June, 07, 2011
The family of a 9-month-old boy who suffered serious injuries when he fell from a Bumbo Baby Sitter seat has filed a lawsuit charging that South Africa-based Bumbo and Wayne, N.J.-based retail giant Toys R Us disregarded the product’s documented safety concerns.
According to the lawsuit filed by Dallas trial law firm Rose•Walker Bumbo and Toys R Us knew about the safety concerns, including numerous reports of serious injuries, but rushed the product back to stores after inadequately addressing warnings highlighted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The Bumbo Baby Sitter is a soft molded-foam seat designed to allow babies to sit upright. Marketed as “your extra set of hands,” the seat contains no seat belt or safety harness. The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf of an Austin-area family whose son suffered a skull fracture after he toppled from the seat, which was sitting atop a breakfast table.
According to the lawsuit, the seat was purchased from an Austin-area Toys R Us months after an October 2007 CPSC recall, yet the seat and its packaging contained none of the required CPSC warnings. The product’s packaging even included images of the seat being placed on tables, counters and other elevated surfaces with instructions that it was ideal for use “on any flat surface.”
“Bumbo and Toys R Us have failed to take these safety concerns seriously,” says Rose•Walker attorney Liz Cunningham. “They’ve known for years about the dangers, and they have chosen not to make basic design modifications, such as installing a simple seat belt.”
After the 2007 recall, a Toys R Us executive issued a directive to have the product back on store shelves by Feb. 21, 2008, despite reports from individual stores that Bumbo products had not been modified to meet the recall requirements. More than 100 incidents involving the Bumbo seat have been reported since the recall.