A products liability case study: drop-side cribs

A generation ago many Montana babies were brought home from hospitals and placed in brand new cribs in their nurseries. Often those cribs featured drop-sides that easily allowed parents to lift and lower one side of the structures to access their babies without reaching over the crib's upper edges. Though drop-side cribs were convenient and may have saved parents some wear and tear on their backs, they also presented the infants they contained with some serious products liability threats.

In particular, children were injured when the drop-sides of their cribs unhooked and fell on them, sometimes breaking bones and even causing death in some very unfortunate circumstances. Infants became trapped under the falling sides of their cribs, and while the causes of those accidents ranged from manufacturer defects to poorly worded instructions that led to assembly issues, the scope of danger presented by drop-side cribs led to their ban in 2011.

Drop-side cribs are a good example of how a common consumer product can present dangers to unassuming individuals. While few parents would knowingly choose products that could harm their kids, many selected drop-side cribs for their convenience and ease of use. Though not all users of drop-side cribs suffered harm the potential for babies to suffer death and injury led to their widespread prohibition.

Dangerous products may look safe, just as drop-side cribs looked safe to the parents who purchased and used them. However, when consumers suffer injuries the manufacturers of those dangerous products can be held liable for the harm suffered by victims. Individuals who have been injured by consumer products often have rights to seek compensation for their losses and personal injury attorneys who practice products liability law can help them pursue their legal rights to become whole.


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