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.

(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.”


Comments (22)
  1. No parent should be dumb enough to put one of these chains on their baby.

  2. emcgreevy says:

    I’m sorry, but Etsy is not responsible. The friend that bought it and the company that sold it are responsible.

    1. Alisa Johnson Griffis says:

      The friend who bought it is in NO way responsible. The person directly responsible is the mother for putting a necklace on a child. There is NO WAY that this is EVER okay. I’ve told multiple moms (I’m a teacher) that this is dangerous. It’s like giving a child a grape or a hot dog that has not been appropriately cut up. WHO DOES THAT? I’m terribly, terribly sorry for the mom and the baby. It’s tragic. But she should have NEVER put that onto her child.

  3. Irina Semova says:

    The only responsible person here is this baby’s mom! She should have watched after her own child. what if he would had fallen into the pool? pool manufacturer’s fault????

  4. Erik Panitelli says:

    I feel like it wasn’t just the necklace. He was at a Care Center, right? Where were the staff? Maybe they had something to do with it. Either neglect or making it worse for the poor boy. Either way this is heartbreaking.

  5. Virginia Reemeyer says:

    First of all children shouldn’t go to bed with a necklace on, especially if it’s that loose. The amber necklaces are suppose to be much shorter so that the child can not put it in their mouth, wrap their hands around it and choke themselves or be caught on something. When is the parent going to take some responsibility for this? Think of it like a carseat. You didn’t use it properly so why should the manufacture or company that made it be sued.

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