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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Ohio Bed Maker Settles Wrongful-Death Suit

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A second Delaware family has settled a federal wrongful-death claim with an Ohio bed manufacturer.

A stipulation of dismissal, signed by both sides, was filed in the U.S. District Court just before the holidays.

According to the one-sentence document, the terms were met in November. No further details were disclosed and lawyers for both the now-defunct Vail Products Inc. and plaintiff, Anna Murray, have declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

In January 2006, the lawsuit was filed by a Middletown mother who claimed to have purchased and enclosed bed in October 2002 for her special needs son, David Malone. The 8-year-old boy could not walk or talk but kicked his legs while he slept.

On May 8, 2003, the child was found dead. “He had fallen between the mattress and the railing, suffocated and died,” according to the suit.

The Murray lawsuit was the fifth one filed against the Vail Company, alleging this kind of tragic death, including a February 2005 lawsuit from the Flick family.

In the flick case, their daughter Victoria suffered from cerebral palsy. The bed, advertised as designed for special-needs kids, was purchased in 2000. Victoria was found dead of suffocation on August 1, 2004.

No long after the Flick’s filed suit, the federal Food and Drug Administration issued warnings about “significant health risk” of suffocation associated with the enclosed bed.

Vail announced they were ceasing operation in June 2005, citing ongoing difficulties with the FDA.

The Flick family settled with Vail for an undisclosed sum in September 2005. The family has since set up a foundation in their daughter’s name.

Over the summer, the family presented $11,000 in donations from their foundation to three organizations — Variety, the John G. Leach School and The Sunshine Foundation — that assist special-needs families.