Several manufacturers have been removing their Roman shades and roll-up blinds from the market. In some cases, small children have become caught in the cords and been strangulated.
Are Your Window Shades Dangerous?
Roman shades have an exposed inner cord supporting the backside fabric. Roll-up blinds have a prominent lifting loop to raise the shades up to allow sunlight in. These items have been sold by home improvement retailers for quite some time, and the number of units sold rises easily into the millions.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been collecting data on deaths and near-strangulations caused by these blinds. Since 2001, three people have died in accidents involving roll-up blinds. According to the CPSC: “Strangulations in roll-up blinds occur when the lifting loop slides off the side of the blind and a child’s neck becomes entangled on the free-standing loop or if a child places his/her neck between the lifting loop and the roll-up blind material.” For Roman shades, the situation has been worse: Since 2006, at least five deaths and 16 near-strangulations have been reported. In those circumstances, the child could place his or her neck between the exposed inner cord and the backside fabric of the blind.
Removal of these products from the market began in December 2009, when a small boy was nearly strangled by the inner cord of a Roman shade. Later, a 22-month-old boy died after his neck got caught in an outer cord.
These companies have removed shades or blinds from sale:
- Walmart: 500,000 Roman shades; 600,000 Roll-up blinds;
- JCPenney: 2,200,000 Roman Shades; 340 Roll-up blinds;
- Lotus and Windoware (Ace Hardware, Big Lots): 250,000 Roll-up blinds;
- All Strong Industry (Walmart and others): 290,000 Roman blinds;
- Pottery Barn Stores: 350,000 Roman shades; 45,000 Roller shades;
- International Merchandise (Big Lots): 355,000 Roll-up blinds;
- West Elm: 42,000 Roman shades;
- The Land of Nod: 2,000 Roman shades;
- Louis Hornick (Big Lots): 6,300 Roman shades;
- Draper: 1,800 Roman shades;
- American Vintage (Paramount Window Furnishings and Signature Window Coverings stores, TX): 1,000 horizontal blinds;
- Restoration Hardware Baby & Child: 4,600 Roman shades;
- Lutron Electronics: 5,000 Roman shades;
- Meijer: 240,000 Roman shades and Roll-up blinds;
- Ethan Allen: 163,000 Roman shades;
- Oriental Furniture: 25,000 Roman shades and Roll-up blinds;
- Blair: 5,600 Roman shades;
- IKEA: 3,360,000 Roman shades, Roller blinds, and Roll-up blinds;
- Chicology (various online retailers): 6,200 Roll-up blinds;
- Smith+Noble: 1,160,000 Roman shades and 115,000 Roller shades;
- Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores: 1,800 Roll-up blinds;
- Green Mountain Vista: 200,000 Roman shades;
- Hanover Direct/Domestications: 495,000 Roman shades and 28,500 Roller/Roll-up blinds; and
- Lowe’s: 6,000,000 Roman shades; 5,000,000 Roll-up blinds.
Actions besides removal of products from store shelves varies. Some companies offer repair kits; others offer refunds.
RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that getting satisfaction from the company that harmed you shouldn’t be just more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process.
If someone in your family was injured by a roll-up window shade or Roman blind, contact RLG today.