IKEA Facing Product Liability Suit After Dressers Kill Several Children
Recently, Swedish home goods company IKEA has come under fire for several infant deaths allegedly caused by its dressers tipping over. Six children have been crushed to death after the chests fell on top of them. In response, IKEA has issued a voluntary recall of 29 million chests and dressers. Many consumers claim that they had no idea the furniture should have been anchored to the wall. Furniture safety is a valid concern, with 38,000 injuries caused by falling furniture every year. In addition, from 2000 to 2013, there were 430 deaths attributed to furniture tip overs.
One mother, Jaquelyn Collas, found her two-year-old toddler wedged between his bed and the IKEA MALM dresser two years ago. Sadly, though Collas desperately tried to revive him with CPR, he was pronounced dead just hours later. Collas has filed a lawsuit, arguing that IKEA failed to properly warn its consumers that the “front-heavy” dressers were a safety hazard. “You turn your back for a second and that furniture goes over and it can be deadly,” Elliott Kaye of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission added.
In response to the lawsuit, IKEA has argued that the dressers do not contain any defects. However, the taller MALM dressers (the dresser comes in two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-drawer models) failed safety tests because they could tip over if they were not securely anchored to a wall.
It’s no secret that toddlers are constantly on the move. If a parent looks away for just a few seconds, a devastating accident may occur. So how can parents prevent serious injuries or death caused by unstable furniture?
First, carefully evaluate the furniture in your home. Which pieces may topple over if your little guy or gal were to pull on it? For any items that cause you concern, use brackets, braces, or wall straps to secure these pieces to the wall.
Another wise step is to install stops on dresser drawers so that children cannot pull them out. Many pieces of furniture will tip over once drawers have been opened, which shifts the weight of the dresser.
You may also store the heaviest items in the bottom drawers of a dresser to prevent it from tipping over.
Finally, be mindful of where you leave items that may attract your children. Do not leave toys on top of dressers, for example. Children may try to climb furniture to retrieve toys, bottles, or other items they want to play with.
Most children’s stores, such as Toys R’ Us and Buy Buy Baby, sell kits that allow you to childproof your furniture. You may also find them at your local hardware stores, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.
If your child has been injured by defective furniture, contact us as soon as possible to evaluate your case
Furniture companies need to be held responsible when their products cause serious injury or death. In many cases, a product liability lawsuit may be necessary if a piece of furniture was defectively manufactured or designed. If your child was injured by a piece of furniture, contact Leonard Legal Group as soon as possible so our New Jersey accident attorneys can evaluate your case. We offer a free consultation, as well as evening hours. If you cannot make it to our office, we can come to you. To schedule your free consultation, call our 24-hour call center at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.