet used to assist in folding the stroller and suffered a cut to the crotch area. The new standard should reduce the risk of similar injuries.
  • Wheel detachment and stability. Various structural issues and the overall stability of the stroller were addressed, including new tests to help reduce the risk of wheel detachment.

It is important to note that children were not the only ones receiving injuries from strollers. Adults were also injured. Reported injuries involving adults were generally connected to incidents with the adult's fingers, likely connected to collapsing the stroller. New requirements and test methods were also required to help reduce the risk of shearing, pinching and scissoring accidents caused by certain hinges.

New Jersey product liability law

Those who are injured by a stroller or other defective product are likely eligible to receive compensation under product liability law. New Jersey state law allows consumers to recover for harms caused by a defective product based on the Products Liability Act. The law was passed in 1987 and holds manufacturers and sellers of goods responsible for the products they produce and sell.

If injured, a victim must establish the product was "not reasonably safe for its intended purpose." This can be done in a variety of ways. Three of the more common methods include design defect, manufacturing defect and a failure to warn. Meeting the criteria for a successful products liability case can be difficult. As a result, those who are injured by a product should contact an experienced New Jersey defective products lawyer. A defective products lawyer can advocate for victims and better ensure their legal rights and any potential remedies are protected.

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