Attention Parents: HearthSong Sturdy Indoor/Outdoor Rope Ladders Can Cause Serious Injuries or Death to Children Who Use Them

Most children’s products are advertised in such a way as to lead parents to believe the products are both well-manufactured and safe for children’s normal and intended use. In addition, comments posted on manufacturers’ websites by people who have purchased products may add credence to already misleading or inaccurate manufacturer representations. Parents who have not experienced the tragedy of seeing their children injured or killed by a particular product may rave online about the product’s quality, safety, and durability, and the fun it has provided for their children. The sad truth is that until a child is severely injured or killed by such a product, consumers may naturally and reasonably continue to believe in the product’s safety.

hearthsong rope ladder recallSturdy Indoor/Outdoor Rope Ladders sold by Hearthsong and manufactured in China are a prime example of such a product. Hearthsong ladders come in single-ladder and triple-ladder styles. The 6-foot single ladders are advertised on Hearthsong’s website to be constructed of smooth-sanded maple-wood rungs and sturdy rope, to hold up to 125 pounds, and to be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use by children aged 4 and older. The 6-foot tall and 3-foot wide Triple-Wide Climbing Ladders are advertised to be crafted with smoothly sanded, weather-resistant maple-wood rungs and durable rope, to offer years of indoor or outdoor climbing enjoyment for one child or three, to hold up to 250 pounds, and to be suitable for children aged 4 and older.

Despite these confidence-inspiring advertisements, however, as described below, children’s ladders can cause serious injuries or death to the children who use them. Child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has extensive experience with a great variety of child-injury cases, including those arising out of injuries and deaths caused by dangerous and defective toys or other children’s products. If your child has been injured or killed as a result of a defective toy or other product, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. Contact attorney Killino and his team of Child-injury lawyer and paralegals for additional information about your legal rights and options.

Note: If your child has been injured by one of these rope ladders, preserve the ladder in its current state so that a child-injury attorney can address the issues of product preservation and testing for purposes of a defective-products action.

Why Are HearthSong Indoor/Outdoor Rope Ladders Dangerous to Children’s Safety?

HearthSong rope ladders (specifically, those of the single-ladder style) have been found to be dangerous by experts who have tested them. In a nutshell, the ladder rungs were found to have been made with a wood that is inadequate to sustain a child’s weight and that can deteriorate over time, particularly with outdoor use. In addition, consumers were not warned of the rungs’ potential for breakage, which can result in a child’s fall from up to a 6-foot height. A child’s fall from a 6-foot height can easily cause serious injury or death, even when the child falls onto a padded surface. These are warnings that were not, but should have been, included with these HearthSong ladders.

Specifically, the wooden rungs of the ladders were made with wood of a type unsuitable for use in such a product. Rather than using wood with the straight grain necessary to sustain a child’s weight, the manufacturer used Maplewood with a spiral grain, which is inadequate to support the required load. HearthSong’s manufacturer also failed to cure and treat the wood (which was not naturally resistant to outdoor use), rendering the rungs unsafely susceptible to breaking and failing with outdoor use. These ladders were also rendered defective as a result of HearthSong’s failure to warn consumers of the danger posed by ladder rungs made with the inadequate wood and to instruct consumers to have the rungs treated to protect against that danger.

Legal Liability for Injuries and Deaths Caused by Product Defects

When a product contains defects in its design, manufacture, or warnings, those involved in the line of production and distribution between the designer and the consumer can be held liable under product-liability law for injuries or deaths sustained through the consumer’s use of the product in an intended and/or foreseeable manner. A child who uses a rope ladder, for instance, in any reasonably foreseeable manner (including climbing the ladder, sitting on the ladder’s top rung, swinging from the ladder, or playing on it in any other way in which children tend to play) may be entitled to damages for injuries sustained as a result of a ladder defect.

Any one or more of the types of defects discussed above may be found to have rendered a particular rope ladder defective and to have caused a child’s injury or death. Thus, a child injured by a HearthSong single indoor/outdoor play ladder due to a fall caused by the breakage of the ladder rung on which the child’s weight was placed may be entitled to recover damages suffered as a result of the injury from HearthSong, its Chinese manufacturer, and any other entity involved in the ladder’s design, production, and distribution, including the wood supplier, the ladder assembler, and the wholesaler and retailer of the ladder. In the case of these particular ladders, the defects resulting in such liability may be in the ladder’s design or manufacture as well as in its warnings. Thus, the injured child may be entitled to damages as a result of the design or manufacture of the product with wood not naturally suitable for outdoor use, the failure to treat and cure wood not naturally suitable for outdoor use, the design or manufacture of the product with wood insufficient to sustain the weight of a child, and the failure to warn consumers of any of these defects or dangers and to instruct them regarding any steps that might be taken to protect children from these dangers.

Obtain Expert Assistance from Child-injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino

Child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has received national recognition for his aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of children who have been injured by medical malpractice, other negligence, or dangerous and defective products and his expertise with child-injury cases. His cases have been reported on major television networks such as CNN, ABC, FOX, and the Discovery Channel, including one that led to an order compelling Mattel, Inc., to provide free lead testing to children who may have been exposed to Chinese-manufactured Mattel toys containing excessive levels of lead. Contact attorney Killino for experienced, compassionate, and expert assistance with your defective-products or other child-injury case.