July 28, 2023 – A toddler was crushed to death in an electric recliner bought from Ashley Homestore on May 8, 2022. The 11-month-old boy suffered fatal injuries, resulting in his parents filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the furniture company.
Following the tragedy, Nicaela Bier and Joshua Ross filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court against Ashley Homestore and the salesperson Paula Andrews, holding them both responsible for the death of their son, Ryder Michael Ross.
According to the family’s Las Vegas wrongful death attorney, Ryder asphyxiated as he was pushed against the recliner’s mechanism. The product responsible for the toddler’s death was the Cranedall 5-piece Dual Power Reclining Modular Sectional. Many reports claim this V-shaped couch had multiple design flaws and manufacturing defects, proving that Ashley Homestore negligently did not proactively warn the family about its potential hazards to children.
Using the available evidence, the team reconstructed the accident leading to Ryder’s death, claiming he had crawled under the electric-powered recliner in the couch after his 3-year-old sister operated the controls. Once inside, the couch’s footrest started closing on Ryder, slowly suffocating him and crushing his head as he got pulled in. The folding chair also muffled the child’s screams when it closed so no one could hear gasping and act on time.
The parents’ attorney reported that the couple had visited Ashley Homestore at 6425 N. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, to buy the recliner. The tragic accident occurred at the family’s home on Mother’s Day (May 8, 2022). According to Bier, Ross was running an errand at a local supermarket and his father was staying home with the kids.
She found Ryder lifeless and trapped behind the recliner’s metal bar. She called 911 immediately, and he was taken to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center. The medical report claims he had suffered from a scalp abrasion that led to a catastrophic brain injury.
The family’s lawsuit claims that the salesperson should’ve warned the parents when they spoke about buying a recliner. At that time, Bier was pregnant with Ryder. Following the tragedy, it was reported that the salesperson was no longer an employee of Ashley Homestore and had relocated from Las Vegas.
Ashley Homestore is the world’s largest home furniture manufacturer, based in Arcadia, Wisconsin. It sells thousands of home décor products and furnishing units daily. Therefore, along with getting justice for their child, the parents want to ensure nothing like this ever happens again by spreading awareness of the dangers of such recliners to children.
After the incident, Ashley Homestore’s corporate spokesperson responded by extending their condolences to the family. They also talked about the company’s commitment to consumer safety and emphasized that the unfortunate alleged accident was neither caused by the furniture nor the salesperson’s actions.
Ryder’s unfortunate demise isn’t the first wrongful death case in the country. Since 2000, recliner chai accidents have killed nearly 210 people. The majority of victims have been children under the age of 6. One of the biggest recliner accident lawsuits was filed in 1991 in Garden Grove, California, against Mohasco Corp. and the Levitz furniture store chain. The incident was similar to Ryder’s accident. A recliner chair crushed a boy’s head. Fortunately, the child survived. However, the parents settled for $5 million.
Many manufacturers claim parents have been warned about the dangers of recliner chairs for children. In 1985, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a detailed statement to parents about the potential for injuries or even death to children playing around recliners or using them without parental guidance.
Recliners have been and will remain a staple in American homes. As a result, both parties (manufacturers and retainers) must do their due diligence to maximize child safety.
Contact a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Lawyer Right Away!
Ryder’s death was undoubtedly a tragedy. The Bourassa Law Group hopes the family gets justice for their child’s death and prompts Ashley Homestore to become hypervigilant in ensuring product safety. However, this is just one of the many cases happening in the city and the state of Nevada.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, our Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers can help you build a winning case and seek maximum compensation for your loss.
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