Can a company sue a parent for being stupid and improperly using their products? Not likely…and that is a shame.
Not long ago I wrote about a group of parents who tried to sue MySpace because their kids became involved in one way or another with a sex predator. My favorite quote in that story from MySpace amounted to “if the child had been contacted by the predator by phone, would you be suing the phone company?”
Then, this past weekend, one of my wife’s girlfriends forwarded an article from CNN about Bumbo recalling a million of their seats due to infants falling out and sustaining head injuries. After reading through the article I was disgusted to figure out that Bumbo was voluntarily recalling all of these seats because of user error. Ignorant parents were placing their kids in a Bumbo that was up on a counter or table-top (and then – I can only guess – leaving them unattended). To this I say, shame on the stupid parents and not shame on the product. Having purchased one and having used it like crazy, it is still one of my favorite products! I had my daughter in it all the time, and I too placed it on elevated surfaces (though I know for a fact that it is written on the box that you should not do this). The difference is that I was right next to her and/or watching over her every second she was in the Bumbo, and the moment it looked as though she was unstable or might fall over or out of the seat, I either took her out of it, or placed it back down on the floor.
If she HAD fallen out and gotten hurt, then double dumb-ass on me for not paying closer attention. In no way shape or form should Bumbo be held accountable for my ignorance. And yet here they are voluntarily recalling a million seats until they can more clearly mark the packaging and product itself with clear and explicit warnings about placing the Bumbo on elevated surfaces.
And do you know what? It won’t matter, because some dumbass is going to do it anyway, their kid is going to get hurt, and they’re going to sue Bumbo for their own ignorance, and they’ll probably win…
When oh when are people going to learn (probably never) that these types of products are not a substitute for actual parenting??? <link>