CHICAGO (CN) – Attorney General Lisa Madigan claims SFCA, a distributor of baby cribs, continues to sell dangerous Simplicity brand products despite two infant deaths and requests for a comprehensive recall. “SFCA continued to distribute recalled products that posed serious risks to children,” Madigan said. “I will not allow this company to wash its hands of responsibility to Illinois families.”
“To protect Illinois families from products that we know are dangerous, we must begin by holding distributors accountable,” said the attorney general.
Madigan released a detailed guide of recalled cribs and bassinets, and asked the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission to institute a refund-only recall policy.
Madigan criticized the standard CPSC recall procedure.
“For busy families, it is virtually impossible to keep track of these recalls,” Madigan said.
The CPSC has issued five recalls of Simplicity products, including one in September 2007, for 1 million cribs. Shortly after that recall, a 4-month old girl suffocated to death in a Simplicity bassinet when her body slipped through an opening on the side, lodging her head between an exposed metal bar and the mattress.
SFCA bought the assets of Simplicity in April and continued distributing its baby care products.
In August, a 6-month-old girl died in a Simplicity brand bassinet of the same design as the 2007 death.
After the second death, the CPSC issued a recall of the Simplicity bassinet design. Madigan said SFCA refused to comply with that recall, claiming that it was not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity.
Madigan’s lawsuit in Cook County Court claims that SFCA did not cooperate with the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Attorney General’s office and failed to post adequate information about the recall on its Web site.
“When a child has died in a defective crib, bassinet or play yard, the burden must remain on the manufacturers and distributors to remove them from the market and help make the families whole,” Madigan said.