Swedish retailer Ikea is recalling 29 million chests and dressers in the United States and Canada after the death of six children linked to a severe furniture tip-over hazard when the pieces are not properly secured. All of the children killed were 3 years old or younger.
The recall includes items from the highly popular Ikea Malm line, whose children’s items are over 23 inches tall and whose adult pieces exceed 29 inches. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that it has received a total of 36 reports of children injured from these furniture tip-overs.
“Consumers need to act immediately because it’s a very present hazard, especially if you have kids in your home,” stated Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumers “need to either get a free anchor kit from Ikea and install it on their furniture, take it back to the store for a full refund, or have Ikea come and pick it up from their homes for free.”
Ikea customers are entitled to a full refund if they do not wish to keep the recalled furniture if the chests and dressers were made between 2002 and 2016. Owners of recalled units made before 2002 may receive store credit for half the original price, noted the Los Angeles Times.
While all children are at risk from tip-over accidents, toddlers around age 2 face particular dangers from a natural developmental increase in motor skills and an increasing interest in exploration. Most tip-over accidents involve children climbing furniture to reach televisions, toys, or other items sitting on dressers, cabinets, hutches, and other pieces, leading to potentially tragic results.
Since the announced recall, Ikea has removed its three- and six-drawer Malm dressers from its website, as reported by The Atlantic.
Lawsuits to Obtain Compensation for Injuries and Compel Safety Measures
Manufacturers and retailers owe a duty to sell safe products. This duty includes anticipating dangers that may be posed by products in their normal and customary usage and working to eliminate or substantially minimize such dangers.
In the case of heavy furniture, manufacturers and retailers should sell these items with accompanying warnings and brackets or straps as part of the packaging so that parents can secure the furniture and ensure the safety of all persons in the household.
If your child has suffered a serious injury from a tip-over accident, Lieff Cabraser can provide answers to your legal questions. Contact us about your case or learn more about Furniture Tip-over and your legal rights here.