Buggy firm Maclaren to compensate injured children

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The Independent Online

Buggy manufacturer Maclaren has agreed to compensate more than 40 UK children whose fingers were seriously injured in the hinges of its folding pushchairs.

Legal firm Russell Jones & Walker said that, although refusing to admit liability, the firm and its insurers had agreed to make full damages awards.



The individual amounts will be dependent on the severity of the injuries and will be invested until the children reach 18.



The children were aged between one and eight when they were hurt, with some cases dating back to 2003.



Many needed surgery after losing part of their finger when the buggy was erected, while others fractured bones or suffered deep lacerations.



In 2009 Maclaren recalled one million prams in the US after reports of similar injuries but, said the lawyers, it insisted that UK buggies were not affected and a recall has not taken place in this country - hinge covers are available but consumers must request them via the firm's website.



Senior litigation partner Richard Langton, who led the group litigation, said: "We're delighted to get the agreement within three months of being instructed to act, and it proves the adult opening the buggy is not in any way at fault.



"But compensation doesn't turn the clock back for the traumatised children or their parents.



"Millions of buggies remain in use and despite claims from Maclaren that there are insufficient cases in the UK to warrant a recall, injuries still occur. What all my clients want is that no one else suffers needless injury.



"Any injury from a pushchair's folding mechanism may get compensation. There are cases involving other makes too.



"Manufacturers need to know there is a serious issue which must be addressed with more decisive action. It is time the authorities stepped in and did something here as they did in America."



A Maclaren spokeswoman said later that the company would look into each case individually.



She added: "We are committed to fully recompense any child who's been genuinely injured by finger entrapment in one of our products. We take the safety of children very seriously.



"We have so ld more than a million buggies in the past decade in the UK and have only had around 100 complaints. We feel this issue affects the whole industry and not just Maclaren."

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