Back in June 2016, IKEA furniture voluntarily recalled 29 million of chests and dressers because of tip-over hazards. They offered each consumer a full or partial refund or a free wall-anchoring repair kit.
Unfortunately, children across the nation are still in danger. On October 19, 2017, ABC News reported that an eighth child had been killed by one of those recalled IKEA dressers.
IKEA Recall Comes After Several Child Fatalities
When IKEA implemented their first repair program for these chests and drawers back in July 2015, they stated they were aware of two tragic fatalities involving the furniture. According to the recall announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the furniture didn’t comply with performance requirements and were unstable if not properly anchored to the wall, “posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or serious injuries to children.”
In February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from Pennsylvania died after a 6-drawer chest tipped over and pinned him against his bed. In June 2014, a 23-month-old boy from Washington State died after becoming trapped beneath a 3-drawer chest that tipped over.
After the announcement of the “repair program,” the reports kept coming in. In February 2016, a 22-month-old boy from Minnesota died with a 6-drawer chest fell on top of him. IKEA then became aware of a fourth fatality that had occurred in 2011—a 2-year-old boy from Virginia died when a 3-drawer chest tipped over and trapped him between dresser drawers.
In total, up to the date of the June 2016 recall, IKEA had received reports of 41-tip over incidents involving their chests and drawers, resulting in 17 injuries to children aged 19 months to 10 years.
Dressers are “Ticking Landmines” in Children’s Bedrooms
Since the recall, there have been more reports of child deaths related to IKEA chests and drawers. The most recent came out in October 2017, and involved a two-year-old child in California who was killed when a three-drawer dresser tipped over and crushed him while he was napping.
Executive Director of Kids in Danger, a non-profit group, told ABC News that IKEA isn’t doing enough to encourage parents to get their furniture repaired or replaced. She estimated that as few as three percent of the recalled pieces have been remedied through a refund or repair kit.
That means there are perhaps millions of these dressers and chests still present a danger to children in homes across the country. “We have to do better,” Cowles said, “because these are just ticking landmines in a child’s bedroom.”
IKEA Pays Out $50 Million to Grieving Parents
On October 18, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Kids in Danger, the National Center for Health Research, Public Citizen, Shane’s Foundation, and the U.S. PIRG issued a joint statement expressing their condolences to the family, and stating:
“From the delay in issuing a recall to lackluster efforts by IKEA to fully communicate the hazard and the recall to the public—relying instead on soft messages on securing any and all furniture—this death highlights the risks to children of tip-over incidents. Companies must be held accountable for their products’ safety and the CPSC must be strong enough to force companies to take action in ways that successfully get recalled products out of homes.”
Last December, IKEA reached a settlement with the families of three young boys who were killed by its furniture. The families had filed wrongful death lawsuits against the company and agreed to a $50 million settlement.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.