East Harlem, Manhattan, New York – According to abc7ny.com, A seven-year-old boy was tragically killed when a dresser fell on top of the child in his New York City apartment last Monday night. Law enforcement authorities stated that the young boy was in his mother’s bedroom located off of Park Avenue in East Harlem when the mother heard a loud bang at approximately 7:30 PM. Firefighters responded to the scene and were able to break down the bedroom door, and they discovered the child was underneath the dresser. The boy was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was tragically pronounced dead. The news report states that no criminality is suspected in the fatal dresser accident.
The issue of fatal dress tip-over accidents has resulted in the recall of tens of thousands of dressers throughout the United States. In a 2020 npr.org news article, furniture retailer IKEA settled a dresser tip over wrongful death lawsuit for $46 million. The lawsuit alleged that a two-year-old boy was tragically killed after an IKEA dresser fell on top of him and his home in California. The California family stated that the dresser model was “inherently unstable.” IKEA stated that their dresser model was not designed to be a freestanding unit. However, IKEA’s three-drawer Malm dresser was found to pose a risk of tipping over on top of children in the family of the small child who believes IKEA should’ve notified purchasers of the hazard.
According to the NPR news article, at least eight other children were tragically killed by dressers sold by IKEA. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission eventually required a recall of the IKEA dressers. However, it is believed that millions of the recall dressers have not been recalled and are still a safety hazard inside millions of American homes. There are several other manufacturers and brands that may also pose a very similar injury and death hazard. Some of these dressers have been recalled in the past several years. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website provides a list of dangerous products, including dressers, that are being recalled due to dangerous tip-over hazards.
According to details listed in the complaint, the child’s father put the boy down for a nap. When the father went to check on the boy, he found the boy with his head stuck between the middle drawer in the top drawer. According to the cause of death, the small boy asphyxiated to death. The family stated that they had purchased the IKEA dresser and never received a recall notice. The family then filed a wrongful death lawsuit against IKEA, alleging the company did not warn consumers of the potentially dangerous tip-over hazard. The family claims that IKEA willfully, intentionally, recklessly, and Watson Lee failed to properly design the mom dresser products to correct a known injury and death risk.
Many furniture companies like design dressers have noticed warning parents of small children who have similar dressers to use anchoring devices. These anchoring devices are attached to the dresser and the wall and are meant to prevent the dresser from tipping over. Several consumer safety advocates such as the Consumer Federation of America and the American Academy of Pediatrics have publicly warned that these types of dressers should be designed to be more stable and that anchoring devices should only be relied upon as a “second layer of protection.”
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