Cincinnati, Ohio Product Liability Attorney and Furniture Accident Lawyer investigates serious tip-over injuries and deaths reported from furniture defects

When considering the purchase of a television or piece of furniture, most consumers never consider the safety element or hazards involved with certain consumer products. With that said, due to hundreds of reports of furniture accidents and related injuries, consumers cannot assume that any furniture bought at reputable stores is safe.

Furniture manufacturers and retailers may be liable for serious furniture accidents that occur for design defects or a failure to warn consumers of potential safety risks.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every 17 minutes, a piece of furniture, television or appliance tipping over causes an injury in the United States. A total of 195 deaths caused by furniture tip-overs were reported in the last two decades.

Children are at the highest risk, for obvious reasons. An American child is killed in furniture accidents in the U.S. once every two weeks. In 2016, 2,800 injuries to children due to furniture accidents were reported. Also in 2016, in a high-profile product recall, IKEA recalled about dresser accident when six children were killed.

These injuries and deaths are typically preventable, and the primary factor in the safety of consumer furniture is the current safety test is voluntary for manufacturers.

Companies like IKEA and other furniture distributors are mostly self-regulated, and only choose recall unsafe products after an accident or tip-over injury has occurred.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio product liability attorney and furniture accident lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and furniture tip-over injury cases. 

Furniture Accident Lawyer & Child Tip-Over Risks

According to the CPSC, tip-over injuries for children younger than 6 involving dressers and other storage units increased 33 percent in 2016 to 2,800. Dressers and other clothing storage units account for at least 11 percent of furniture tip-over injuries—there were 195 reported to the CPSC between 2000 and 2016.

During testing by the safety agency items from IKEA, DaVinci, Delta, Essential Home, Southshore and Storkcraft all failed certain safety protocol.

In one “hazard pattern” identified by the CPSC, almost half of tip-over deaths occur in the bedroom, sometimes after a child has napped and is alone. Children may start to climb on open drawers and a tip-over is likely.

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Fisher-Price Sleeper Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fisher-Price issued a recall for the Rock ‘n Play sleeper, which reportedly is linked to infant deaths. The CPSC has been alerted of nearly a dozen infant deaths associated with Fisher Price sleeper accidents since 2015. The product, however, remained on the market.

The sleeper accidents and infant deaths have allegedly occurred when infants have rolled from their backs onto their stomachs and suffocated.  Before the recall, child safety agencies warned consumers to use restraints in sleepers to reduce the risks of infant sleeper deaths.

Fisher-Price confirmed they are aware of infant fatalities, but the company denies wrongdoing.

Furniture Tip-Over Accidents

Not all furniture is created equally, and some may be a lot more dangerous than advertised. Children can easily test the limits of safety, as they begin to climb and touch home furnishings. Some of the scariest furniture accidents can be when young children are crushed or trapped underneath a dresser or chest. Ikea has settled lawsuits following Malm dresser accidents and other product injury.

A recent CPSC report estimated an annual average of 30,700 emergency department-treated injuries associated with furniture accidents and tip-over incidents. Is the furniture industry totally responsible? Many safety experts think the industry has a responsibility to ensure safer, more stable dressers and television safety, and should not rely on consumers to anchor all furniture to a wall.

Personal injury attorneys argue that retailers should take more precautions, and provide anchoring devices with household furniture and large televisions at the point of purchase.

Tip-over incidents are largely preventable. Other defective furniture accidents involve Murphy beds, large appliances, coffee tables, sofas, television stands, cribs, sleepers, and window blinds.

Safety groups recommend that consumers avoid placing TVs on top of dressers. The CPSC says that 53 percent of reported tip-over child fatalities between 2000 and 2016 involved TVs and dressers tipping over. There are basic safety tenants a consumer should follow, though blunt truth is the furniture industry standard leaves too many children at risk.

Folding beach chairs and deck chairs have also been targeted in recent furniture defect lawsuits due to defective design and collapsing chairs that cause serious consumer injury.

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.