Cincinnati, Ohio product liability lawyer and consumer safety attorney reviewing furniture defects, dresser tip-over accidents and the recent IKEA child death lawsuit settlement.
The furniture retailer Ikea has agreed to pay a $46 million wrongful death settlement in a product liability and consumer safety lawsuit filed by the parents of a toddler who was killed by an Ikea dresser. The dresser model had been recalled after reports of at least five other child deaths.
Ikea has been under legal pressure for the last few years due to serious furniture accidents and related child deaths. In 2016, Ikea reached a similar $50 million settlement with other families with children who were killed by furniture tip over accidents.
Plaintiffs have argued that Ikea was aware of the safety hazards and tip-over risk of the Malm line of dressers, and failed to warn customers of the unstable design. The company did not recall the product until several children were injured or killed.
After injury reports began reaching the CPSC and Ikea, the company failed to recall their dangerous dressers, and only offered free wall-anchoring kits to customers. Ikea eventually issued a full Malm dresser recall in June 2016.
Furniture hazards are often overlooked by consumers, and consumer product safety attorneys argue that manufacturers should have a duty to properly test their products before they are sold. Children have a tendency to climb on furniture, and if the products are improperly weighted or unstable in design, they may tip over and topple on top of children, crushing and suffocating them.
Furniture may not meet safety standards, yet this largely goes unnoticed in many cases. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does not have the resources to test every new product, and furniture companies often do not take the initiative to test products before they are marketed and sold to the public.
Consumer product safety groups say Ikea dresser tip over deaths are merely the tip of the iceberg, and other cheap furniture poses safety risks. Consumer protection advocates have pressed congress to develop safety rules for free-standing furniture to protect children from death or injury from tip-over accidents.
Other reported deaths with Ikea dressers or chests include:
Ikea eventually recalled its dressers after an eighth child was killed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Ikea had received 186 reports of incidents with Malm style chests and dressers, with more than 90 injury reports.
Ikea recalled the Malm three-drawer, four-drawer, five-drawer and six-drawer models, as well as some other dressers with tipping hazards. The company first issued a recall in June 2016, which included about 29 million units.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective piece of furniture, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a furniture accident lawyer, and he will help you answer these critical questions.