Maker of baby sleeping product fights federal rule, takes issue with being included in new safety standard

Posted at 5:23 AM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 14:58:04-05

Finnbinn, a manufacturer of 'Baby Box,' an infant sleep product, filed a lawsuit against the Consumer Product Safety Commission over the agency's new federal safety standard.

The federal rule, which takes effect on June 23 of 2022, impacts all products marketed or intended for infant sleeping.

Inclined sleepers will have to be tested to make sure the angle of the sleep surface is 10 degrees or lower. Additionally, flat sleeping products would be regulated under the rule like baby boxes and in-bed sleepers that aren't currently subject to any of CPSC's mandatory standards.

Finnbinn is arguing its product shouldn't be included in this federal rule.

The I-Team contacted the company and the founder pointed us to the website blog, where part of it reads:

"This vote effectively bans "flat sleepers" which they defined as any product intended for safe sleep that does not have legs or a stand. Finnbin's baby boxes do not have legs or a stand and, thus, falls into this category and will be banned (assuming no additional considerations) effective in the summer of 2022.

While Finnbin does support many of the elements of the CPSC's Final Rule addressing the known hazards of inclined infant sleepers, we believe the decision to include flat sleepers without any evidence suggesting that these products pose a hazard to children is arbitrary and capricious and will have unintended consequences to many families across the United States, particularly those in the lower socio-economic demographic. The reality of this ruling is that it will eliminate from the market nearly all infant sleep products below the $100 price point. We fear that lower income families will be disproportionately affected and encourage you to help provide a safe sleep environment to families in need, if you are able."

Consumer Reports along with the advocacy groups, the Consumer Federation of America and Kids In Danger, are urging the court to reject Finnbinn's lawsuit.

"What we're saying is, if there is a product out there marketed or designed for sleep, it has to meet minimum standards," said Oriene Shin, policy counsel at Consumer Reports.

Attorney Oriene Shin says her organization stands behind the CPSC's new rule. Consumer Reports spearheaded an investigation into the inclined sleeper by Fisher-Price called the Rock 'n Play, uncovering the product and related products were linked to nearly 100 infant deaths.

"When it comes to baby boxes, and it's not just this one product, it's making sure we don't have a future inclined sleeper debacle," Shin said.

The Finnbinn blog states " more than 80 years of distribution, we are not aware of a single injury or death as a result of the use of a baby box for infant sleep - an incredible track record for the infant sleep industry."

Shin told the I-Team 23 infant deaths are associated with unregulated flat sleep products.

"I can't say whether the infant deaths are connected to in-bed sleepers or baby boxes. I trust that they're giving you the right information when they say no infant deaths so far," Shin said.

"We understand that there may be products out there that may be safe, but what we're asking for is that they prove that they're safe," she added.

"The CPSC is open to reviewing future products that show that they are safe. So, this rule doesn't completely preclude a product from coming back on the market."

CPSC isn't commenting on this legal matter. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for next month.

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