After the deaths of 3 toddlers in furniture tip-overs, IKEA has issued a voluntary recall on over 25 million dressers and chests sold over the last three decades.
These “tip-overs” have left dozens of individuals injured and been fatal for others. As a result of anchoring and weight distribution design concerns, models such as the “MALM” dresser do not meet what IKEA believes are voluntary industry standards.
The instability makes these pieces of furniture very prone to falling unless properly anchored to a wall or adjacent furniture pieces. IKEA’s consumers could not necessarily anticipate having to physically anchor a piece of furniture to their wall to ensure it is safe unless they had been informed at the time of purchase.
Therein lays the crux of the impending wrongful death claims. The massive international corporation could certainly face heavy consequences for knowingly distributing millions of dressers and chests that were known to present safety concerns.
Do Safety Standards Apply?
Unfortunately, IKEA’s failure to adhere to these standards left 6 children under the age of 3 crushed to death. Many could reasonably assume the average toddler is below this weight, making a case for negligence against IKEA. This has led the company into serious legal claims up to and including wrongful death accusations.
The company is currently offering free wall-anchoring and repair kits and/or partial and full refunds to owners of the faulty products. They are even going as far as sending professional help to properly anchor or pick up the recalled products for customers free of charge.
How can you ensure your home and children are not susceptible to tragic tip overs with IKEA products?
According to IKEA’s website, the recall covers all IKEA children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dresser taller than 29.5 inches. The recalled furniture was also sold as recently as June 2016.
If your IKEA products are as described above make sure to place it somewhere inaccessible to children and contact IKEA customer service. You can contact IKEA at 1-866-856-4532 or email: email@example.com. Refunds, kits, and assistance are also being handled within the stores as the toll free number has experienced extreme call volume in response to this recall.
Hope After Tragedy
Meghan’s Hope is one parent’s mission to stop preventable childhood deaths following a tip over accident that claimed the life of a three year twin in 2004. Kimberly, Meghan’s mother, keeps parents abreast of safety concerns and recalls primarily through social media posts.
Her story is a sad one, but through her pain, she has devoted herself to making others aware of the dangers that caused her to lose her daughter, Meggie. She has also published a blog, that has inspired many around the world to be “safety smart.”
IKEA is not the only furniture manufacturer to have experienced recalls and injuries related to their products. It has been reported that as many as 38,000 injuries occur annually as the result of furniture tip over accidents; every two weeks there is one tip over related death; and every 24 minutes in the United States a child goes to the emergency room with injuries related to tip over incident. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched a campaign addressing this exact issue in June 2015.
You can watch the “Anchor It” child video here:
While we would never presume to make accusations as to supervision or blame, it should be said that children should never be left unsupervised where the potential for hazardous conditions exist. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of these or any recalled products, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker immediately. Call (941)-748-2916.