Mother sues Etsy after son strangled to death by necklace

A California mother is suing Etsy and one of its vendors after a teething necklace purchased on the popular e-commerce website strangled her 18-month-old son to death.

Deacon Morin was found unresponsive after being put down for a nap at Marriott Family Child Care in Fontana on October 5, 2016, WPXI previously reported. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died five days later.

At the time of the incident, Deacon was wearing a Baltic amber teething necklace, which was gifted to his mother, Danielle Morin, by a friend who had purchased the accessory on Etsy from a vendor in Lithuania.

The necklace apparently got caught on something in the baby’s sleep area and tightened around his neck, strangling him to death, KCBS reports.

Most teething necklaces, which are meant to mitigate pain for teething babies, are equipped with a safety clasp that will automatically release if anything pulls on it. The necklace the Morin family received had a screw-on clasp that did not release when Deacon became entangled.

Etsy’s legal terms clearly state that the items listed in its marketplaces are “produced, listed, and sold directly by independent sellers so Etsy cannot and does not make any warranties about their quality, safety, or even their legality. Any legal claim related to an item you purchase must be brought directly against the seller of the item. You release Etsy from any claims related to items sold through our services.”

However, Morin’s attorney, John Carpenter, claims that since the mother received the necklace as a gift, she did not agree to these legal terms.

In response to the lawsuit, Etsy released 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.”

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