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Controversial baby neck float product still for sale despite injuries, death

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Personal Injury

Many products designed for babies are designed to keep them safe. These include specialty car seats, cabinet locks, corner cushions and more.

But some items seemingly advertised as infant safety devices do more harm than help.

Such is the case with Otteroo and its baby “neck floats,” which the company claims help keep a baby’s head above water during bath or pool time. Marketed toward infants as young as two weeks old, both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have flagged the neck floats as unsafe – but Otteroo continues to sell them.

Last year, the FDA warned that using neck floats could lead to neck strain or injuries for a baby. The CPSC also issued a statement calling out Otteroo after a neck float caused a six-month-old baby to drown in 2020 and injured a three-month-old infant in 2022 after both had slipped through a hole in the floatation devices.

CPSC added that it had received 68 injury reports since Otteroo launched the neck floats in 2014.

Otteroo has responded to the accusations. The company founder said that the product’s labeling gives parents enough warning about the hazards of using the floats. The founder also commented that the infant died because the child was left unattended.

The company continues to sell the product and has sold 430,000 floats since its initial launch.

Can you file a lawsuit for a defective neck float?

Otteroo might claim that its products have sufficient warning labels. But does that absolve them of any fault if a neck float injures your child?

You might not be able to sue the manufacturer for a marketing defect because of the warning labels. But you may be able to hold the company responsible for a defect stemming from the product’s design. Through a lawsuit, you’ll have to prove that something faulty about the product’s design led to your child’s injury. You may also need to prove that an alternative design would’ve been safer.

Even if a manufacturer is unaware of the danger their products pose to consumers, you can still hold them responsible for any defect-related damages you or your family suffer.