Combi USA Recalls 33,000 Car Seats
Combi USA has recalled more than 33,000 child car seats after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined the car seats do not meet applicable safety requirements. The recall will affect three different models – the Corroco, the Zeus Turn, and the Zeus 360 – because their harness webbing fails to meet minimum breaking strength requirements. According to the NHTSA, in the event of a crash, a child in one of these seats may not be adequately secured, which would increase the risk of injury. All of the seats at issue were manufactured prior to December 2012.
Combi will notify registered owners of the car seats and provide free replacement kits to correct the defect with the harness. The recall will begin in February 2014. According to the website of the NHTSA, the seats may be used until the replacement kits are available.
This recall follows a recall in 2011 by car seat manufacturer Dorell, in which 800,000 car seats were recalled due to a faulty lock-and-release mechanism. The defects with the Dorell car seats prompted products liability lawsuits across the country, including a notable lawsuit in which the jury awarded $52 million in damages to a victim in Mississippi.
Maryland Law and Child Car Seats
A properly functioning car seat is essential for your child’s safety. In fact, car seats are required by Maryland law for children under 8 years of age or 4 feet 9 inches in height. This law took effect in 2012, replacing the previous law that used whether a child weighed more than 65 pounds as a benchmark for determining whether they should be placed in a car seat.
Under Maryland products liability law, a car seat manufacturer may be liable for any injuries caused by a defective car seat. An injured plaintiff must prove that they were the user or consumer of the car seat, that the defendant was the seller of the car seat, that the car seat was defective at the time of sale, that the defect with the car seat made it unreasonably dangerous to the plaintiff, and that the defect with the car seat caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Damages can include pain and suffering, medical damages, funeral expenses, and/or future lost earnings, which can be substantial in an accident involving a young child. Products liability lawsuits can be complex; however, attorneys at Bob Katz Law have experience with motor vehicle accidents involving defective child car seats, including a $2 million recovery in one case. The facts and results in each case will be different and if you have been in an automobile accident involving a defective child car seat, you should consult an attorney about your specific case.
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