Rock ‘n Play is a portable sleeper that holds the baby in an inclined position. It was a widely used product later recalled after it caused death to a significant number of infants. It was reported that infants above three months were the most affected because they do roll over a lot at that stage. Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper causes fatalities and injuries in one way; the baby would roll over, sleep on their stomach, and due to the inclination, he or she will have difficulty moving, leaving your child in a position where suffocation occurs. Since the laws protect the victims' interests, there were legal issues raised on the same, and actions were taken against the liable party.
Therefore, if your child and those of other parents suffer injuries or lost life while using Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper, you have a legal right to file a class-action lawsuit to get compensation for the same from the manufacturer. We at Consumer Alert Now have attorneys who understand the risks associated with the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper and help build a strong defense to have your case and that of other parents settled.
Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper Safety
There was a safety alert by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on the rising cases of infant deaths while using Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper. The report showed that the fatalities were due to infants rolling over and had to sleep on their stomach, posing a risk due to restricted breathing. The report showed that the infants mostly affected are those above the age of three because it is at that stage that children do roll. There were only a few cases where fatalities occurred to infants who did not rollover. The compliance guidelines for the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper is that they should not be inclined to prevent the infants from rolling over. They should be manufactured for infants to be placed on their backs where there are low chances of rolling over. Therefore, the risks associated with rolling over are minimized. The observation made by the Consumer Product safety commission was that most manufacturers do not comply with the guidelines.
The commission said that the inclined Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper should be used for shorter periods, and during that period, you should supervise your child. Due to these risk factors, the CPSP advised that it would help if you restrain from using the Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper to prevent fatal incidents. Therefore it proposed that the manufacturer produce firm and flat baby products with an inclination of less than 5 degrees, which meets the standards. The proposal led to recalling the Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper with more than 10 degrees inclination.
After phasing out the 10 degrees inclined Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper, there was a proposal that other baby products could be manufactured as long as it complied with the regulatory standards set. Despite the guidelines being given, inferior products were still produced, which led to infants suffering injuries from their use. Fatalities cases were on the rise, and several lawsuits were filed for parents to compensate for the injuries caused to their infants.
How Your Case Will Qualify as a Class Action
To determine if your case and other victims are fit to be tried as a class action, some elements are considered. They are:
The Commonality of Your Cases
You and other victims must show some common legal facts that led to you filing the lawsuit. The general allegation raised by you and the other parents should be similar, how the suffering or injuries occurred, and the injuries or the suffering should be similar. If these aspects of commonality are achieved, then your case can qualify for a class action.
Adequacy of the Class Members
The representative of the class action should prove before the judge that he or she is doing it for their own sake and the interest of the absent members. The class representatives should show why they decided to have the case filed as a class action and not as a personal injury lawsuit. The representatives must prove that they did so to:
- Litigate separate actions.
- Show that you and the other victims found it a good idea to file the lawsuit together because it is a superior way to resolve an issue affecting many different people similarly.
- The allegation filed against a defendant is similar, and the settlement to be done is also similar. It shows a predominance in the cases filed.
The Typical Nature of the Cases
The judge will look at your interests and those of other victims to identify if you all have similar allegations against the manufacturer. Therefore, you and the other representatives should show some connections between your claim and those of the people absent.
There are some factors that the judge considers to decide if the lawsuit will be filed as a class action. For example, the geographic distribution of the parties involved. If many parents cannot be contacted due to distance, then the judge can have the case tried as a class action so that the few available can represent the rest.
If the judge decides that your cases are best resolved as a single case, you will all get notifications for the lawsuit's existence. It is at the same time that you will be notified about your rights during the trial. You and other class members have different options. You can decide to remain as part of the class members, opt-out, or remain part of the lawsuit but have your attorney represent you.
If you decide to remain, the case will proceed, and you will have it settled together with that of other parents. If you opt-out, it means that you will not receive any benefits that will be settled in the class action lawsuit. If you decide to retain your attorney, you will have the case follow the legal procedure to ensure fair compensation is done depending on the severity of your baby's injuries.
