It is a product recall 27 years in the making. In 1989, a toddler was killed by a piece of falling furniture purchased at IKEA. From 2002 to 2016, five more children under the age of three lost their lives in the same way. Now, finally, the Swedish furniture manufacturer and retailer has issued a voluntary recall for 36 million dressers and chests sold in the U.S. and Canada due to the possibility of the products toppling over if not safely anchored to the wall.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that a child is killed every two weeks by furniture or televisions that have tipped over. There is even a continuing campaign to warn parents of these potential serious accidents. With the products involved in the IKEA recall, the CPSC feels that for homes with young children, “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored.” The Commission had received 36 reports of children being injured from the furniture in question toppling over on them.
IKEA’s recall states there is a possibility of the furniture being unstable and tipping over, creating an entrapment hazard if it is not secured to the wall. However, the company maintains that the products are safe if they are anchored to a wall and installed properly, and that this issue has not been a problem in any other country where the furniture was sold. IKEA also denies any negligence in failing to warn the public of potential dangers, and that the furniture has no defects in design. Last year, stores began distributing repair kits to customers who needed to anchor their furniture. IKEA will now also send employees to install the mounting units for anyone who does not want to make the adjustments themselves.
Many parents are unaware that furniture should have to be secured to a wall at all, and wonder why it would be sold if it becomes top heavy and falls over so easily. Since children are frequent explorers and can pull or climb on furniture in a split second, parents need to not only be concerned with the furniture in their own home but anywhere their child spends time, including with family members and friends, or at daycare facilities.
IKEA is offering full refunds to anyone who purchased the recalled items between 2002 and 2016. Store credit for half of the original purchase price will be given to anyone who has a recalled piece manufactured prior to 2002. Details can be found on IKEA’s website. Hopefully it will be enough to stop any more children from being crushed by these dressers and chests. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective or recalled product, call the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to get the justice you deserve.