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Exclusive: Mother Sues Etsy After Child Was Fatally Strangled By Teething Necklace

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — A mother has filed a lawsuit against popular retail site Etsy after her son was strangled and killed by an item purchased off of the website.

On December 10, 2016, Deacon Morin was found dead at a childcare canter in Fontana after he was strangled to death when a necklace he was wearing around his neck tightened and did not release.

deacon morin
(credit: Danielle Morin)

The necklace was given to his mother, Danielle Morin, as a gift by a close friend who purchased it on the website Etsy, which is described as an e-commerce site specializing in handmade items and craft supplies.

According to the online receipt, the item Morin received is described as a Baltic amber teething necklace for babies.

The product is meant to help alleviate pain for teething babies and is supposed to have a releasing safety clasp that automatically releases if anything pulls on it.

The necklace the Morins received had a screw-on clasp that could not be released when baby Deacon was caught on something, causing him to suffocate.

Morin's attorney, John Carpenter, said the Etsy is legally responsible for Deacon's death and has filed a lawsuit against the website and the Lithuanian company that provided the necklace.

The terms of use listed on Etsy's website state, in part, "the items in our 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."

Carpenter says that Morin did not agree to these legal disclosures because she received the necklace as a gift.

Morin said, "It scares me for other parents...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...No parent should have to bury their child."

An Etsy spokesperson released a statement that read:

"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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