Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed For Mini-Blind Death in Macomb County
On October 19, 2011, the one year old girl was found entangled in the mini-blind cord near her bed. She tragically died due to strangulation injuries. A police investigation found no wrongdoing on behalf of the parents of the girl.
The subject window mini-blinds had a loop cord without any protective devices to prevent injuries to children. Simple safety devices are readily available to prevent this type of injury from other occurring. Other window mini-blinds in the apartment had a wand to control the mini-blinds and others had cords that were designed so that strangulation could not occur. Simple and inexpensive childproofing devices have been readily available for some time, but the apartment complex did not furnish them to the tenants.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that one child a month suffers an accidental strangulation (http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia05/os/webreport1.pdf ) because of mini blind cords. There were 79 fatal incidents associated with window covering products reported to CPSC from January 1996 through December 2002, for which in-depth investigations could be completed. While there have been industry recalls for these products and retrofit safety devices have been widely recommended, the fact remains that there are millions of these deadly products still present in homes and apartments throughout the United States.
We filed a lawsuit under the Michigan Wrongful Death Statute seeking all damages permissible under Michigan law for the family members surviving this tragic death. The lawsuit does not allege product liability claims against the manufacturer or distributor of the mini-blinds at this time, but they may be added to the suit at a later date when more information and detail regarding those companies becomes known through the course of discovery.
The lawsuit was recently filed and the parties will soon engage in extensive discovery of the facts relevant to the case. There have been no hearings in court to date. A demand for trial by jury has been made but no trial date has been set by the court.