Nearly 17 million American households with children under 6 have defective window blinds with potentially deadly cords.
Recently, Carr and Carr represented a 3 year old girl who suffered a traumatic brain injury after becoming entangled by window blind cords that were defective and unreasonably dangerous. We prosecuted her case against the window blind company for designing and selling the product despite the fact that it was unreasonably dangerous. The $15.5 million settlement we secured will pay for her to have 24 hour nursing care, an ADA compliant house and access to medical care that will help her reach her maximum potential.
Injuries and deaths from window blind cords send two kids to the emergency department each day. While the cords dangling from your window blinds may not seem like a risky item, for small children, they can pose the risk of strangulation or serious injury. Nearly 17 million American households with children under 6 have window blinds with potentially deadly cords, according to industry records. Since 1973, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Journal of the American Medical Association linked the deaths of at least 768 children to these dangerous cords. Many of these blinds are defective and have been recalled.
Why are window blinds so dangerous?
The number one reason that window coverings, especially blinds, can be dangerous is since they are a strangulation hazard. With roll-up blinds, strangulation can occur if the lifting loops in the inner part of the blind slide off the sides of the blind, then a child’s neck can get tangled on the loop or between the lifting loop and the blind. In Roman shades, a child can be strangled if his neck gets between the exposed inner cord and the decorative fabric on the back side of the blind, or when the cord is pulled out and accidentally gets wrapped around a child’s neck. Cord strangulation is especially dangerous because kids can become entangled incredibly quickly, and without a sound, much like drowning. Most of these incidents happen when children are laid down for naptime and are not being supervised. These blinds and cords do not have to be close to the ground either. Most children are laid down for a nap in their crib or a bed, getting them higher and closer to the cords.
Is the Window Blind Manufacturer liable for my child’s injuries or death?
Window blind manufacturers have known for decades that window blinds are pose an unreasonable risk of injury or death. However, they chose not to adopt simple safety devices that could reduce or eliminate the risk of injury and death. For example, a common way children strangle themselves in window blinds is by putting their head through a loop in the pull cord. A break away tassel can eliminate this hazard by causing the cord to collapse if there’s too much weight being forced down. Unfortunately, many window blind companies did not adopt or were slow to adopt break away tassels in their products. Another common way children injure themselves is by wrapping the pull cord around their neck. These injuries and deaths could have been prevented had window blind companies adopted cordless technology long before it became mandated.
What specific design design defects are found in window blinds?
- Cord Connector: Many window blinds have two or more cords coming down from the top of the headrail and meeting at a cord connector/cord joiner. This forms a loop above the cord connector allowing a child to put their head into the loop and potentially hanging him or herself. A break away tassel device, if included with the product, can eliminate or substantialyl reduce the risk of this type of injury. However, many window blind manufacturers have inexplicably chosen not to include this device with their products.
- Inner Cords: Some children become entangled in the window blinds’s inner cords. This can be prevented if the window blind is equipped with a functioning cord stop.
- Looped Pull Cord: A pull cord is the cord that you pull down to make the blind go up. Some pull cords end with a loop at the bottom. This obvious design defect allows a child to put their head through the loop potentially strangling themselves. This is a known hazard to the window blind manufacturers.
- Cords Wrap Around: Some children wrap dangling pull cords around their necks. This can be prevented if window blind manufactures have sold cordless blinds instead. Cordless blinds have been available since the 1980s but the window blind manufacturers chose not to adopt the technology until the late 2000s.
What can I recover from the window blind manufacturer if my child was injured or killed?
If your child was injured by being strangled by a window blind cord, we will seek to recover compensation for the child and the child’s caregivers. This compensation includes money for pain and suffering, past and future medical care, lost future earnings and potentially punitive damages. If your child did not survive his or her strangulation, then we would seek compensation for the child’s pain and suffering, and money for the grief and loss of companionship suffered by the child’s parents.
In addition to receiving compensation, it is our hope that holding window blind manufacturers responsible will help change the industry into making safer window blinds.
Carr and Carr Can help you and your family receive compensation.
Carr and Carr has represented individuals against window blind manufacturers. We will continue to fight for families whose children have been killed or harmed by window blind cords. It is important that these families receive compensation for the death or injury and suffering they have gone through.
If your child has been injured or killed due to strangulation from cords on roll-up blinds or Roman shades, contact the our window blind attorneys. Our offices are located in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but we work with families across the country in multiple states. Please call us at 1-866-510-0580 or email us today for a free consultation to see if we can help.
Also, remember time limits called “statute of limitations” are in effect for filing law suits. The time limit and other regulations are different in each state, so talk with the personal injury attorneys at Carr & Carr as soon as possible to learn what options your family has. If you want to preserve your legal rights, you must file appropriate law suits before the time limits expire.