Ikea is facing a class action lawsuit alleging that the furniture company marketed and sold millions of dressers it knew were prone to dangerous tip-overs and failed to issue adequate notifications and refunds to customers for dressers after they were recalled in 2016. According to Consumer Reports, the lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania on behalf of a Minnesota family with two young children. The family had purchased two Ikea Malm dressers before the recall. When the couple attempted to return the dressers to Ikea for a refund in August 2018, they were denied, the complaint states.
Dangerous and Defective Dressers
Consumer Reports says they have heard from other families that have had similar experiences. For many years, Ikea has come under fire for selling dangerous dressers that did not meet voluntary industry stability standards and for its handling of the recall, which was announced in 2016 and re-announced in 2017.
It ultimately included 17.3 million dressers. In June 2019, consumer safety groups including Parents Against Tip-Overs and Consumer Reports wrote to Ikea stating that the company had not done enough to alert parents about the risks of dressers and had not made it easy or convenient for consumers to return the product or obtain anchor kits to secure them to walls.
The Malm dresser line has been linked to the tip-over fatalities of five children including a 2-year-old boy in Orange County who was crushed to death when a three-drawer Malm tipped over on him in 2017. That was a year after Ikea had announced its recall. His family was awarded $46 million in a settlement from Ikea in January 2020 in part because his parents were never alerted to the recall even though they were members of the Ikea Family Loyalty Program.
Product Liability and Class Action
The class action lawsuit is open to consumers who purchased an Ikea dresser that was part of the 2016 and 2017 recall announcements, and is seeking full refunds for all plaintiffs. It also aims to hold the company accountable for carrying out the terms of the recall and ensuring that the dressers do not pose a danger in people’s homes.
Class action lawsuits are an important tool for consumers to hold large corporations accountable, and this class action is more evidence of that. When it comes to multi-national corporations, who have large teams of defense lawyers, it is virtually impossible for individual consumers to bring action on their own. But as a team, not only can corporations be held accountable, but also be forced to take actions so their products are safer, which eventually benefits the world at large. Our California class action attorneys hope this case has a similar outcome.