The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has filed a complaint against a children’s product manufacturer claiming its baby recliners were responsible for the deaths of five infants.

In a press release announcing its suit, the commission says Pennsylvania-based Baby Matters’ Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill foam-rubber recliners designed for sleeping, resting and playing have defects in “design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants.” The complaint seeks an order requiring that Baby Matters notify the public of the defects and offer full refunds to consumers.

The CPSC says five babies’ deaths have involved Nap Nannies. The commission also has received more than 70 other incident reports of babies nearly falling out of the product.

“My heart goes out to the parents and families of children who are injured or lose their lives in incidents associated with consumer products,” CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord said in a statement.

In a statement responding to the CPSC’s suit, Baby Matters Owner Leslie Gudel said “the fact that infants have died ‘while using’ the Nap Nanny improperly, such as when used in a crib where the child could suffocate on a crib bumper or a blanket, does not mean our product caused the child’s death or is hazardous.” She added that “Nap Nanny went to great lengths to make the safest product possible.” 

Baby Matters recalled an earlier version of the Nap Nanny in July 2010. The company offered consumers $80 coupons toward the purchase of a newer model, which had improved instructions and warnings.

Read CNN and Reuters for more information.

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