Spokane woman suing booster seat manufacturer over safety claims

Children sit in booster seats

SPOKANE, Wash – A Spokane woman has filed a class action claim against booster seat manufacturer Evenflo over claims the company made about the safety of its car seats.

ProPublica broke the story earlier this month, showing crash test video that contradicts the company’s claim that its booster seats are “side-impact tested.” Shortly after, a House committee opened an investigation into the company’s “product marketing and testing practices.”

Thursday, a Seattle law firm filed a class action complaint on behalf of a Spokane woman named Lindsay Reed.

The claim references safety claims made on Evenflo’s website, specifically citing the company’s Big Kid booster seat. The company says the “seat is appropriate for kids weighing less than 40 pounds, has been side-impact tested and ‘meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and Evenflo’s side impact standards'” according to the claim.

The suit claims that Evenflo “has known for a significant period of time that the booster seat is not safe for children lighter than 40 pounds, and that [Evenflo’s] own testing confirmed that a child seated in the Booster Seat could be in grave danger in the event of a side-impact collision.”

Reed is identified in the claim as a mom from Spokane who bought an Evenflo Big Kid Booster Seat for her son last October. The claim says Reed bought that particular model because of its “supposedly rigorous side-impact collision testing.” The suit says, had she known the results of the side-impact testing, she would not have bought it for her child.

The suit claims Evenflo’s own side-impact standards and testing “are made up and not based on science or safety.” It says the public would not have known about that without the ProPublic article.

Because it’s a class action suit, others can join in the action against the company. The suit says the number of possible members of the class are unknown at this point, but could include thousands of people across the country.

The claim says the company breached its warranty, violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and fraudulently concealed its safety records.

As of Thursday afternoon, Evenflo had not yet responded to the suit. A summons for response was just issued, giving Evenflo 10 days to answer.

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