Ikea has agreed to immediately stop selling dressers that tip over too easily after the deaths of three toddlers. They have also recalled 29 million dressers some sold more than a decade ago, including the company’s cheap and popular Malm line of dressers. These dresser models have been blamed in the deaths. The products failed industry stability tests for dressers.
The action follows increased scrutiny of Ikea including a series of stories by the Philadelphia Inquirer and criticism by safety advocates of the company’s response after the deadly accidents. Last year, the company reminded consumers to attack their dressers to the wall and offered free anchoring kits. But it did not agree to redesign these dangerous and defective products to meet industry safety standards and did not offer consumers refunds or replacements.
Deadly Incidents Involving Children
In February, a 22-month-old in Minnesota was found beneath a toppled Malm dresser. Ted McGee became the third boy to die in such a tip-over in less than two years. The first such fatality happened in 2014 when 2-year-old Curran Collas of West Chester died. Ted’s parents said they had never heard about Ikea’s public safety campaign last year confirming safety advocates’ claim that it was an ineffective campaign. Advocates called out once again for a wide recall.
Earlier this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) threatened to take Ikea to court if it did not agree to a recall. Some members of Congress are now pushing for legislation to force dresser manufacturers to meet a mandatory stability standard. The current safety standard relating to stability is voluntary.
If You Have Been Affected
If you have one of these dressers in your home, it is important that you put it away in a location that is not accessible to young children. You could alternatively take it in to Ikea and receive a refund. If your child has been injured as a result of these dangerous and defective products, you may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, hospitalization, cost of treatment, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced product defect attorney will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options. It is tragic to note that had Ikea recalled these products in a timely manner the deaths of these children could have been prevented.