A child is hurt by a tip-over incident every 20 minutes across the United States, with the majority of these accidents involving either furniture, or a combination of televisions and furniture. Some incidents involve a curious child who attempts to climb a dresser; many others are due to poor craftsmanship. In fact, furniture tipover incidents injure 15,000 adults and 25,000 children annually, with some of those accidents killing innocent children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 49 children were killed in furniture tipovers in one year alone—21 more than the previous year. Swedish furniture maker Ikea is the most recent culprit, having recalled millions of dressers after seven toddlers died due to tipovers. Although Ikea is the most famous defendant in furniture lawsuits, CSPC chairman Elliot F. Kaye warns consumers that other manufacturers have produced poorly built furniture. In fact, the CSPC reported that 31,000 five-drawer chests manufactured by Hillsdale Furniture were recalled on December 18, 2019 for tipover hazards. Families of children injured or killed by furniture have opted to file lawsuits against companies who make dressers and other upright furniture pieces, along with retailers. These cases allege wrongful death, negligence, false advertising, or all. Some cases have paid family members millions of dollars in compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one were injured by falling furniture, contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free, no-obligation consultation at 833-35-CRASH (833-552-7274).
Recent Ikea Tipover Cases
Litigation against Ikea goes back to 2005, and will continue for as long as their furniture fails to meet government standards. Many Ikea tipover accidents are severe, but these are four who helped build a strong case for other injured customers.
Two-year-old Katie Lambert of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, was crushed to death by a 200-pound wardrobe made by Ikea, which killed her instantly. The lawsuit was filed in 2007; the Lambert family won a $2.3 million wrongful death lawsuit against Ikea in 2008.
Camden Ellis, two, of Snohomish, Washington, was killed after a three-drawer MALM dresser pinned him, crushing him to death. His family filed a lawsuit against Ikea, which was combined with Katie and Curren’s lawsuits to reach one settlement that was shared three ways.
Curren Collas, two, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was killed when a 136-pound MALM dresser crushed him to death. The tipover was caused by Curran climbing onto the dresser. A wrongful death claim was filed against Ikea because the dresser failed to address how to secure the dresser to a wall, and lacked materials to do so.
A tall, six-drawer Ikea dresser collapsed onto two-year-old Ted McGee of Apple Valley, Minnesota, killing him. Ted’s family filed a lawsuit against Ikea, which has been sued numerous times for manufacturing unsafe furniture. On December 22, 2016, Ikea reached a settlement with the families of Curren Collas, Camden Ellis, and Ted McGee for a reported $50 million, which is no substitute for the lives these families must live without their loved ones by their side. Ikea began offering wall-mounting kits to customers after these incidents, encouraging customers to secure their furniture to walls to stabilize them.
Why Has Ikea Recalled Its MALM Line of Dressers?
In Dudek v. Ikea, the MALM three-drawer chest or dresser manufactured of particle board and weighing approximately 70 pounds, fell and killed Jozef Dudek. Because the Ikea defendants knew that the MALM line would not meet minimum stability demands for tip-over prevention per industry standards, they deliberately, knowingly, and recklessly decided to exclude the MALM line from testing for compliance with those standards as well as for compliance with the Ikea defendants’ own in-house tip-over requirements. The case settled for a reported $46 million, with Ikea donating an additional $150,000 to select children’s hospitals. At least eight children may have died due to dressers that the Swedish furniture giant has recalled, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Daniel Mann, a lawyer for the Dudek family, said that millions of the recalled dressers may still be in use. The recalled dressers pose a risk of tipping over if they are not secured to the wall. Ikea has previously said that the products were not designed to be free-standing.
How Do I Know If I Have an Ikea Furniture Tip-Over Case?
If you purchase a MALM line dresser, or any Ikea dresser, and you or your child were injured or killed due to improper construction or another issue, you may be entitled to compensation. Claims brought against any furniture manufacturer must include any combination of:
- A duty to care;
- Injury or death; and
- A direct connection between an injury or death, and a product such as furniture.
