A mom is suing Etsy and a seller after her son was accidentally strangled to death in 2016 when wearing a teething necklace that a friend had purchased on Etsy.
CBS covered the heartbreaking story after Etsy appeared in court on Monday to object to the case – the judge overruled the “demurrer.”
We have a question in to Etsy about its policies and resources for sellers of children’s items, and if had made any changes to policies around children’s products.
Some sellers won’t list without product liability insurance, but many sellers don’t even think about issues of product safety when selling online. That’s a big mistake, and this case is a reminder to sellers about the safety of the products they sell and the liability they face.
Etsy has insurance policies that “cover a number of risks and potential liabilities, such as general liability, property coverage, errors, and omissions liability, employment liability, business interruptions, data breaches, crime, product liability, and directors’ and officers’ liability,” though we’re not sure of how of if that might help them in this case.
Ten years ago, this was a big issue when the Consumer Product Safety Commission instituted new rules requiring manufacturers of children’s toys (including artisans) to certify that their products have been tested by an authorized third-party laboratory.
While we’re on the topic of product safety, do you regularly check your items to see if they’ve been recalled?
Don’t just do it to spare yourself a lawsuit – you could avoid putting someone’s life in danger.
UPDATE: An Etsy spokesperson provided the following statement: “Deacon’s death was a great tragedy and our hearts are with his mother and family. While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item. We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace. The seller has not had any products on our website since last year and we do not represent the seller in any way.”