Class Action lawsuit Process
There are steps followed to enable you to file a Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper lawsuit. You should first mitigate the injuries as soon as possible. In mitigation, you first seek medical attention from a qualified pediatric, who will give you advice and treat your child to reduce the cases of fatalities. After treatment, you should gather any information that will be used as evidence during the trial. The information that will be crucial is the photos that show the severity of your child's injuries, medical documents and bills, and any other relevant information related to the incident. The process of filing a lawsuit and gathering information requires an attorney to guide you on the best way forward to ensure the settlement is done for you and other parents with similar claims.
A class-action lawsuit starts when you file a complaint. The filed complaint defines the proposed class and why you preferred to file the case as a class action. It is a mandatory requirement that if you want to file a class-action lawsuit, there has to be a similarity of the complaints. If your cases do not meet the criteria, the judge dismisses the class action complaints. The filing of the lawsuit will be made easy with the help of an attorney. The attorney will help in:
- Identifying the number of people with similar complaints
- Determining if you have already made the lawsuit
- Ensuring that the liable party will not have a loophole to escape the liability
- Determining if your case and that of the parents qualifies to be filed as a class action
- Identifying previous charges against the defendant
Before the judge certifies the class action lawsuit, a lead counsel and a lead plaintiff are chosen to represent the other class members. The two members will help determine the person responsible for filing the lawsuit on behalf of the other members.
Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
In filing the lawsuit, your attorney will start by drafting your complaints and other parents with similar complaints. The complaint will contain the injuries caused to their infants, your case's facts, and the class members.
Class Certification by the Judge
For your case to be officially considered as a class action, the judge has to approve. The judge will consider the number of people involved and the commonality of your babies’ injuries. If there are so many victims from different geographic regions, the judge may decide that your cases are tried as a single case, where there will be representatives on behalf of others. If the group is not large enough and the judge finds it impractical to file a single case, they will decide to have individual claims.
At this stage, your attorney will gather as much information as possible to ensure that he or she builds strong evidence to have your case settled. He or she will make use of different experts to prove the fault of the manufacturing company. The attorney will also gather information about the company, including any safety measures or any precautions to the use of Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper. For example, the designers may give crucial information regarding the product and share the risks associated with Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper, which the company may not have disclosed to you and other parents.
If your attorney can present enough evidence to prove the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper manufacturer's liability, then settlement will follow. However, there are cases where claims are settled without going through the court process. If you and the liable party agree to have the claim settled, you will agree on the amount to be compensated. The settlement, though, will have to be approved by the judge to ensure that you and other parents have received fair compensation for the injuries sustained by your infants.
If the settlement is not done, then the legal court procedure follows. You and the other representatives should testify, while others will act as witnesses for the case. Your attorney at this stage will also present the information gathered to prove the liability of the manufacturer.
Preliminary Approval of a Claim Settlement
Before a settlement is done, a confirmation for the number of people involved is done. At this stage, the information you should provide is the nature of compensation to the class members, details of the settlement, and any fees and costs incurred during the process.
Issuing of Settlement Notice
After the lawsuit is resolved, your attorney will notice the case conclusion and the compensation to be made. At times, some class members are not impressed with the compensation or may fail to collect their money. In that case, the compensation is awarded to an institution that deals with similar allegations, returned to the liable party, or you may be ordered to share with other present members.
When the settlement is given, a fairness hearing is held to determine if the compensation amount is reasonable, adequate, and fair. To make the determination, the court considers if:
- The compensation proposal was discussed at length.
- The lead counsels and the representatives fully represented the absent members.
- The settlement negotiations did the compensation equally.
- The compensation given is adequate.
Payment of Attorneys’ Costs and Fees
Your attorney deserves payment after the settlement is done because he or she contributed to your case's winning. As the members of the class action, you will make a payment to the attorney, and the judge will approve if the amount paid to the attorney is reasonable or not.
How You should Prove Negligence
As parents, there are different ways you can prove to the court that the manufacturer was negligent and that they should receive the compensation. One way to prove negligence is by presenting an argument that despite the manufacturer being aware of the defective product, it was still launched. It can be an excellent legal defense because it is a requirement that any person involved in the manufacturing business should ensure the safety of the products they are producing. They should ensure that no harm is caused to the product consumer; if it is used for the intended purpose. If there is a risk factor in the products being manufactured, the manufacturer should make you aware of that risk through a warning label or remove the product from the market.
Because of many disputes regarding product safety, proper product use, and product marketing, you can gather much information about their defectiveness, causes of injuries, and who to press charges against.
