The mother of a Pennsylvania child who died in a shoulder-sling infant carrier has settled her lawsuit filed against the manufacturer of the carrier for $8 million. Anthoinette Medley, the mother of Nelsir Scott, and Infantino LLC, a maker of products for infants and babies, agreed to the settlement last month. The suit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas involved the SlingRider, an infant carrier manufactured by Infantino. It was reported that this product had been responsible for the deaths of three other babies. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the SlingRider was defectively designed and caused the suffocation death of the baby.
It was alleged further that in 2010, after recalling the product, Infantino admitted that the SlingRider presented a “risk of suffocation” when used with infants younger than 4 months. The Plaintiff also alleged that Infantino had not tested the SlingRider for safety before marketing and selling it and that Infantino falsely claimed compliance with industry standards in order to promote SlingRider sales.
When consumers posted complaints on various retailers’ websites, it was alleged that Infantino chose to ignore the “literally hundreds of negative reviews” detailing the product’s capacity to position an infant in a C-shape, a chin-to-chest position that limited the ability to breathe. It appears that Infantino failed to issue a recall until a fourth SlingRider-related death was reported, which was after the infant in this case died. Infantino contended that the SlingRider was designed to be worn by one person with only one sling and that the product instructions warned to that effect. The settlement consisted of an $8 million lump sum payment, with allocations to be made between survival and wrongful death claims. Alan M. Feldman, managing partner of the Philadelphia-based firm Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig represented Ms. Medley. He did a very good job in this case.
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