Mom Sues Etsy After a Teething Necklace Strangles Toddler to Death at Daycare


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On October 5, 2016, Danielle Morin was living every parent’s nightmare: She arrived at her son’s daycare to find paramedics frantically trying to revive her 18-month-old, Deacon. The California mother was told by daycare workers that the amber teething necklace that the child was wearing had strangled him in his sleep.

  • Deacon Morin died five days later after his mother made the agonizing decision to remove him from life support.

    Now, according to CBS2, Danielle Morin is suing Etsy, the popular online retailer where the teething necklace was purchased. 

    The necklace was a gift from a close friend, who purchased it on Etsy before it strangled the toddler while he was reportedly wearing it. The necklace allegedly tightened around his neck and did not release.

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  • In a receipt shown in the CBS2 report, the item is described as a “Baltic amber teething necklace.”

    The necklace is meant to help little ones with teething pain but it is also reportedly supposed to have a release to prevent children from accidentally suffocating. 

    “[A] baby necklace should have a releasing safety clasp so if there's any pulling on it, it releases,” Morin’s attorney John Carpenter told CBS2. “This one, that was purchased on Etsy.com, 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 indicated that their lawsuit was against both Etsy and the Lithuanian seller of the necklace.

    Etsy’s terms of use listed on its website appears to put responsibility on the individual sellers, releasing  the site from any legal claims. “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,” it says in part. 

    “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 his client did not agree to this terms because she received the item as a gift.

  • In another twist to this story, a 2016 report says that three daycare workers at the facility were arrested on child endangerment charges in relation to Deacon’s death.

    Investigators said that two of the daycare workers found the boy unresponsive, but they called the daycare’s owner instead of calling 911. They also described the facility as "grossly over capacity.”

  • For her part, Morin is hoping that her tragedy, and now the lawsuit, will be a wake-up call for parents who purchase items for their children online.

    “I want parents to know there is no more Toys ‘R’ Us and people have to go online to buy products, and these products are dangerous, and these products aren’t always safe," she said. “No parent should have to bury their child.”