Fifteen UK families are suing Maclaren for compensation following injuries they claim their children have sustained from Maclaren pushchairs.
The families claim their children caught a finger in the hinge mechanism of a Maclaren buggy, and that the finger tip was damaged. All the buggies involved had a ‘umbrella’ folding mechanism.
Some of the families claim that they contacted Maclaren at the time of their children’s injuries, and that they did not receive an adequate response from the manufacturer.
Maclaren pushchair legal case
Richard Langton, the lawyer representing the UK families suing Maclaren said: ‘Despite Maclaren’s claims that there is no issue with their products in the UK, I have seen and spoken to a number of parents now whose children have suffered a lifetime injury from using something that is specifically designed to be used for small children.
‘To protect children from further incidents like this, we believe that it is imperative that trading standards officers take action and demand a product recall from the manufacturer and the retailers involved.
‘In many cases it seems that those issuing complaints directly to Maclaren have been informed that there is no product fault and that the incident was isolated. As such, it is unclear as yet as to the scale of the problem in the UK, so we urge anyone who may have been affected by this product to come forward.’
Which? Legal Service
Peter McCarthy, lawyer from Which? Legal Service, said of the case: ‘The Consumer Protection Act 1987 makes producers “strictly liable” to anyone that is harmed as a result of a defect in a product. If a product is found to be defective and that defect causes harm, the individual would be able to claim compensation for the injuries they have suffered.
‘It’s possible that the families suing Maclaren will be trying to prove that their Maclaren buggies were defective.’
Maclaren pushchair recall
Last month Maclaren issued warning labels, and fabric covers to US consumers to help prevent fingers being trapped in some Maclaren pushchairs. In the US this is considered to be a product recall.The move was prompted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission after 12 American children suffered finger injuries involving Maclaren pushchair hinges.
Initially Maclaren did not make the fabric covers available to buggy owners in the UK. But after calls from Which? and pressure from buggy owners the covers have now been made available. Parents and carers in the UK can obtain fabric hinge covers for affected pushchairs by contacting Maclaren.
Maclaren pushchair safety alert
Read our Maclaren pushchair safety alert Q&A for full details of the US Maclaren pushchair recall and what it means for UK Maclaren pushchair owners.
Parents should always ensure their child is well away from any hinges or folding parts when folding or unfolding a pushchair. The chance that children will trap their fingers in the folding hinge applies to all pushchairs that use an umbrella folding mechanism, and not just those from Maclaren.
Lizzy Ruffles, Which? pushchair expert, said: ‘Parents should consider the folding hinge on a pushchair in the same way they would the hinge of an opening and closing door. Inevitably a product that folds in this way will carry some risk to children.
‘Which? tests pushchairs extensively at an independent laboratory, to find out which pushchairs performed well enough to be considered a Best Buy. If you want to buy a pushchair which doesn’t have an umbrella folding mechanism, our pushchair reviews can show you those that don’t.’
Which? RSS news and Twitter feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml into your newsreader. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.