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IKEA Recalls 29 Million Dressers and Chests After Death of 6 Children

June 30, 2016 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

product recallIKEA announced on June 28, 2016 that they would be recalling 29 million dressers and chests due to a tip-over hazard [1]. The recall comes after recent reports regarding three dozen injuries, as well as the death of six children due to the dressers and chests tipping over and trapping the children underneath. As a result, IKEA is recalling numerous models of dressers and chests including the MALM 3-drawer dresser, MALM 4-drawer dresser, MALM 5-drawer dresser, and three models of the MALM 6-drawer dressers.

According to IKEA’s recall announcement, the furniture is unstable when not correctly anchored to the wall. If they are not anchored properly, they can tip over, causing an entrapment hazard. At a news conference, the Consumer Product Safety Commission detailed the various hazards and demonstrated how the dressers and chests can tip over.

Reports show that IKEA has received reports of 41 events in which a dresser or chest has tipped over [2]. These have resulted in the death of six children, all under the age of 3 and one occurring about 27 years ago. In 2014, IKEA’s MALM dressers tipping over entrapped and killed two children, both roughly 2 years old [3]. Earlier this year, a 22-month-old boy was killed when a dresser tipped over and trapped him underneath. Overall, IKEA has received reports of 17 related injuries sustained by children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years.

The recall will include children’s dressers and chests taller than 23.5 inches and adult dressers and chests taller than 29.5 inches. Last year, individuals who had purchased this type of furniture could receive a free anchoring repair kit so they could anchor the dressers and chests to the wall. The CPSC and IKEA have been working to limit the potential hazards and IKEA has claimed that moving forward, it will only allow products meeting the CPSC guidelines for stability to be sold. The president of IKEA U.S. issued a statement, claiming that the products were designed to be anchored, not freestanding, and they will no longer be sold in the current design [4].

As part of the IKEA recall, consumers who have purchased the chests or dressers have two options They can request a free wall anchoring kit or, if they are unwilling or unable to anchor the furniture or have attempted to anchor the furniture and are uncomfortable, they may receive a full or partial refund. Full refunds are available for consumers who purchased the item between 2002 and 2016 while partial refunds will be given to those who purchased the dresser or chest before 2002. The partial refund will be half the original cost and be given in store credit.

It’s an unfortunate situation and it is important for manufacturers to make sure they produce safe and effective products. Failure to do so can result in the significant injury or death of a consumer. When this happens, the victim or the family of a decedent may be able to take legal action against the negligent manufacturer.

At Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P., our defective product lawyers are equipped to handle cases in which a product fails, causing serious injury or death to a consumer. If you’ve been harmed, we encourage you to learn more about your legal rights and options by speaking with our team. We can help you determine if you have grounds for legal action and can pursue compensation to cover the expenses related to the product defect. Call us today and speak with a dedicated attorney who knows how to help you.