A group of UK parents are looking to sue buggy maker Maclaren, claiming their children had their fingertips lacerated by Maclaren buggies.
More than 15 families have sought legal advice and are said to be seeking compensation. They claim Maclaren knew its buggies had hurt children and hadn’t taken onboard warning more could be injured.
The safety of Maclaren’s umbrella-fold buggies hit headlines in early November, when Maclaren USA announced a ‘recall’ of all umbrella-style buggies released since 1999. The ‘recall’ was in response to 12 children having their fingertips amputated after they were caught in the hinges where the buggies fold.
The USA ‘recall’ involved Maclaren issuing American customers and retailers with hinge covers, to help prevent the problem. A few days after this news, Maclaren agreed to provide free safety kits to worried British parents, too.
The UK families are now being represented by consumer lawyer Richard Langton. He says the injuries could have been prevented with better product warnings, reports the BBC.
“It’s not an obvious risk. It’s not something that every parent would realise and one of the biggest problems is that you just don’t expect this kind of thing to happen with a brand like this.
“Children are unpredictable and of course accidents happen but these parents are far from negligent and the most disgraceful thing is to say parents or users of the buggy are to blame,” said lawyer Richard Langton.
The Baby Products Association (BPA) has again stated its support for Maclaren’s products – products that meet and sometimes exceed safety standards in Europe and Britain.
“The assertion that this is solely a Maclaren issue is wholly inaccurate as any folding product must be treated with care and operated in accordance with the instructions.
“We hope that all parents will take extra care and consideration when operating any folding product when children are near,” a BPA spokesman said.
A statement from Maclaren said, ““Maclaren is committed to the safety of children. This is our singular mission and why we are recognised by authorities such as the BPA and UK Trading Standards for manufacturing safe products which meet or exceed rigorous standards for Nursery Products.
“We cannot comment on specific claims being investigated due to legal considerations, however, any reported incidents are immediately addressed by Maclaren with the utmost care.
“Maclaren recognises parents concerns and these fears are completely understandable. Maclaren has taken a proactive approach to ensure the safe operation of its products, both through the increased awareness of the potential for injury with all folding children’s products and the distribution of hinge covers as an extra measure of protection for Maclaren buggies. The feedback from parents around the world has affirmed Maclaren’s actions provide extra peace of mind.
“Parents expect a Maclaren buggy to be of the highest quality and safe for use. Our long safety record in use when the child is properly fastened in the buggy is why we are one of the most trusted names with parents around the world.
“We invite parents with any questions or concerns to contact Maclaren directly through our Customer Service Team on 01327 841320.”