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How Many Injured Victims Does It Take Before Corporations Act Responsibly?

06/27/2007
Blog
BY

I guess you have to hand it to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who announced the recall of Evenflo Embrace infant car seat/carriers.

In a joint press release on May 10 (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov), the two public safety watchdog agencies said that “in cooperation with Evenflo,” approximately 450,000 infant seats were included in the recall. The problem: when the handle releases “unexpectedly,” babies inside fall to the ground and “suffer serious injuries.”

I have to wonder, just how many babies must to fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries before a recall is authorized. The answer: Evenflo received 679 reports, resulting in 160 injuries, including a skull fracture, two concussions, cuts, scrapes and bruises. Evenflo’s recall avoiding remedy for this safety hazard was a repair kit to strengthen the handle latch.

Amid the media hype about multi-million dollar lawsuits and the fabricated reasons why limits should be placed on damages awarded to victims, there is very little discussion of two critical questions: First, just what is the value of the life of an infant who “falls to the ground and suffers serious injuries” because companies cut corners on safety? Second, the larger question: Other than the treat of serious damages that affect their bottom line, what will it take to get Big Corporations to take public safety seriously?

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