Can my friend sue the mattress company if the baby died from the chemicals in the mattress? 22 Answers as of June 07, 2013

My friend's 4 month old baby died from SIDS a few days ago because of the baby's crib mattress having dangerous "flame retardant" chemicals in it even though the government made it a law to have these chemicals in all mattresses. Can she still sue the mattress company?

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Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
It is possible, but if the government cleared the chemicals you will have to prove the chemicals were dangerous or in dangerous levels. There may be some preemption problems also. I would contact a high level products firm.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/14/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
There may be a potential claim. Have your friend call my office, as soon as she is able. Preservation of evidence is critical. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/9/2011
Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
Yes.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/7/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Yes, if you can prove the causation.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 9/8/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
If your friend could prove the connection between the chemicals and the death of her baby, then there could potentially be a claim there. Product liability cases require expert witnesses who can identify a defect and establish causation between the defect and the injury or death. If a doctor or someone else with the proper qualifications to form an opinion has already told your friend that the chemicals were to blame, that would be a very good start in proving the case. Your friend should consider talking to a lawyer who could help you friend determine whether the chances of success are sufficient to consider making a claim against the manufacturer. There may be other avenues of recovery as well that your friend has not considered. Wrongful death cases in Florida generally must be filed two years after the death (there are exceptions but it is better to consider it a hard deadline until a lawyer tells you otherwise), and a claim of this complexity would require time to work up so your friend should talk to a lawyer right away if she wants to consider a claim.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/17/2012
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If it can be proven that the mattress chemicals led to the death of the infant, a lawsuit can be brought.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Yes, if there is negligence on the part of the manufacturer of the mattress and, that negligence was the proximate cause of the baby's death. Your friend should consult with or retain a plaintiff's product liability lawyer for legal advice and legal representation.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    The manufacturer and seller of a product can be held liable for injuries caused by a defect of the product. Your friend would have to prove that there was a defect in the design or manufacture of the product, or that they failed to adequately warn you of potential hazards, which resulted in the child's death. As for the government regulations, there may be a conflict: it is likely that flame-retardant chemicals are required, but it is possible that specific chemicals are not mandated. There may be other regulations that state that hazardous chemicals are not allowed, or that there are limits on the level, etc. One thing to remember, though: unfortunately, the causes of SIDS are not well understood and your friend would have to prove that the chemicals were the cause
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    This is a specialized area of law for products liability. Search for attorneys that handle products liability cases and they should be able to answer your questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    If the government requires the mattress company treat all baby mattresses with the chemicals which allegedly caused the death, then the mattress company cannot be held liable. Had the mattress company not treated the mattresses with the chemicals, then the government would have likely fined the manufacturer or penalized them in a worse way. There is no liability on the mattress company according to your facts.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. They use SIDS to classify deaths of infants where the cause of death is unknown. If you can prove the chemicals caused the death, then yes, there would likely be grounds for a lawsuit. However, there would need to be evidence; it can't just be on a hunch. Like most lawsuits, it would be extremely dependent on the facts and evidence. The first thing you should do is google the manufacturer of the mattress to see if there are any lawsuit already out there.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Law Office of Mark P. Miller | Mark Miller
    This is a products liability issue, not a personal injury case (auto accident, slip and fall, dog bite). Hopefully someone who is familiar with that area will respond.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Possibly if you can prove it was the chemical that caused the death.depends on many factors. Speak to a lawyer in person.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    That contention might be difficult to prove. When you sue somebody, you have the burden of proving your claim by a preponderance of the evidence. If you can prove the manufacturers were negligent and put an unreasonably hazardous product on the market, maybe they would pay what they owe.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I don't think so. But don't give up. Maybe another lawyer will disagree with me.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Yes, however you would have to prove the chemicals were the cause of the SIDS event.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Maybe but tough to prove. Depends on what medical records show cause of death and whether they relate it to mattress .
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    If the government required them to have these chemicals by law it is a complete defense. If the chemicals were not required you need a doctor to testify that the chemicals caused the SIDS.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    You must have irrefutable, scientific evidence that the chemicals 1) were present in the mattress, and 2) that the chemicals caused the baby's death. That means at least one doctor and one expert in the manufacture of baby mattresses. If you have that kind of proof, then yes, she can.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/8/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    I am sorry to hear of this tragic accident. It is possible that your friend has a claim for the baby's death. Your friend should contact an attorney and obtain a certified copy of the child's death certificate. That will specify the child's cause of death.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that they consult with attorneys as soon as possible. One of the clear key issues will be whether causation can be proven, i.e. whether the chemical caused the death. Best wishes and God bless.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/7/2011
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