Tragic Ikea Child Furniture Tipover Deaths
In June 0f 2016, international furniture giant Ikea issued a recall for nearly 30 million Ikea dressers and chests that have been linked to the deaths of at least six children in North America. The recall includes items from the highly popular Malm line of Ikea furniture (affected Malm and other product list). In July of 2015 Ikea worked with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to offer free wall anchors for many of its furniture pieces to try to make the furniture safer. Tragically, despite the offered fixes, another child died in February 2016 when a dresser tipped over. All 6 children killed by Ikea furniture tipovers were age 3 or younger. The company advised all owners with children to move the furniture away from the reach of any children.
A Silent National Tragedy
Unstable and unsecured TVs, dressers, and other household furniture pieces tip over and kill a child in the U.S. every two weeks and tens of thousands go to emergency rooms annually for treatment of their injuries. Between 2011 and 2013, 84 percent of the 430 deaths reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) involved children younger than 10,” the CPSC reports.
For example, a TV falling from an average-sized dresser falls with thousands of pounds of force. “The impact of a falling TV is like being caught between two NFL linemen colliding at full-speed–10 times,” states the CPSC.
While all children are at risk from tip-over accidents, toddlers around age 2 are especially susceptible due to a natural developmental increase in motor skills and a growing interest in exploration. Most tip-over accidents involve children climbing drawers toward televisions, toys, or other items sitting on dressers, cabinets, hutches, and other furniture pieces, leading to potentially tragic results.
Preventing Child Deaths From Tipping Furniture and TVs
The CPSC offers these tips on its Anchor It! website (same link as above):
- Buy and install low-cost anchoring devices to prevent TVs, dressers, bookcases, or other furniture from tipping.
- Avoid leaving items, such as remote controls and toys, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
- Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
- Place TVs on a sturdy, low base and push them as far back as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
- If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently used. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored properly to the wall.
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.
Contact Lieff Cabraser
If your child has suffered a serious injury from a tip-over accident, Lieff Cabraser can provide answers to your legal questions. Please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser or call us toll free at 1 (800) 541-7358 and ask to speak to attorney Fabrice Vincent.