Statistics show that more than 40,000 people are taken to the emergency room every year because of furniture tip over accidents. More than half of these incidents involve children. Lawsuits against the manufacturers of these furniture pieces allege negligence and plaintiffs believe more should have been done to prevent injuries and deaths. Many were not even aware there was a risk their furniture could topple over.
Ikea Dresser Recall
Though lawsuits have been filed against many different furniture companies, Ikea is one of the most prominent featured in legal action. The company recently issued a recall of 29 million of its dressers after it was determined there was a risk for tip over accidents. Seven toddlers were killed in tip over accidents.
As part of the recall, IKEA will provide a one-time, free in-home installation service, upon request or will provide a refund for recalled dressers manufactured from January 2002 to June 2016.
The company recently settled with families whose children were victims of tip over accidents. Ikea will pay $50 million to the families of three young boys, all younger than two years old, who died when Ikea dressers toppled over onto them. Additionally the company will donate $150,000 divided evenly among three children’s hospitals in Philadelphia, and Washington and Minnesota in memory of each child.
Ikea’s Malm dressers were the piece in question in each case. The Malm dresser, once a popular item due to its reasonable price, was one of the dressers included in the recent recall.
Data shows there is an average of one child per every 20 minutes injured by furniture and television tip over accidents in America. In many cases, these pieces are not properly anchored to the wall, and offer no stability if a child climbs on plays on them.
Furniture Retailers Fail to Warn Consumers of Tip Over Dangers
In some cases, furniture pieces are delivered fully assembled with little to no directions. This means families bring pieces into their homes without any awareness of the potential danger.
In the case of Ikea, the majority of furniture pieces arrive unassembled and must be put together in the home. The company sometimes provides anchors to attach pieces to a wall, but until recently, there was only limited information about the risk of not taking this final step in the assembly of the furniture pieces.
Furthermore, the hardware included with furniture pieces is often not enough to create stability should someone climb on the piece. By not taking this final step or by completing it with insufficient materials, families are putting young children at risk for tip over accidents.
Many consumers claim that if they fully understood the dangers related to tip over accidents and had been better warned about the risks, they would have taken the final step to secure their pieces or opted for different furniture items all together.
Furniture Tip over Lawsuit
If your child has been injured or killed in a furniture tip-over incident, you could be eligible to take legal action against the manufacturer or retailer.
The Ikea lawsuit settlements have set the tone for future legal action. Plaintiffs who have already filed lawsuits allege the following against Ikea and other companies:
- Wrongful death
- Design/manufacturing defects
- Deceptive advertising
As part of your lawsuit, you could seek compensation for financial losses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and/or funeral expenses.
Every case is different. Consult an attorney to learn more and to discuss your options.