Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Dangerous’ Day Care Crib Leads to Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - An infant died after suffocating in a Graco crib with a dangerous mattress gap at a day care center, a grieving mother claims in court.

Lisa DiBello says her 3-month-old Joey died after she dropped him off at Waldron Mercy Academy's Child Care Center on Nov. 13, 2012.

The center's staff left Joey unattended for hours as he napped in the Pack n' Play, the Nov. 12 complaint filed with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas states.

When the staff did check on Joey before noon, he was not breathing and was in a "dangerous position" because of a 4-inch gap between the mattress and side rails of the crib, according to the complaint.

Joey was still alive when the staff began CPR, but the "staff members at Waldron Mercy performed CPR in an improper manner which resulted in Joey's chest being traumatically compressed," the complaint states.

DiBello says her son spat "up blood and white liquid" during CPR, and "was pronounced dead at Lankenau Medical Center at approximately 12:45 pm on November 13, 2012."

DiBello seeks punitive damages from Graco Children's Products, Newell Rubbermaid, Waldron Mercy Academy, Mercy Child Care Center and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Mid-Atlantic Community Inc.

The complaint alleges negligence, assault and battery, and wrongful death, among other things.

DiBello says Waldron Mercy failed to properly secure the mattress of the Pack N' Play to its side rails, resulting in the gap that forced Joey into a life-threatening position. Graco and Rubbermaid are liable for the lack of adequate safety features on the crib, and for failing to properly investigate previous accidents with the product and prevent them from occurring again, the suit says.

Graco came under fire in Virginia related to the 2009 death of an infant in a car seat.

A March 2013 complaint against Graco and Newell Rubbermaid alleges that its car seats did not unlatch or did so only with great difficulty.

DiBello is represented by Robert Mongeluzzi of Philadelphia firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett and Bendesky.

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.