Mother sues Etsy after son was fatally strangled by teething necklace purchased on site

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (KCAL/CNN) - A grieving mother is taking the popular online retailer Etsy to court.

Danielle Morin said the company shares the blame after her son died after a necklace purchased on the site strangled him.

“It scares me for other parents,” said Morin.

On Dec. 10, 2016, Deacon was found dead at a childcare center in Fontana, CA. He was strangled to death after a necklace he was wearing tightened around his neck and didn’t release.

The necklace was given to his mother as a gift by a close friend.

An online receipt describes the necklace as a “Baltic amber teething necklace for your baby.”

“Baby necklaces, if you use a baby necklace, should have a releasing safety clasp so if there is any pulling on it, it releases,” said John Carpenter, Morin’s attorney. “This one that was purchased on, had a screw on clasp that could not be released. And so, when baby Deacon was hung up on something, it didn’t release and caused him to suffocate.”

Carpenter said that Etsy is legally liable for Deacon’s death, and has filed a lawsuit against the company and a Lithuanian company that provided the necklace.

The terms of use listed on Etsy's website say, 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 said Deacon's mother didn't agree to these legal disclosures because she received the necklace as a gift.

“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 and these products aren’t always safe,” Morin said. “No parent should have to grieve a child. No parent should have to bury their child.”

Etsy said it cannot comment on active litigation.

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