Popular bassinet has strangled two babies: recall imminent
Newsday reported today that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a product warning on August 28, 2008, regarding bassinets manufactured by Simplicity, Inc. Apparently the CPSC has urged parents not to use the "close-sleeper/bedside sleeper" 3 in 1 and 4 in 1 convertible models. The bassinets contain metal bars more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart, which is the Federal Regulatory standard maximum and have reportedly led to the deaths of a 5-month old girl in Kansas and a 4 month-old in Missouri.
According to Newsday, the CPSC was forced to issue this alert because SFCA Inc, the company that purchased Simplicity in April of 2008, has refused to cooperate with the CPSC or to recall the bassinets. SFCA is an affiliate of Blackstree Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity fund. Babies R Us told Newsday that it immediately removed the bassinets from shelves after yesterday's alert. Consumers can call the CPSC hotline at 800-638-2772 or go to cpsc.gov.
We find it repulsive that the partners in the private equity firm have refused to alert consumers to this hazard and have been willing to risk the lives of untold additional infants as a result. Apparently, a regard for the lives of children would interfere with the profit "profile" that they visulaized at the time they purchased this business. There should be a special category of punitive damages for investors and executives who operate on this ethical level.