According to USA Today, popular furniture and home goods giant Ikea have again recalled about 29 million dressers and chests, citing the death of a child linked to one of the affected models.
Ikea Announces a Nationwide Recall of their Dresser and Chests
Eight children have died after sustaining injuries caused by unsteady furniture. According to Ikea CEO Lars Petersson, the company wants to be sure the public is aware of the current recall. If not adequately secured to a wall, several of the Ikea dressers and chests may tip over, causing severe injuries. The recall impacts all dressers and chests that are not compliant with voluntary industry standards in the United States. Now, Ikea has stated that it no longer sells furniture that does not comply with the voluntary standards.
In May 2017, a 2-year-old California boy was killed after he became trapped under the Ikea Malm dresser. Jozef Dudek’s father made the horrific discovery after he entered the toddler’s room to check on him while he napped.
The incident caused concern that news of the previous dresser recall had not reached all Ikea customers. The recall initially began in June of 2016. Ikea and United States safety agencies are working together to notify customers that they should immediately anchor the dressers to a wall or return them for a refund.
Alan Feldman, one of the attorneys handling the Dudek family’s claim, argued that the recall has been both “poorly publicized” and “ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children’s bedrooms.” Feldman’s firm also represented the families of three children who died after Ikea dressers fell on them. Ikea settled the claims for $50 million.
At least eight children have been killed due to injuries they sustained after an Ikea dresser fell on top of them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that first death was approximately 28 years ago. The rest have occurred since 2002.
According to Petersson, Ikea has utilized social media outlets to reach its customers about the recall. It has also provided information about it on its website, on television, and in print notices. In the fall, Ikea emailed approximately 13 million customers with information on the recall.
Petersson added that increasing knowledge of the matter is a must “because we think that it’s so important to reach as many people as possible.”
Anne Marie Buerkle, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, explained that consumers who have the affected dressers or chests could reach out to Ikea to address any potential dangers.
The Recall Effects All of North America
The recall only affects consumers in the United States and Canada. It affects adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches, and children’s chests and drawers that are taller than 23.5 inches. Those who have purchased these pieces of furniture may obtain wall-mounting packs for free from Ikea. Additionally, Ikea has offered to send a crew to consumers’ homes to ensure the furniture is mounted correctly.
If a consumer does not want the furniture, Ikea will retrieve it, or the consumer may return the item to any Ikea location.
Since 2015, over one million dressers have been taken back or have been mounted with the assistance of Ikea employees. According to Buerkle, Ikea “worked hard to make this an effective recall,” providing customers with numerous solutions “and is as least burdensome to the consumer as it should be.”
What should I do if I own one of the recalled dressers or chests from Ikea?
If you currently own one of these recalled Ikea dressers, you should immediately contact Ikea for a mounting kit so that you may properly anchor the furniture to the wall. If you are uncomfortable keeping the furniture, you should contact Ikea about returning the dresser for a refund.
What happens if my child was injured by the defective Ikea furniture?
If your child was injured by defective Ikea furniture, you might be entitled to damages on behalf of your child.
When a company sells a product that causes harm to consumers, those consumers may be legally qualified to file a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and other entities, such as stores that distributed the product.
The Three Primary Types of Defects in a Products Liability Claim
There are three primary types of defects that may result in a products liability claim: manufacturing defects, design defects, and the failure to warn.
With manufacturing defects, a problem that arose while the product was being assembled or created is to blame for the problem. For example, with furniture, if the wrong type of screws is used in the assembly of a dresser, which causes the dresser to be unsteady, this is an example of a manufacturing defect.
If the problem is within the design of the product itself, it is a design defect. In the dresser example, consider what would happen if the drawers are too heavy. Upon opening the drawers to the dresser, the dresser may topple over due to the unbalanced weight. Because the dresser was designed with drawers that are too heavy, this is a design defect.
The failure to warn is also known as a marketing defect. Manufacturers must warn consumers about certain risks associated with their products. For example, furniture manufacturers may need to provide warnings that certain items should be anchored to a wall.
If one of these defects is present in a product and causes injury to a consumer, the consumer may have the right to pursue a products liability claim.
The Burden of Proof in Products Liability Claims
The burden of proving the nature of the defect, as well as the specific harm it caused the consumer, rests on the consumer’s shoulders. With the assistance of an experienced products liability attorney, the consumer has a much greater chance of success and recovering monetary damages. Products liability attorneys pursue defective products claims against manufacturers and other entities and ensure that their clients’ rights are thoroughly protected throughout the legal process.
Proving that the product is defective, and the nature of the harm it caused the consumer, requires careful analysis of documents and other evidence. In a products liability claim, attorneys generally study internal company records, product designs, factory records, witness statements, deposition testimony, photographs, video footage, medical records, medical bills, expert witness reports, and a number of other types of evidence that may be related to the claim.
If a consumer cannot show that a product was defective and that this defect was directly related to the harm he or she suffered, the products liability claim may fail.
Damages That You May Be Able to Recover in a Products Liability Lawsuit
If you prevail in your products liability claim, you may be entitled to several types of damages, depending on your particular set of circumstances.
These damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of future medical care
- Lost wages, if you took time off of work to recover
- The cost of making alterations to your home
- Pain and suffering
Other damages may also be available.