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How safe is your Child’s Car Seat?

It is imperative to put your child in the safest car seat available. While technology has advanced over the past few decades, there are instances where a manufacturer puts profits ahead of a child’s safety.

One particular manufacturer, Evenflo, is facing various lawsuits over its “Big Kid” booster seat – said to be safe for children who weigh as little as 30 pounds.

Read the most recent lawsuit here.

Federal Safety Regulations:

The “Big Kid” booster seat is advertised as side-impact tested and that it “meets or exceeds rigorous federal testing regulations.” However, there are no federal requirements for side-impact testing of car seats and booster seats. This advertising is misleading and fosters a sense of false security regarding the products safety.

In the video below, it is apparent that the seat belt does not restrain the dummy properly – the shoulders and neck slip out from under the seat belt. Considering there are no federal requirements for testing these types of collisions, Evenflo made up its own test, and then passed itself. In its test, the only way to fail was if the child-sized dummy ended up on the floor or the booster itself broke into pieces.

Inside Knowledge

In a deposition, one of the top engineers for Evenflo testified that the company does not include any measurement or evaluation of injury criteria.

Furthermore, in internal emails, a marketing executive “vetoed” the idea of increasing the minimum weight requirement for the seat to 40 pounds.

Injuries sustained

Children who were under 40 pounds at the time of the car accidents sustained serious injuries, including internal decapitation. Internal decapitation is the breaking of the spinal cord without the loss of one’s head, breaking the essential nerves controlling the body.

For instance, one lawsuit was filed when a 5 year-old girl was involved in a side-impact collision while restrained in the “Big Kid” booster seat. The child’s shoulder slipped out of the seat belt and her chest and stomach jackknifed over the lap portion of her seat belt. Her head rotated downward and stretched her neck. She is now paralyzed from the neck down.

At Kimmel Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill, we specialize in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and product liability cases. If your child has been injured due to a defective car seat or booster seat, we may be able to help. For a free consultation, call 302-565-6100.


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