Louisiana mom files suit against booster seat manufacturer

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Sep 16, 2008

MARSHALL � While traveling down the interstate in Louisiana, Shanadrian Hill lost control of her vehicle. Her child, restrained in a Cosco Highrise booster seat in the left-rear passenger side of the car, was seriously injured.

According to court papers, the mother claims her child's injuries were caused because the booster seat did not provide proper restraint, was unreasonably dangerous and "not reasonably fit for unintended, but clearly foreseeable, accidents."

On behalf of herself and her minor child, Hill filed suit against the booster seat's manufacturer, Dorel Juvenile Group Inc., on Sept. 12 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The Louisiana resident alleges that the defendant's booster seat is "nothing more than a crate to raise the child's buttocks off the seat with no consideration for securing the restraint to the booster, the child to the booster, or providing safety and security to the child."

Further, the lawsuit asserts that the booster seat fails to provide proper restraint, violates the purpose of a restraint system, and violates the principles of crashworthiness in failing to provide proper restraint.

"The booster seat fails to have a positive capture feature that securely attaches the vehicle's seatbelt to the booster seat," the court records state.

The plaintiff argues that the booster seat causes the vehicle's seatbelt to violate applicable regulations and encourages "submarining injuries and spinal injuries because there is no booster seat design in place that actually provides restraint."

The suit is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, and physical impairment, minor's future loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, prejudgment and post-judgment interest.

Dallas attorneys E. Todd Tracy and Andrew G. Counts of The Tracy Firm are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:08cv00347

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