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CPSC Urges Action as Lane and Virginia Maid Chests Linked to 14 Deaths

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to “immediately replace or remove” latches and locks on recalled Lane and Virginia Maid cedar chests. The chests have been linked to the deaths of at least 14 children.

Million of Dangerous Chests Remain Unfixed

According to a release, the CPSC originally recalled 12 million cedar chests manufactured by Lane and Virginia Maid in 1996 after noting that the automatically locking latches pose an entrapment and suffocation hazard to children. However, millions of these dangerous products remain unfixed.

Federal authorities state that between 1977 and 2015, 14 children have suffocated to death after becoming locked in the recalled chests. However, because the chests were initially manufactured in 1912, it is likely that additional deaths remain unrecorded.

The Lane Company and brand were recently acquired by United Furniture Industries, Inc. who is now distributing free replacement latches and locks to affected consumers.

Until a replace lock and latch is received, consumers should remove old style latches to eliminate the hazard.

Consumers should remember that in many cases, these recalled chests are handed down or purchased second-hand.

Child Choking, Suffocation, and Strangulation Statistics

The following statistics are provided by SafeKids USA:

  • In 2013, 1,268 children under the age of 19 died from airway obstruction injuries and suffocation.
  • Sadly, 77% of children who suffocated were under 12 months old and 60% were boys.
  • 819 children under the age of 1 died from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed and 155 died from choking on food or foreign objects.
  • Cribs and playpens are responsible for 20% of all nursery product-related injuries among children ages 5 and under.
  • An additional 24,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal suffocation or inhalation annually.
  • Button batteries are particularly dangerous because when they gets stuck in a child’s throat, saliva triggers an electrical current
    that causes a chemical reaction resulting in burns to the esophagus.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

If your child sustained a choking or strangulation injury due to someone else’s negligence or due to a defective or dangerous product, contact Thomas J. Henry. Thousands of children are injured each year after being choked or strangled by a defective product, unsafe toy, or due to the negligence of daycare or school staff. Let us help you and your child get justice and the compensation you deserve. Call our experienced child choking hazard attorneys today for a free case review.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review


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