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CPSC Urges Parents to Stop Using Recalled Boppy Loungers After 2 More Infants Die; Calls Out Facebook Marketplace for Selling Recalled Products

June 27, 2023

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and The Boppy Company are urging parents to stop using recalled Boppy Newborn Loungers following reports of two more infant deaths to the CPSC, bringing the death toll reported to the CPSC for this dangerous product up to 10. However, the full number of deaths attributed to the Boppy is certainly much higher. The CPSC also called out Facebook Marketplace for putting its customers at risk by not doing more to prevent the sale of Boppy Loungers and hundreds of other recalled products.

About 3.3 million Boppy Original Newborns Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers were recalled in September 2021 after eight infants reportedly suffocated after they were placed on their back, side or stomach in these pillow-like products. The recall notice states that infants can suffocate if they “roll, move, or are placed on the lounger in a position that obstructs breathing, or roll off the lounger onto an external surface, such as an adult pillow or soft bedding that obstructs breathing.” The eight deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.

On June 6, 2023, the CPSC, in conjunction with Boppy, reissued its recall notice, stating that shortly after the September 2021 recall two additional infants died in Newborn Loungers. According to the notice, one death occurred in October 2021 when an infant was reportedly placed on a lounger for sleep and then rolled underneath a nearby adult pillow. The cause of death was positional asphyxia. In November 2021, an infant was placed on a lounger in an adult bed with a parent and soft bedding and was later found deceased on the lounger.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be put to sleep on their backs, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers, loose bedding or stuffed toys.

Consumers can contact The Boppy Company for instructions on how to dispose of the loungers and get a refund.

A Scathing Letter

On June 6, 2023, the CPSC wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook parent Meta Platforms, saying that it has made repeated requests to have recalled items removed from Facebook Marketplace to no avail. The letter cites the Boppy Lounger as a “particularly egregious example.” According to the CPSC, since the September 2021 recall, it has found thousands of Boppy Loungers for sale on the platform. “In the past year, CPSC has formally requested — on average about one thousand times a month — that Meta take down listings for the Boppy Newborn Lounger from Facebook Marketplace. Despite these repeated requests, sales of the Boppy Newborn Lounger on the platform continue,” the CPSC wrote.

CPSC Cites DockATot for Violating Federal Safety Standards for Infant Sleep Products

To be clear: The resale of recalled products is not a problem limited to Boppy Loungers, nor to Facebook Marketplace. In 2017, the CPSC reported that the average return rate for recalled products is just 6 percent, meaning that 94 percent of recalled products remain in circulation. Many of these products make their way to numerous secondhand marketplaces which include Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, flea markets, garage sales, etc.

It is illegal for individuals (and retailers) to sell recalled products. However, many well-intentioned individuals may be unaware that a product has been recalled and list it for sale. Online marketplaces — through technologies such as reverse image search and keyword matching — are uniquely positioned to find these listings, remove them, and educate the public about recalls. But whatever efforts they are making in this regard are clearly inadequate.

Investigative journalists recently searched Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay for recalled products. In addition to finding the Boppy Lounger on both Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, they also found the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play (which was recalled in 2019 and has been linked to about 100 infant deaths) and Peloton’s Tread Plus (which was the subject of a high-profile recall after a video of a child sucked under the tread went viral). The journalists also found several products subject to CPSC safety alerts that were listed with no warning, including the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker.

Feldman Shepherd partner and product liability attorney Daniel J. Mann, who was interviewed for the investigative report, said it has been his experience that recalled products that have caused death and serious injuries to his clients are easy to find and purchase on the internet. “We have this system that’s set up that’s supposed to protect children and their families and it’s failing,” Mann said.

What Should I Do If My Child Has Been Injured by a Boppy Lounger (Or Other Recalled Product)?

Mann recommends contacting a product liability attorney immediately if your child has been injured by a Boppy Lounger or any other recalled product.

Mann said that product liability law requires that all products be safe for their intended as well as expected use and that manufacturers who put dangerous products into the marketplace are not shielded from legal liability simply by recalling them.

Mann’s team at Feldman Shepherd, which includes co-founding partner Alan M. Feldman and partner Edward S. Goldis, have secured substantial recoveries on behalf of infants and young children who have been seriously injured or killed by children’s products, including inclined infant sleep products, baby slings, unstable furniture and magnetic toys.


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