Friday, December 19, 2008

Should Disney Be Liable for Pooh Bassinet Death?

The Chicago Tribune reports that "The family of a child who died this year in a Winnie the Pooh bassinet has sued the Walt Disney Co., alleging the company allowed sales of the bassinets despite a flawed design that had been linked to another baby's death a year earlier." The bassinet had a drop-down side for easy access, but the design created a gap where babies could slide through and hang to death. Only after a 6 month old baby died on Aug. 21 did the CPSC direct retailers to stop selling the bassinets, which were manufactured by Simplicity Inc. Disney's consumer products division licensed its Winnie the Pooh name and image to Simplicity, according to court records. The lawsuit "raises questions about a common practice in the nursery products industry: Are companies that license their names and characters to other manufacturers responsible when those products turn out to be deadly?"

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