Wrongful death, negligence, manufacturing or design flaws and deceptive advertising are additional allegations that Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can include in your suit. You may seek compensation for economic losses such as medical bills, burial expenses, time away from work, monies based on your child’s ability to earn in the future, and noneconomic damages like pain and suffering or loss of consortium. Many cases of furniture tipover have settled successfully before taking your case to court. We are prepared to try your case before a Florida jury if necessary.
What You Should Do If Injured By An Ikea Dresser
Injuries that you sustain should never go unaddressed. If you find yourself on the receiving end of an Ikea tipover accident, take these steps:
As Difficult as It May Be, Take Pictures
Nobody wants to photograph their deceased child as they lie under a dresser. However, to protect yourself from liability and to prove the furniture actually caused the death or injury, you may need photos.
Leave the Scene Alone Unless You Can Save Your Child
Do not disrupt the scene unless doing so can save your child’s life. Investigators may implicate you if you attempt to remove evidence or disrupt the scene. Also, don’t throw the furniture away—that’s the single most important piece of physical evidence, and you will need it in your legal claim.
Call 911 Immediately
The quicker you can get emergency services routed to you, the quicker you can save your child’s life. Make sure to tell them, in detail, what happened and how the dresser tipped over if known. Let them know the fastest way to get to you, too.
Cooperate With Police
Make sure to answer all questions truthfully and honestly. If the case is a death investigation, you may need to head downtown for a formal interview. Nonetheless, make sure to get all copies of your interview for the attorney you retain.
Retain an Attorney as Soon as Possible
You will definitely want to retain counsel – perhaps even as early as the questioning stage. The sooner you involve a legal professional in your Ikea tipover accident, the better your chances of holding the company accountable for the incident will be.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ikea Tipover Lawsuits
Here are several questions that you may have regarding the company, the lawsuit, and your rights:
How do I know my case will qualify?
If you or your child were injured by an Ikea dresser, were never notified of a recall, and that injury was due to an action that Ikea failed to take to prevent such an accident, you may qualify for compensation. Check with a Florida Ikea tipover lawyer before filing your claim and having it immediately rejected.
What is the statute of limitations for Florida product liability claims?
The statute of limitations varies from state to state. In Florida, the statute of limitations for defective product or product liability claims is four years starting from the date your injury occurred. Claims of wrongful death are given two years from the date of death. Other states have longer or shorter statutes, so don’t delay. Call us now and let us evaluate your case.
Does Ikea ever admit wrongdoing?
As part of many settlements or court judgments, Ikea is more likely to pay their fines or judgments than they are to admit fault. You will find press releases from the company that tell consumers how sorry they are for losses sustained, but you may never actually hear them say they were wrong.
What if I lack evidence?
The defective furniture that tipped over is the most important physical evidence in your case, so don’t throw it away or, if possible, even move or clean it. If you keep the furniture, you will have a key piece of evidence for your attorney to use in your claim.
Is anchoring my furniture required to have my lawsuit heard in court?
Those who cannot or did not anchor their Ikea dressers may still have their claims heard. For one, many landlords do not permit you to drill holes in their walls, which is a requirement to anchor furniture. For another, parents may lack the necessary skills required to anchor their furniture. A Consumer Reports survey recently revealed that 73 percent of 1,502 adults polled have never anchored their furniture.
Injured by Falling Ikea Furniture? We Can Help.
Furniture injuries and deaths have long-term debilitating effects on families. There could be tens of thousands of Ikea dressers that may tipover at any time, killing young children or severely injuring them. Once a manufacturer acknowledges that their furniture poses an imminent threat to child safety, it should be recalled immediately, and production should stop until the problem is worked out. Unfortunately, Ikea allowed several children to needlessly die before acknowledging a pervasive manufacturing flaw existed. If you or your loved one has been injured or killed by Ikea furniture, you have options. You could qualify for substantial compensation if overwhelming evidence of negligence points to the furniture giant. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and Sibley Dolman will fight Ikea for compensation that you are entitled to. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you owe us nothing unless we obtain compensation for you. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page.