A huge development in the ongoing IKEA furniture recall debacle could bring due comfort to some families, but the furniture tip-over problem is far from over.
IKEA paid $50 million to settle lawsuits stemming from the deaths of three children who were killed when IKEA dressers, such as those in the Malm line, fell on them. The company also agreed to make several charitable donations to hospitals and foundations devoted to child care, according to NBC News.
The incidents, which date back to 2014, touch on the danger furniture poses to children, particularly dressers.
The Problem Has Been Ongoing
Furniture tip-overs have long affected families, often with tragic results. Televisions are involved in the majority of tip-overs, though dressers and tables contribute significantly, according to Shane’s Foundation, a non-profit devoted to keeping your home safe for children. It reported that there are about three injuries per hour and one death every two weeks related to furniture toppling over on toddlers or young children.
Some furniture doesn’t pass the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s voluntary safety standard requiring the dresser to stay upright when a drawer is opened and 50 pounds of pressure is applied. That's often more than the size of a small child. Instability seen in the Malm line is just one of the few ways a dresser can be defective, and unsafe for your family.
IKEA isn’t the only offender of this rule, according to the CPSC. You might find yourself in possession of dangerous furniture from almost any retailer or manufacturer that can harm you or your family, and not even know it.
How You Can Keep Your Children Safe
Preventing furniture from falling is simpler than it seems: Securing your TV with anchors and keeping remote controls or other items children might be interested in away from the heavy stuff can help, according to the CPSC. IKEA has reported that there have been no tip-over accidents when the anchors were used.
Furniture like dressers that store a lot of clothing or hold things like televisions or lamps might come with their own wall mounts, and you can use those or get your own from a craft store.
You can also take other smart actions, like keep televisions all the way to the back of dressers, so they can help offset the balance, and supervise your children in rooms where you have an abundance of unsecured furniture.
You can also make sure to check recalled products lists or avoid stores like IKEA with a history of dangerous furniture if you’re very concerned. Keeping children away from other furniture like bookcases, armoires, heavy mirrors is also wise, per Shane’s Foundation.
But the sad reality is some anchoring tools don’t make it home with your furniture purchase or might not be available at all. Worse, not enough is done to make you, the consumer, more aware about dangerous products.
What Should I Do if the Worst Happens?
The IKEA settlement is a strong indicator that companies that aren’t ensuring the safety of their products for users are going to find an unfriendly courtroom. That could have them facing a variety of actions. You might help prevent accidents with your decisions, but sometimes accidents happen, and some furniture might be impossible to make safer.
Nothing can compare to the heartbreak of having a loved one injured or losing them. Our product liability attorneys know that people can feel helpless in the face of a large corporation, but we're here to let you know that we have the experience, attitude, and resources to take them on. After all, we’re for the people, not the powerful. Fill out a risk-free, no-cost case evaluation today.