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Press Release

Bednest crib death: coroner condemns company for "lack of compassion" and for marketing unsafe cot

21/12/2016

Fieldfisher partner and head of Serious Injury, Jill Greenfield, acted for the family of seven-week-old Grace Roseman who, a coroner has ruled, died as a result of becoming trapped after lifting her head over the lower side of her Bednest crib.

The Bednest crib is a three-sided crib designed to be kept next to the parents' bed, with the fourth side able to be kept either fully lowered or lowered to half way. The coroner said that Grace had managed to get her head over a half-lowered side of the crib, but was unable to lift her head off again and died of positional asphyxia.

Four paediatric experts attended court, all of whom agreed that some babies of Grace's age would be able to raise their head over the lowered edge of the crib - contrary to Bednest's argument that they would not be able to do so. 

Bednest had sought to argue instead that Grace had become trapped through her two-year old sister attempting to pull her over the edge of the crib – an allegation which the coroner said "was particularly unpalatable because there was no evidence on which to base that proposition."

She condemned Bednest for marketing an unsafe cot, for accusing Grace's sister and for not being present at the Inquest except for when giving evidence.

Jill Greenfield - who has been invited to take part in a full review of safety standards for bedside sleeper cots as a result of this case - said that Gideon and Esther Roseman "finally feel that justice has been done in Grace's name."

“Grace died more than a year-and-a-half ago and the Rosemans have had to live through hell waiting to confirm what happened – that the NCT Bednest cot caused the death of their beloved baby girl", she said.

“During that time, they have also had to fight unfounded allegations put forward by experts instructed by Bednest that Grace’s toddler sister was in some way potentially responsible for Grace’s death.

“Gideon and Esther are bewildered, shocked and deeply hurt by the suggestion that their other daughter could possibly be implicated in Grace’s death.

"They desperately hope that no other parents will ever have to go through a similar tragedy."

Jill was supported by Jennifer Buchanan, Laura Penny, Claire Glasgow and Jessica Hyde.

Fieldfisher's Personal Injury and Medical Negligence team is one of the leaders in its industry, and over the last 25 years it has helped thousands of people recover compensation for injuries and illnesses.

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