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Orange County Toddler Crushed to Death by Recalled Ikea Dresser

Dressers Sold at Kmart Recalled for Tip-Over Danger

Josef Dudek, a 2-year-old boy, was killed after an Ikea dresser that was recalled over a year ago, topped over and crushed him. According to a Philly.com news report, the incident occurred in May after his father put him down for a nap in their Buena Park home, and returned to find his son under a Malm dresser. Jozef is the eighth child to die by an unsecured Ikea dresser. The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that he is the first child to die since the Swedish retailer issued a massive recall for chests and dressers, which can tip over and crush children if they are not anchored to the wall.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to this Orange County family for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. We offer our deepest condolences to them.

A Lackluster Recall?

The company recalled millions of Malm dressers in 2015 and again in 2016 after two children were crushed by them the previous year. Ikea reiterated its safety warnings once again in 2016 after a third child died. Josef’s family has already filed a lawsuit against Ikea saying that the recall was poorly publicized by the company and that it was not effective in getting the dangerous dressers out of children’s bedrooms. In December, the company agreed to pay $50 million to settle suits filed by the parents of three children killed in Malm tip-overs in 2014 and 2015, including 2-year-old Curren Collas of West Chester.

After this most recent death, which came out in the news last week, eight consumer and health organizations called on Ikea and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to increase efforts to raise awareness of the recall, adding that Ikea’s efforts so far have been lackluster. Safety advocates say Ikea needs to specifically tell consumers about the recall rather than focusing on its “Secure It!” campaign, which encourages general anchoring practices.

Protecting Your Children

There are steps that parents can take in order to protect children from falling furniture. Make sure you buy furniture with wide legs or solid bases. Install drawer stops on chests and drawers. Be sure to strap such furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets. Never put items such as toys that might attract the attention a child, on top of a piece of furniture. Wall-mount flat-screen TVs and place heavy items close to the floor on shelves. If your child has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, contact an experienced Buena Park personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

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California Personal Injury Blog