Lots of Huntsville runners with young children both race and train while pushing jogging strollers. It’s a great way for active parents and children to enjoy the outdoors together while getting in the miles. Alarmingly, one stroller manufacturer, Britax Child Safety, Inc. (BOB Gear), is facing a federal lawsuit and complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission about the wheels coming off its strollers, injuring approximately 100 children and adults. The company is marketing these costly, rough-terrain stroller models as IRONMAN, IRONMAN Duallie, IRONMAN Sport Utility Stroller, among other brands, as noted below.
Excerpts of the 2019 lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for The District of South Carolina:
Defendant designs, manufactures, and sells “child safety technology,” including car seats and stroller.
Defendant markets itself and its products as “high-quality,” “innovative,”“revolutionary,” “beyond ‘good enough,’” “pushing boundaries,” and “driving safety standards to ensure children have never been better protected on the move.” [https://us.britax.com/why-britax/about-us/]
In 2011, Defendant acquired BOB Gear, a company which also designed, manufactured, and sold car seats and stroller. Defendant assumed all assets and liabilities of BOB Gear and is the successor to BOB Gear.
Defendant continued to design, manufacture, and sell BOB Strollers since their acquisition in 2011.
BOB Strollers at issue were manufactured and imported between 1997 and September 2015. Approximately 493,000 strollers were manufactured and imported between December 2011 and September 2015, and an unknown number of strollers were manufactured and imported before that time. BOB Strollers are also sold on secondary markets. [https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/recall/lawsuits/abc/049–2018-11-09%20Consent%20Agreement.pdf]. BOB Strollers are sold at retail from $350 to more than $500.
BOB Strollers are designed and marketed to be suitable for jogging and for use in rough terrain. BOB Strollers are notable for their large front wheel. The front of the stroller has a “fork” which holds the front wheel with an axle. The axle is attached to the fork with a “quick release” mechanism that allows the user to easily remove the front wheel.
The axle, axle fork, and/or axle quick release (“front wheel assembly”) of the BOB Strollers are defectively designed and/or manufactured, allowing use of the stroller without the front wheel being properly secured. Because of the defect, the wheel may detach unexpectedly. When the front wheel detaches, the stroller may tip over or the fork may dig into the ground in front of the stroller, causing injuries to children in the stroller and/or the person pushing the stroller. At high speeds or in rough terrain—conditions in which the stroller is designed and marketed to be used—injuries may be more serious.
BOB Strollers at issue include, without limitation, the following models: IRONMAN, IRONMAN Duallie, IRONMAN Sport Utility Stroller, Revolution, Revolution 12”AW, Revolution CE, Revolution Duallie, Revolution Duallie 12” AW, Revolution FLEX, Revolution FLEX Duallie, Revolution PRO, Revolution PRO Duallie, Revolution SE, Revolution SE Duallie, Sport Utility Stroller, Sport Utility Stroller D’Lux, Sport Utility Stroller Duallie, Stroller Strides, Stroller Strides Duallie, Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller, Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller Duallie (hereinafter collectively referred to as “BOB Strollers” or “Strollers”).
At least 200 reports of the defect, accounting for approximately 100 injuries to children and adults, have been submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since 2012. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/after-hundreds-of-crashes-this-britax-jogging-stroller-faced-recall-then-trump-appointees-stepped-in/2019/04/02/faf23c20-4c06-11e9-b79a-961983b7e0cd_story.html]
Injuries to children have included “a concussion, injuries to the head and face requiring stitches, dental injuries, contusions and abrasions.” Injuries to adults have included “torn labrum, fractured bones and torn ligaments, contusions and abrasions.” [https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2018/cpsc-sues-britax-over-hazardous-jogging-stroller-action-prompted-by-ongoing-harm-to].
The CPSC filed an administrative complaint against Defendant in February 2018 after Defendant was made aware of the injuries but declined to recall or repair the defective stroller.
If you own a BOB jogging stroller affected by the front-wheel defect contact our office for more information.