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Potentially deadly bean bag chairs recalled

Almost any kind of product can be dangerous if it is released into the stream of commerce with a serious defect. From defective automobiles to dangerous medications, there are any number of products that can become dangerous when quality control is compromised.

One does not normally think of furniture as an inherently dangerous category of product. Nonetheless, a popular furniture item is at the center a nationwide recall over a defect that has already caused two deaths.

At least 2 million bean bag chairs have been voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer. The bean bag chairs were sold at Wal-Mart, Bon-Ton and other major retail stores. Announced on August 22, the recall comes after two children, one a 13-year-old boy from Texas and the other a 3-year-old girl from Kentucky, were found dead inside bean bag chairs, suffocated after inhaling the foam beads used to stuff the chairs.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the voluntary standard in the industry is that bean bag chairs have closed or disabled zippers. This means that it is highly recommended that zippers on bean bag chains are nonfunctional, but it is not an absolute regulatory requirement. The recalled chairs, which came in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, were sold with functional zippers.

Even if a manufacturer did not violate a regulatory code in producing a dangerous product, those harmed by the product may have legal remedies to recover compensation. This bean bag chair recall goes to show that even items that do not seem to be dangerous on the surface can be deadly when they feature a design flaw.

The Morning Call, “Bean bag chairs recalled after deaths of two children,” Tracy Jordan, Aug. 22, 2014