Latest Updates on Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Lawsuits
The Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play lawsuit is a personal injury lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on Aug. 12, 2019. The Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play lawsuit was one of several legal actions filed by plaintiffs who claimed that the harmful product was dangerous and caused injuries or death to their children. Courts consolidated the case into multidistrict litigation in the same court to centralize the process.
- July 2023: As of the latest mid-July update, there were 16 lawsuits in the MDL.
- April 2023: The head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a second letter to Meta related to its Facebook Marketplace platform urging it to prevent the listing of the twice-recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play inclined sleeper.
- January 2023: Fisher-Price re-announced the recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers because of reports of at least eight additional fatalities that occurred after the original recall on April 12, 2019.
While some plaintiff’s attorneys argued against centralizing, seeking to move their cases to a specific district, the defendants argued that the Central District of California was the most suitable forum due to the many complex litigation cases heard there. On Aug. 1, 2019, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order centralizing the cases in the Western District of New York.
Why Are People Filing Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Lawsuits?
Plaintiffs are filing lawsuits claiming that using the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play led to the injury or death of their children and that Fisher-Price was aware of the dangers associated with the sleeper but proceeded to sell it anyway. One of the earlier Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play lawsuits was brought by Keenan and Evan Overton, whose 5-month-old son died while using the sleeper. These and other plaintiffs allege that Fisher-Price falsely marketed the product as safe for all-night or prolonged sleep for infants.
The lawsuit claims the angle infants rest at in the sleeper increases the risk of asphyxia, or suffocation, because babies can roll over and smother or their heads can slump forward and obstruct their airways. Other risks include developing flat head, known as plagiocephaly, and twisted neck, or torticollis, syndromes.
Consumer Reports’ investigative reporting revealed that at least 50 infants have died in inclined sleepers. Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers in April 2019 after 32 infant deaths were linked to the sleeper. Kids II also recalled hundreds of thousands of rocking sleepers due to similar safety risks.
In the past, experts thought that inclined sleeping was helpful for babies with reflux or GERD. However, the Academy of Pediatrics has indicated that the safest place for babies to sleep is on their backs on a flat, firm surface. There are alternatives to Rock ‘n Play, such as bassinets, cradles and cribs.
Inclined Sleeper Recalls and Bans
On Monday, May 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the “Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021,” which prohibits the manufacture and sale of inclined sleepers for infants and crib bumpers. Sleep safety is a key element of babyproofing.
Inclined sleepers for infants are those designed for an infant up to 1 year old that have an inclined sleep surface of greater than 10 degrees. Crib bumpers are the padded materials placed around the inside of a crib that are intended to prevent the baby from becoming trapped in any part of the crib’s openings. Crib bumpers do not include unpadded mesh crib liners.
The recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, originally recalled on April 12, 2019, was reissued on Jan. 9, 2023, because an additional 12 fatalities had occurred since the initial recall. These occurred even after the sleeper was removed from the marketplace and banned from sale.
Who Qualifies to File a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Lawsuit?
If your infant was seriously injured or died while using a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play baby sleeper, you may be eligible for compensation for injuries that caused physical, financial and emotional hardship.
A law firm experienced in litigating product liability cases can assess your case, help you to gather the information needed and file a lawsuit.
Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Verdicts and Settlements
- 2016: Plaintiffs filed a suit after a 7-week-old baby experienced injuries while napping in the Rock 'n Play Sleeper. The baby's head was stuck in a tilted position, and he appeared lifeless until he was revived. The lawsuit alleged that the design of the sleeper caused upper airway obstruction. The baby will require monitoring for potential developmental issues due to the lack of oxygen.
- 2015: Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit after a 2-month-old baby died while sleeping in the Fisher-Price sleeper. Courts later dismissed the case after the plaintiffs and defendants reached a settlement. The specific details of the settlements in these cases were not disclosed.
In a statement issued in April 2019 after recalling the Rock ‘n Play sleepers, Fisher-Price said it stands by the safety of its products. The company went on to say that the reported incidents resulted from consumers using the product improperly in a manner “contrary to the safety warnings and instructions.”
13 Cited Research Articles
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- U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2023, July 17). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by Actions Pending. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_Actions_Pending-July-17-2023.pdf
- Chuck, E. & Khimm, S. (2023, April 21). Grieving parents demand online listings for Rock ‘n Plays be removed before more babies die. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/grieving-parents-demand-facebook-listings-rock-n-plays-removed-rcna80463
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2023, April 12). Chair Hoehn-Saric Second Letter to Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg Urging Action on Banned & Recalled Products on Facebook Marketplace. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/About-CPSC/Chairman/Alexander-Hoehn-Saric/Statement/Chair-Hoehn-Saric-Second-Letter-to-Meta-CEO-Mark-Zuckerberg-Urging-Action-on-Banned-Recalled-Products-on-Facebook-Marketplace
- DiMaggio, D. (2023, January 23). Inclined Sleepers, Crib Bumpers & Other Baby Registry Items to Avoid. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Inclined-Sleepers-and-Other-Baby-Registry-Items-to-Avoid.aspx#
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2023, January 9). Fisher-Price Reannounces Recall of 4.7 Million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers; At Least Eight Deaths Occurred After Recall. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2023/Fisher-Price-Reannounces-Recall-of-4-7-Million-Rock-n-Play-Sleepers-At-Least-Eight-Deaths-Occurred-After-Recall
- Moon, R.Y., Carlin, R.F. & Hand, I.H. (2022). Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2022 Recommendations for Reducing Infant Deaths in the Sleep Environment. Retrieved from
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2020, January 29). Delta Enterprise Corp. Recalls Incline Sleeper with Adjustable Feeding Position for Newborns to Prevent Risk of Suffocation. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2020/Delta-Enterprise-Corp-Recalls-Incline-Sleeper-with-Adjustable-Feeding-Position-for-Newborns-to-Prevent-Risk-of-Suffocation
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2020, January 29). CPSC Announces Recalls of More Than 165,000 Inclined Sleepers To Prevent Risk of Suffocation; 4 Companies Conducting the Recalls. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2020/CPSC-Announces-Recalls-of-More-Than-165000-Inclined-Sleepers-To-Prevent-Risk-of-Suffocation-4-Companies-Conducting-the-Recalls
- Bartiromo, M. (2019, April 24). Class-action lawsuits filed against Fisher-Price, Mattel following recall of Rock n’ Play Sleeper linked to infant deaths. Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/health/fisher-price-recall-rock-play-sleeper-lawsuit
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2019, April 12). Fisher-Price Recalls Rock ‘n Play Sleepers Due to Reports of Deaths. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Fisher-Price-Recalls-Rock-n-Play-Sleepers-Due-to-Reports-of-Deaths
- Gambino, J. (2007, December 3). New Information on Positioning a Baby with Reflux. Retrieved from https://www.healthcentral.com/article/new-information-on-positioning-a-baby-with-reflux
- Congress.Gov. (n.d.). H.R. 3182 – Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3182