Federal Regulators Investigate Child Death Linked to IKEA Dresser
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ May 20, 2016
Consumers should not have to worry about whether a piece of furniture will pose a serious risk of injury to their children. However, many product defects are not announced to consumers until someone sustains a serious personal injury. According to a recent article from Philly.com, federal safety regulators have launched an investigation into the third reported child death from an IKEA dresser. What else do Philadelphia residents need to know about product recalls and the recent inquiry into the third IKEA dresser fatality?
History of IKEA Dresser Recall
First, consumers in Philadelphia should remind themselves of the original IKEA dresser recall and the dangerous household products manufactured by the company. As the article explains, last July, IKEA and federal regulators announced a recall of around 27 million dressers, including a recall of around seven million of its very popular Malm dressers. The company explained that the dressers “can become dangerously unstable if not attached to the wall.” In issuing the recall, IKEA clarified that two children had already sustained fatal injuries as a result of the product defect, including a two-year-old from West Chester. Both young children died after Malm dressers “toppled onto them.”
To repair the defect, IKEA announced a repair program that would involve providing anchoring kits to customers who owned the dressers at the time of the recall. Yet the company would only be providing those anchoring kits if dresser owners requested them. According to the article, the Swedish company has already sent out “more than 300,000 anchoring kits to consumers.” In addition, it “launched a campaign to alert the public of the danger and remind consumers to attach their furniture to the wall.” Yet given that another death has occurred, it appears as though the awareness campaign has not been entirely successful.
Recent IKEA Dresser Death to Be Probed
Despite the recall and IKEA’s awareness campaign, a toddler was crushed by an IKEA dresser in February 2016, seven months after the initial recall. According to the article, a bedroom dresser tipped over onto the 22-month-old child. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched an investigation into the fatal accident.
According to CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye, “companies are now on notice that even if there has been a public announcement about a remedy to address a dangerous product, the company must take every possible step to prevent further harm.” In other words, it is not enough to announce a recall and the availability of a repair. The article emphasize that the parents of the 22-month-old who was recently killed by the IKEA dresser did not know about the recall or the company’s campaign to repair the defect.
Every year, “tip overs” result in serious and fatal child injuries, and they typically involve televisions and dressers that are not anchored to the walls. Indeed, these accidents lead to “dozens of deaths and more than 38,000 emergency-room visits in the United States each year.”
Contact a Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyer
If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries from a defective product, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. An experienced product liability lawyer in Philadelphia can help. Contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth PC for more information about our services.