When parents are purchasing products for their children, many will do their research on the company and its product. Most parents will only consider products that are manufactured by well-known manufacturers and will check out reviews, as well as any safety testing the company conducted before making the product available to consumers.
Evenflo is one of the largest manufacturers of infant and children products. One of the products they are well-known for is their car safety seats. Recently, it was discovered that one of their products – Big Kid Booster Seat – may not be as safe as the company touted them to be.
On the company’s website, Evenflo promised their Big Kid Booster Seats were “side-impacted” tested. The company promised the tests they conducted were rigorous and carefully simulated realistic side-impact crashes. What the company didn’t tell consumers was that their tests showed a child seated in one of these booster seats could be in grave danger in a side-impact crash.
Side-impact crashes are less common than head-on crashes, however, they are more dangerous because of there is only a door that separates the passenger from the impacting vehicle. More than 25 percent of children killed each year in car accidents die in side-impact crashes.
In the tests that Evenflo conducted, internal company documents and testing videos obtained by ProPublica reveal that when child-size crash dummies were placed in Big Kid Booster Seats and then subjected to a side-impact crash, the dummies were thrown far out of their shoulder belts. This type of defect could result in catastrophic injuries to a child, causing damage to their head, neck, or spine. Many of these injuries can be fatal.
Despite all the dire evidence to the contrary, the company gave their Big Kid Booster Seats a passing grade for side-impact crash safety. They even added side wings – curved extension protruding from the backrest of the booster seat – to give the perception to the consumer that there was increased side protection, even though these wings did not offer any increased protection.
According to the authors of the investigation that uncovered this evidence, “The company’s test bar was so low, the only way to fail was if the child-seized dummy ended up on the floor or the booster itself broke into pieces.”
During their investigation, ProPublica was able to obtain multiple years’ worth of side-impact crash video, multiple transcripts of sworn depositions from employees of the company, and marketing materials that contained pinpointed business objectives regarding the Big Kid Booster Seat. More than 18 million of these seats have been sold thus far.
Tragically, Evenflo continued to sell this product to consumers even though the company was aware of the possible dangers to smaller children. The company has faced multiple lawsuits where children suffered catastrophic injuries including one accident where the child suffered a traumatic brain injury and two other separate accidents where the children suffered internal decapitation.
Recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for young children and car safety seats is that all children should remain in a rear-facing seat until they are two years of age and in forward-facing seats with a harness until they exceed the height and weight limitations. Children should not be placed in a booster seat until they are at least 40 pounds and should stay in a safety seat until they are at least 65 pounds.
Let Our Injury Law Firm Help
If your child has suffered injury or loss as a result of a defective product, we recommend contacting a Carolinas personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With the assistance of an experienced, aggressive, and proven lawyer, the negligent manufacturer will be held responsible for the injuries and damages their product caused.
If you are interested in discussing your options with North Carolina defective product attorney, contact Shapiro & Appleton today. Our legal team has more than 30 years of legal experience advocating for injured victims and their families and will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call our office today at 800-752-0042 to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.