During the investigation process, your attorney can use the experts in consumer product safety, engineers, product designs, and product marketing to determine the dangers that the infants are exposed to while using the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper. The product safety experts will help determine whether the product was tested before releasing it to the market and whether it is safe for use by infants. Engineering and product design experts will help analyze the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper design to determine if it meets the cradle, cribs, and bassinets' regulations. The product marketing experts will give information about the warning of the product use if there is any. They will do so by checking whether the labels were detailed about the product use and if in the label, there were details on the possible risks you should expect, including the death of your child. The information will also help the attorney determine if the charges pressed against the manufacturer are valid.
If your attorney builds strong evidence for your case from the given information, you and other parents whose infants have been injured while using the Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper will successfully file a compensation claim and have your cases settled.
Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper Injuries and fatalities
The Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper usually positions the children at a 10 to 30-degree inclination. Due to the inclination, most infants roll and sleep on their stomachs. Therefore, they are exposed to risks such as:
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID)
- Neck injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Suffocation and
- Other complications that result from restricted breathing.
Compensation You will Receive for Your Child's Injuries
When filing for the lawsuit, there are specific complaints that you will file to describe the type of injuries caused to your child and the expectations from the court proceeding. The lawsuit may take a long time to settle because of different issues:
- Contacting all the class action members
- The process of hiring an attorney
- Choosing the representatives
- The process of filling the complaints and
- Case consolidation process.
In most cases, the settlement is done to cover the specific injuries and costs incurred. Therefore, you will be eligible to receive compensation for:
- The medical costs incurred to have your baby treated
- Burial and funeral expenses in case Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper causes death to your child.
- Transportation costs incurred during the recovery of your baby
- Pain and suffering and
- Any other cost related to your child
Factors that Challenge the Class Action Lawsuit
In every lawsuit, there are usually some challenges that occur along the way when the case is resolved. The challenges you will experience as you want to file a class-action lawsuit are:
Difficulty in Reaching the Right Audience
In a class-action lawsuit, all the members have to have some common issues regarding the injuries they want compensation for and against the same defendant. For example, a parent, you may be many of you whose infants have been injured or death has resulted from using the Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper. You will have to make some communication to have your cases filed as a single case. The challenge comes when not all parents are reached, and at times, there are those parents included in the lawsuit, but in a real sense, do not qualify to be class members. It therefore requires time and planning to get the right people to include in the lawsuit.
Convincing Victims to Become Class Action Members
The first step if you want to file a class-action lawsuit is to identify other class members. There are many victims with legal issues like yours. You want them to come together and have the claim settlement together because it will be easier to prove liability for the liable party. To do so, you will take time and effort to identify them and convince them to be part of the lawsuit. You have to explain to them the benefits of having your cases file together rather than filing it individually. You also have to explain the effectiveness of the class action lawsuit and what to expect from it.
Hiring an Attorney
Since a class action lawsuit involves different people with similar issues, it can be challenging to hire an attorney for all the members' interests. The reason being, most people have their attorney who they wish would represent them in their cases.
Some people and companies believe that filing a class action lawsuit is not the best way. Once you can connect with class members, you have to show the lawsuit's superiority and predominance nature to ensure that the members do not opt-out. You have to give logical and emotional reasons why class action will suit their claims.
Conflict of Interest
Some members believe that they should receive more than the rest due to the extent of injuries or suffering caused. For example, if Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper causes death to your child, while other infants get injuries, you expect to receive more. The settlement can, therefore, be challenging because everyone believes they suffer more than the others.
Choosing the Lead Counsel and Class Representatives
Not all members of the class action will be available to attend the trial. Therefore, there have to be some representatives to attend the trial on behalf of the other members. The representatives should be people who show a common interest in that; they will be fighting for the entire class's benefit and not for their good. Therefore, it can be challenging because members may not be familiar with each other and do not know who to trust.
Find A Rock ‘n Play/Baby Sleeper Injury Attorney Near Me
If your child or that of your loved one is injured or dies while using the Rock 'n Play/Baby Sleeper, do not handle the financial battle alone. You should work with a qualified and experienced attorney to file the lawsuit. The attorney will ensure that you and other parents receive fair compensation for the injuries caused to your child because they understand the legal procedure that is followed until a settlement for the claim is done. Call Consumer Alert Now today at 800-511-0747 for help in joining a class-action lawsuit.