The death of a child is one of the worst things any family can face. We know highways are dangerous. However, few people see household furniture as a potential killer. We were saddened to read about the recent death of a child from an IKEA dresser.
The latest fatality was the eighth linked to Malm dressers which are prone to tipping over, causing injuries and even deaths.
The Swedish furniture company is reminding customers who bought Malm dressers that they must be fastened to the wall or they may tip and fall. It’s part of IKEA’s reannouncement of a 2016 recall of many dressers and chests following reports of injuries and deaths of children.
A report on CNN notes there have been 186 reports of Malm dressers tipping. About half of these, 91, resulted in injuries. Additionally, there have been 113 reports of other dressers tipping, 53 of them causing injuries. IKEA says eight children have died from injuries from recalled dressers since 1989.
This is a horrifying statistic that points to a defect in the furniture. In 2016, IKEA reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three toddlers who lost their lives after unsecured dressers fell over, reported NPR.
The settlement called for IKEA to adhere to voluntary safety standards for its dressers, donate $100,000 to a children’s safety organization, $150,000 to children’s hospitals and put more money in its “Secure It” program raising awareness about tip-over risk.
CNN reported a two-year-old boy from California died when he was trapped by a three-drawer Malm chest that was not fastened to the wall.
It prompted a new reminder from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA.
It alarms me that this was the eighth death of a child from an IKEA dresser. The retailer offered anchoring kits to prevent the Malm chests from falling. This strikes us as an attempt to fix a defect that should not have occurred in the first place.
CNN noted the 17.3 million recalled dressers sold in the US included child dressers taller over 23.5 inches tall and adult dressers over than 29.5 inches.
The recalled items were sold online and in IKEA stores from January 2002 and June 2016 for $70 to $200. Other items of furniture forming part of the recall were sold from 1985 and June 2016. The company set up a website to help consumers identify recalled dressers.
If you own one of these recalled dressers you should stop using them immediately if they are not attached to a wall and should contact IKEA. You can choose between a refund or a free kit to fasten the furniture. IKEA offers a free service to pick up these kits.
The recall notice stated tip-over incidents frequently occur when children climb onto furniture to get toys, remotes or other desired items.
We hope we never read again about the death of a child from an IKEA dresser. However, we are concerned about the number of families who likely still have these unsecured dressers. If you have been hurt by an item of furniture a defective car part, a tire or another product, our experienced Virginia product liability team can help you. Call (757) 455-0077