Crib firm responds to claim of inappropriate response


When the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall for a baby crib, it was done after a parent contacted the manufacturer to report a construction flaw that posed a danger to any child who might be placed in the crib.

Andrew Hartung, 36, of Manalapan, maintains there was not only a problem with the crib, but also with the attitude of the Bassettbaby company when he contacted the firm’s representatives about the problem.

Last week the firm’s attorney responded to Hartung’s claim that a company official’s response to him was inappropriate.

Hartung said that after he and his wife found their baby daughter’s fingers pinched between the sides of the crib one morning in September, he inspected the crib and found that the bolt holes had been drilled too close to the edge, causing the wood to split and resulting in the separation of the sides of the crib.

Hartung said that after he discovered the flaw in the crib’s construction he notified the company so the situation could be addressed. He claims the firm seemed uninterested in pursuing the matter.

Hartung said he spoke with Lex Bendal, Bassettbaby’s vice president of juvenile furniture. Hartung claims Bendal told him that his was the only complaint the firm had received about the crib.

Hartung also said that when he asked Bendal to send an investigator to his home and to notify the proper authorities about what had happened to the crib in his home, Bendal told him the company was not going to send an investigator or take any action to notify anyone.

Hartung said it was the CPSC that sent an investigator to his home and took the baby’s crib on Oct. 8, about three weeks after the incident had occurred.

Attorney Michael Daglio, of Richmond, Va., represents Bassettbaby. In an interview with Greater Media Newspapers he said, “Bassettbaby disputes Mr. Hartung’s account of events.”

According to Daglio, Bassettbaby representatives notified the CPSC within five days of speaking with Hartung and before Hartung had notified the federal agency.

“Bassettbaby then conducted an investigation with the CPSC and issued a voluntary recall and a joint press release with the CPSC on Nov. 8,” the attorney said.

According to the CPSC, the recall involves several models of the Wendy Bellissimo Collection convertible cribs, which were sold at Babies “R” Us stores nationwide from July 2005 through October 2007.

According to a press release from the CPSC, the cribs are being recalled due to an “entrapment and strangulation hazard” that is described as “being the possibility of the bolts connecting the top corners of the crib coming loose and creating a gap …”

According to the CPSC, Bassettbaby had already received 85 reports of bolts loosening, including one report of a 13- month-old child’s hand becoming trapped between the railings.

People who believe they may have one of these cribs are advised to call Bassettbaby for a free repair kit. Call (888) 897- 4689 between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily or visit

As part of its response to the situation, Bassettbaby also placed the following statement on its Web site.

“In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Bassettbaby is issuing a voluntary recall on certain Wendy Bellissimo Collection convertible cribs sold exclusively at Babies R Us.

“Bassettbaby has learned that if the bushings in the top corners of the crib are stripped, they can come loose, creating a gap and posing a potential entrapment and strangulation hazard. Bassettbaby received approximately 85 reports of bushings loosening, with customers requesting replacement arms and hardware.

“Bassettbaby recently received a single report of a child’s hand being pinched, which led to Bassettbaby notifying the CPSC, launching an investigation, and then initiating this voluntary recall.

“Bassettbaby values its relationship with Babies R Us and has worked closely with the retailer during this process. While this is a situation that no one wants to have had occur, Bassett has been in the juvenile business for more than 40 years and its paramount concern has been and continues to be child safety.”