Kolcraft/Playskool-Hasbro to Pay $3 Million for Portable Crib Death of Toddler - Bid for Secrecy FailsDecember 6, 2001
Thursday morning, Hasbro, a Rhode Island corporation, and a local manufacturing concern, Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. (of Chicago), agreed to settle a lawsuit for the wrongful death of 16-month old Daniel Keysar. Danny Keysar was killed in a Playskool Trav'l Lite portable crib when the foldable side rails collapsed on his neck strangling him to death.
Shawn S. Kasserman of Corboy & Demetrio represented Danny's parents, Professor Linda Ginzel and Professor Boaz Keysar of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Chicago, in their wrongful death action filed against Kolcraft and Hasbro.
Defendants sold the Playskool Trav'l Lite portable crib between 1990 and 1992. The portable crib featured two collapsible side rails which were intended to make the portable crib more portable and easier to carry. Instead, the side rails formed a strangulation hazard if the portable crib collapsed while an infant was in it. Only 11,600 of the portable cribs were sold. At least six children have been killed in the Playskool portable crib so far.
In 1993, Kolcraft, as a result of a Consumer Product Safety Commission investigation into the first deaths, undertook a "voluntary" recall of the portable cribs.
According to Kasserman:
"Kolcraft halfheartedly recalled the portable crib in 1993; however, the efforts of the company turned up less than 25% of the 11,600 portable cribs it sold. Despite knowledge that thousands of portable cribs remained in people's homes, the defendants, through confidential settlements, restrained victim's families from publicizing the problems with the portable cribs. This is the first public settlement where the defendants were prevented from keeping the settlement terms secret and confidential."
The case settled before Judge Jennifer Duncan-Brice in the Circuit Court of Cook County as jury selection was beginning. Daniel Keysar was killed in a portable crib used at a licensed neighborhood child care home. Neither the day care center nor the State of Illinois had been informed by Kolcraft or Hasbro that the portable cribs had been recalled.
When Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar found out the portable crib which killed their son had been recalled, they investigated the process only to learn in was flawed and controlled by manufacturers. Mobilizing their grief into a movement of positive change, Danny's parents founded Kids in Danger (KID). KID is dedicated to reforming the juvenile product system so that dangerous products never reach the marketplace and those that do are removed from stores and homes.
According to Boaz Keysar:
"Hasbro and Kolcraft are responsible for our son's death. They had a duty to test the crib before selling it, and an ethical and moral obligation to warn the public once the crib had proven deadly. They abandoned their ethical and legal obligations. How could we accept that such egregious corporate behavior be kept confidential?"
Besides his parents, Danny is survived by his brother, Ely. His parents have since had another son.