Yesterday's announcement that more manufacturers (Silver Cross, and phil&teds) are recalling dangerous baby buggies comes as no surprise, and I suspect will lead to reports of far more injuries to children.
About 12 months ago we were approached by a family whose daughter had been injured in a Maclaren buggy. They had heard that in America Maclaren had recalled buggies due to about a dozen injuries. However in the UK no such recall was required, according to Maclaren, as they had no evidence of injuries. A year later Maclaren face over 100 claims from children injured when their fingers got caught in the hinges. Although Maclaren have not admitted liability, we have negotiated a deal and are in the process of settling these cases with payments of full compensation. New claims are coming in at the rate of about one each month because the sharp trapping point still exists on hundreds of thousands if not millions of buggies sold previously, and still in use. Maclaren have offered a free hinge cover, but few buggies that I see in the street have them fitted.
We are already aware of other folding pushchairs and buggies being capable of causing injury, and whilst recalls are desirable they come too late for those already injured. I suspect there are many more cases out there. We need to know about them to help other claimants and to force a recall. At present manufacturers can claim every injury is an isolated incident.
Richard Langton is Practice Group Leader of our Group Litigation team, and is based in Slater and Gordon's Birmingham office. He is incredibly experienced in faulty product cases, most notably acting as lead solicitor for the toxic sofa rash litigation.
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