Furniture Tip Over Accidents Highlight Dangerous Furniture Defects

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year over 2 million people are treated for injuries caused by dangerous furniture defects. Reported injuries have involved faulty bookcases, dresser accident, desks, chairs, bureaus, televisions and defective Murphy beds.

Furniture may tip over because it is defectively designed or manufactured. Many pieces of furniture are inherently dangerous, and are designed and constructed poorly. Poor construction can have serious consequences, and many times, heavier more expensive furniture is the safer option. Cheaper furniture is more likely to break or fall, causing injuries to both children and adults.

A common problem is that furniture is not designed to be tip-resistant, and manufacturers put the onus on consumers to protect themselves with additional safety measures like screwing dressers to walls.

A 2011 Consumer Product Safety Commission report on instability of televisions, furniture defects and appliances shows that almost 300 children died in preventable furniture accidents between 2000 and 2010. Furniture tip-over accidents include internal organ injuries, lacerations, fractures and burns. The majority of severe injuries are to the head.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and furniture defects cases. 

The Dangers of a Murphy Bed

A Murphy bed, or a Wall bed, is a bed that is hinged on one side to a wall, allowing it to be folded up against the wall to save space. These types of beds had been around for a long time, and have developed a reputation for potential accident and injury.

Despite new designs and safety regulations to reduce furniture defects, there have been Murphy bed related accidents reported. Even installing or uninstalling a wall bed can be dangerous and consumers may risk injury. In a high-profile story involving furniture defects, a 33-year-old Staten Island man was killed when a Murphy bed being installed in his apartment hit and killed him with a force that crushed his skull and severed his spine.

In another case, a woman died after a Murphy bed she was sleeping in suddenly collapsed and locked shut, resulting in a wrongful death lawsuit against the bed’s manufacturer. The frame of the fold-up bed suddenly pulled away from the wall and struck her in the head and upper torso, according to the claim.

Manufacturers and distributors urge consumers to make sure these beds close properly, and to avoid over-stuffing it with extra pillows and blankets. Too much stuffing can push against the wall and fold down under its own weight. A built-in lock is recommended.

More recently, the CPSC issued a recall for a Murphy bed kit used to secure the wooden wall enclosures to the wall studs because the kit does not provide sufficient bracing support, posing serious tip-over and Entrapment Risk. There have been five reports of the wooden wall enclosure falling from the wall, including one report of injury.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to furniture defects, 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, and he will help you answer these critical questions.