As the staff at Levin & Perconti blogged about yesterday, more than 50 million Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds were recalled because of the risk that children may be strangled by the cords. ChicagoBreakingNews.com reported on something that you may not know – that a Chicago-area woman, Linda Kaiser of Elgin, led the fight for the product recall. The Elgin woman has been advocating for a recall since 2003, when she founded Parents for Window Blind Safety.
The Elgin woman’s story is every parent’s worst nightmare regarding product liability. Things that seem harmless in the home may not be. The Chicago-area woman’s baby daughter died after being strangled by one of the cords in 2002. While the mother initially believed the wrongful death was just a tragic freak accident, she soon heard from parents and public safety officials across the country telling stories of similar shade-related wrongful deaths. The blinds pose a strangulation threat if the lifting loop slides off of the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on it. A strangulation concern also exists if a child’s neck gets between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that five deaths and sixteen near-strangulations from Roman shades have been reported since 2006. Three deaths connected to roll-up blinds have been reported since 2001. Several major retailers are also participating in the recall. Consumers can get free retrofit kits for Roman shades and roll-up blinds online at www.windowcoverings.org.
To read more about the Elgin woman’s fight for the blind and shade product recall.