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Parents Say Infant Seat Strangled Their Baby

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (CN) - Parents say a Graco Infant Car Seat they bought at Target strangled their baby. They claim the chest restraint slid up under the little girl's neck, and that Graco and Target "hid or failed to inform" people of "the true dangers of the product by cloaking it[s] true dangerous nature in euphemistic advertising verbiage."

Shaelyn McMahan died in the early afternoon of Feb. 4, 2009, according to the complaint in City Court. She was 7 months old.

The administrator of the baby's estate sued Graco Children's Products, Target, and two people: Temecca Clay, Shaelyn's babysitter, and Yong Sik Richardson, Clay's landlord, who allegedly let her run a day-care center out of her rented home.

The estate claims the Graco Alano Travel System SnugRide Infant Car seat is inherently defective and contributed to the baby's wrongful death.

"Clay placed McMahan in the Graco Infant Seat and Clay fastened McMahan using the chest connection," the complaint states. "Thinking McMahan was safely fastened in the seat, Clay left the room. Clay went to use the bathroom, and then went downstairs to be with the other children in her daycare.

"Clay later proceeded up to her bedroom, where she found McMahan's lifeless body. The child's neck was hanging on the straps and she had suffocated."

Clay called 911 and paramedics could not revive the baby. "She was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital where the pale and limp infant was determined to have died from strangulation causing cardiopulmonary arrest," according to the complaint.

The plaintiff claims that Shaelyn's parents and Clay were all "inherently deceived by Graco and Target." He claims that "Graco and Target at the same time negligently misdirected, hid, or otherwise failed to inform the true dangers of the product [sic] by cloaking it true dangerous nature [sic] in euphemistic advertising verbiage."

The administrator, Irving Goldstein, demands $500 million on behalf of the baby's estate.

He is represented by Stephen Campbell with Larry King's law office, of Newport News.

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