- In 2016, Danielle Morin’s toddler son Deacon strangled on a teething necklace in his sleep. Days later, he died.
- Morin said the necklace was a gift purchased on Etsy. Now, she’s suing the platform and the seller.
- At the time of the incident, three daycare employees were arrested in connection to Deacon’s death on suspicion of child endangerment, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2016.
- In a statement to INSIDER, a spokesperson for Etsy said “Deacon’s death was a great tragedy” but the allegations should not be aimed at the platform, as it does “not represent the seller in any way.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
In 2016, Danielle Morin’s toddler son Deacon strangled on a teething necklace in his sleep. Days later, he died.
Now, the grieving mother from San Bernardino, California, is suing Etsy and the vendor who made the necklace, CBS Los Angeles reported. According to KTLA, Deacon, who was 18 months old, was strangled when the necklace tightened and did not release while he was napping at a daycare center.
Morin told CBS Los Angeles that the necklace was given to her by a friend who purchased it on e-commerce platform Etsy. It was listed as a “Baltic amber teething necklace for your baby.”
Morin’s lawyer, John Carpenter, told CBS LA that both Etsy and the independent seller are responsible for Deacon’s death.
“Baby necklaces, if you use a baby necklace, should have a releasing safety clasp so if there is any pulling on it, it releases,” Carpenter told the outlet. “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.”
In a statement to INSIDER, a spokesperson for Etsy said the platform should not be held responsible for the infant’s death.
“Deacon’s death was a great tragedy and our hearts are with his mother and family,” the spokesperson said. “While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item.”
On Etsy’s website, it says that “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.”
But through her lawyer, Morin said she never agreed to that caveat, as she received the necklace as a gift, CBS Los Angeles reported.
The Etsy spokesperson told INSIDER in an email that the suit should be directed at the daycare — or the independent seller.
“We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace,” the spokesperson said. “The seller has not had any products on our website since last year and we do not represent the seller in any way.”
In 2016, after a police investigation, three Marriott Family Child Care employees were arrested in connection with Deacon’s death, the LA Times reported at the time. Shortly after Deacon’s death, Sagan Marriott, then 27, Rebecca Lutz, then 29, and Deborah Jimenez, then 52, were arrested on suspicion of child endangerment.
Read more: A family of 4 and their 3 dogs were found dead in their home. Police believe carbon-monoxide poisoning is to blame.
According to the paper, Marriott and Lutz put Deacon down for a nap with the necklace on. But at some point, he stopped breathing and became unresponsive. Instead of calling 911, they called Jimenez and waited for her to arrive before calling for medical help, according to the LA Times.
Deacon was then taken to the hospital. He died five days later.
In 2016, police told KTLA that the daycare center was “grossly over capacity” on the day of the incident.
Now, Morin said she has filed this lawsuit so others won’t have to go through similar experiences.
“It scares me for other parents,” Morin told CBS LA. “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.”
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