Illinois Attorney General Sues Distributor of Recalled Cribs

October 31, 2008

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a crib distributor for allegedly ignoring a nationwide recall of bassinets that can cause babies to suffocate.

Madigan criticized federal regulators Wednesday for failing to take aggressive action against SFCA Inc.

“Our investigation revealed that SFCA continued to distribute recalled products that posed serious risks to children,” Madigan said in a statement. “I will not allow this company to wash its hands of responsibility to Illinois families.”

The Associated Press could not reach SFCA or its attorneys.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission first announced on Aug. 28 that Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Toys “R” Us Inc., Kmart Corp., Big Lots, Target, J.C. Penney recalled Simplicity Inc. bassinets after the strangulation death of at least one baby. Other retailers have followed.

SFCA purchased the assets of Reading, Pa.-based Simplicity earlier this year. It has said that it is not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity.

Madigan’s lawsuit seeks a recall that SFCA would publicize in newspapers statewide. It also seeks a refund for retailers.

Madigan criticized the product safety commission for allowing manufacturers to respond to recalls by issuing repair kits. She also said the commission’s recall notices are unnecessarily complicated and confusing for consumers.

“Ensuring the safety of infants and toddlers in their crib or bassinet is at the heart of CPSC’s mission and work,” commission spokesman Scott Wolfson responded in a statement. “CPSC has repeatedly communicated with parents and caregivers about how to ensure a child’s nursery is safe and how to respond to the two largest crib recalls and the largest bassinet recall in CPSC’s history, which were announced during the past year.”

Madigan said she has compiled a consumer guide to dangerous cribs and play yards that parents can download from her Web site.

On the Web:

Received Id 1189214281 on Oct 29 2008 20:39

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