On September 30, FindLaw's Common Law noted the warning issued by the CPSC and FDA regarding the use of sleep positioners for infants. The bolster-like products were supposed to help babies sleep on their backs, the position recommended to help prevent breathing problems and which lessens incidents of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Instead, the government agencies warned of reports of suffocation caused by the sleep positioners. The week of October 4, a lawsuit against the makers of the sleep positioners was filed.
The lawsuit was brought against eight manufacturers of the infant products, reports ConsumerAffairs.com. Seeking class action status, the suit was brought on behalf of Illinois consumers who purchased the sleep positioners from any of the defendant companies during the applicable time period. According to ConsumerAffairs, the suit claims there are possibly thousands of consumers who could become part of the action.
Plaintiffs claim the companies represented the sleep positioners would help prevent crib deaths from SIDS, but in fact they had no scientific evidence to support these claims. The single cause of action brought under the suit is that of consumer fraud and alleges the defendants engaged in fraudulent and deceptive practices by making the unsupported claims about their products.
ConsumerAffairs reports the eight companies listed in the lawsuit are as follows: Learning Curve Brands d/b/a The First Years Company; Summer Infant, Inc.; Kid Brands, Inc. d/b/a Sassy; Dex Products, Inc.; Kiwi Holdings, Inc. d/b/a Basic Comfort; Prince Lionheart, Inc.; Baby Delight, Inc.; and Munckin, Inc.
When it issued its warning regarding the sleep positioners, the FDA said it had not given any approval regarding the safety of the products for their advertised use. At the time the warning was issued, FDA Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the F.D.A.’s principal deputy commissioner, told the New York Times, "To date, there is no scientifically sound evidence that infant sleep positioners prevent SIDS.”
ConsumerAffairs reports that according to the FDA and the CPSC, in the past 13 years, there have been reports of 12 infant deaths related to the sleep positioners.