Russell Jones & Walker ensures Maclaren compensates injured children

From: RJW
Published: Mon May 10 2010

Russell Jones & Walker has managed to ensure that buggy manufacturer Maclaren will compensate over 40 UK children whose fingers were seriously injured in the hinges of its folding pushchairs.

Although refusing to admit liability for the faulty product claims, the firm and its insurers have agreed to make full damages awards. The individual amounts will be dependent on the severity of injuries received and the money will be invested until the children reach age 18.

The children were aged between one and eight years old when hurt, with some cases personal injury dating back to 2003. Many amputated part of the last finger joint when the buggy was erected, undergoing operations with a general anaesthetic to try to re-attach the joint or perform a skin graft. Others fractured bones or suffered deep lacerations, leaving scars and in some cases permanent loss of feeling or disfigurement. Some children had the whole or part of their finger amputated. Further surgery in teenage years is an option for those with disfigurement.

In late 2009 Maclaren recalled one million prams in the US after reports of similar injuries. The firm insisted however that UK buggies were not affected and a UK recall has not taken place. Hinge covers are available but consumers must request them via the firm's website.

Richard Langton, senior litigation partner at Russell Jones & Walker and the solicitor who leads the group litigation, said; "We're delighted to get the agreement within three months of being instructed to act, and it proves the adult opening the buggy is not in any way at fault. But compensation doesn't turn the clock back for the traumatised children or their parents. Millions of buggies remain in use and despite claims from Maclaren that there are insufficient cases in the UK to warrant a recall, injuries still occur. What all my clients want is that no one else suffers needless injury.

"Any injury from a pushchair's folding mechanism may get compensation. There are pushchair claims involving other makes too. Manufacturers need to know there is a serious issue which must be addressed with more decisive action. It is time the authorities stepped in and did something here as they did in America."


Notes to editors:
Case Number - 880.01

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Russell Jones & Walker employs over 360 staff (over 160 lawyers) and is renowned as award winning employment lawyers and the leading national firm of solicitors in protecting the rights and legal interest of individuals and those who represent them.  RJW has a network of regional offices which includes: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Wakefield, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Cardiff and Edinburgh. 

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