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Unstable Dressers Lead to Child Deaths

By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Dec 12, 2016

In June of 2016, IKEA issued a recall of more than 29 million dressers manufactured by the company. The recall followed the deaths of at least six children, all of whom were killed when defective IKEA dressers toppled on top of them. Referred to as “tip-over” accidents, the problem is not limited to IKEA-made furniture alone; instead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that since 2000, more than 411 children have been killed in tip-over accidents. Further, in a recent study, nearly 50 percent of dressers tested by the agency failed the stability test, and more than 90 percent also failed to include proper warnings about the dangers of tip-overs.

Now, the CPSC is saying enough – the agency has given furniture manufacturers a tough choice: either develop tougher standards, or have tougher standards forced on you.

The Necessity of Tougher Furniture Safety Standards

woman crying

The stability test mentioned above is designed to ensure that a dresser will remain upright if pulled upon by a child. However, the standard is failing miserably; every year, children are taken to the emergency room as a result of toppled furniture. In fact, the problem is so common that it happens about once an hour, or approximately 10,000 times per year, throughout the U.S.These statistics, as well as those above, highlight a serious problem in the U.S.

Chairman of the CPSC, Elliot Kaye, told reporters for Philly.com that the commission is serious about the issue, because it is “serious about child safety.” As manufacturers continue to ignore the standard, the CPSC is threatening to crack down and take action. The American Home Furnishings Alliance, which represents furniture manufacturers in the industry, has expressed immediate pushback. The resistance is likely due to the fact that the mandate to enhance safety standards would force furniture manufacturers to make costly changes.

What Happens When Furniture Is Defective?

When furniture is defective, it poses the risk of injury to toddlers, as well as others of all ages. When a defective pieces of furniture actually causes an injury, the furniture may be recalled. However, a recall does little for an individual who has been harmed, or the family of that person.

If you have lost a child due to a tip-over accident, or if you or a family member has been injured in any other type of accident caused by a defectively designed, manufactured, or labeled piece of furniture, you may have a cause of action. By filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer, you can seek damages for losses of all types, including pain and suffering.

Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney in Philadelphia

To learn more about how to file a product liability suit in Philadelphia or New Jersey, contact our experienced defective product attorneys at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. An initial consultation is free, and we never charge upfront or hourly fees.

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