Product liability expected in recall of 2.2 million bean bags?


Once known as the furniture of choice in college dorms and apartments, bean bag chairs have made their way into a lot of homes, including here in Pennsylvania. Many homes in Pennsylvania have one or more versions of the cushy and colorful pieces of furniture.

However, bean bag lovers may be shocked to hear the recent news that a specific brand of bean bag chair was to blame for two recent suffocation deaths. This sad case provides further evidence that when it comes to consumer products, even the most unassuming one can be dangerous.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, together with the manufacturer of these chairs, announced a voluntary recall of the bean bags after two children reportedly died after climbing inside the bags and suffocating. The children, aged 13 and 3 years old, respectively, climbed inside the bean bags by opening the zipper. They suffocated after they inhaled the foam beads that were inside the chairs. Both the 13-year-old boy was from and the 3-year-old girls were residents of other states.

The Ace Bayou Corporation voluntarily recalled 2.2 million of the bean bag chairs. The chairs, which could be bought in major retail stores like Bon-Ton and Walmart, were manufactured in China. According to the CPSC, the standards for bean bags require the products to either have disabled zippers or be closed entirely. The zipper of the recalled bean bag chairs were not disabled, which enabled the two children to enter them. Besides the recall, the company is encouraging consumers who bought the chairs to discontinue using them or call their office for further instructions.

As in the case of many product recalls, product liability lawsuits often follow deaths like these. While the bean bag chair recall has yet to result in legal action, Pennsylvanians who are in a similar situation should realize that they also have this option. A product liability lawsuit can sometimes result in accountability from the manufacturer as well as compensation for the plaintiff that can cover the damages made by the faulty product.

Source: The Morning Call, "Bean bag chairs recalled after deaths of two children," Tracy Jordan, Aug. 22, 2014

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