Mother Alleges 1-Year-Old Strangled by Faulty Teething Necklace Bought Online

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
May 8, 2019 Updated: May 8, 2019

A grieving mother in California is taking popular e-commerce site, Etsy, to court, alleging that her 1-year-old was strangled to death by a faulty teething necklace bought online.

“It scares me for other parents,” toddler’s mother Danielle Morin told CBS Los Angeles. 

Morin lost her son Deacon Morin on Dec. 10, 2016, at a childcare center in Fontana, California. She later made the claim that the teething necklace he was wearing strangled him.

Morin’s attorney, John Carpenter, has filed a lawsuit against Etsy, saying the e-commerce website and also against the Lithuanian company that provided the product are legally responsible for the baby’s death.

“I want parents to know there is no more Toys”R”Us and people need to go online to buy products and these products are dangerous products,” Morin told CBS.

“No parent should have to bury their child,” she said.

The necklace was gifted by one of Morin’s friends who purchased it from Etsy’s website.

Etsy describes itself as a “global marketplace for unique and creative goods. It’s home to a universe of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures.”

The product gifted to Morin’s baby is called a Baltic amber teething necklace for babies. It’s supposed to help babies during the painful process of teething.

The necklace is supposed to have a releasing safety clasp that automatically releases when pulled. But the necklace gifted to Morin’s toddler allegedly caused his death because it had a screw-on clasp that didn’t release when he pulled it, according to CBS.

Etsy’s Response

Etsy’s website mentions that independent sellers sell their products directly on its platform and it’s not responsible for quality, safety, and legality.

In its Terms of Use, under Warranties and Limitation of Liability, Etsy’s website says: “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.”

Carpenter said that these Terms of Use don’t apply to Morin because she received the teething product as a gift.

The Epoch Times contacted Etsy by email and in response, its spokesperson said: “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.”

Allegations Against the Day Care

Three daycare providers were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment in this case in November 2016, according to the LA Times.

Police had mentioned that the care providers were negligent in providing care to Morin’s toddler and also that the facility had too many children for its size and staffing.

“I don’t know if parents were aware of what their licenses were for,” a spokesperson of Fontana Police Department had said.

During their investigation, the detectives found that the toddler was put to sleep with an amber-beaded necklace, but at some point the care providers found him to be unresponsive and not breathing. He was taken to a hospital where he remained on life support for five days.

“The daycare staff grossly exceeded the licensing regulations by over four times, endangering the lives and safety of the children under their care,” police said.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya