In a tragic defective product case, at least six small children have been killed by toppling IKEA chests, reports ABC News. This development has prompted the voluntary recall in the United States of around 29 million dressers and chests sold by the Scandinavian chain.
According to IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 36 children have been injured by the chain’s dressers and chests, which easily tip over if they are not anchored to a wall. The six children who have died because of this defect were all under the age of four, and the incidents date back to 1989, with the latest death occurring in February of 2016.
Under the recall, consumers can receive a repair kit or refund for an affected dresser, which includes the popular MALM and other chest and drawer styles. Those with furniture made between 2002 and 2016 can receive a full refund, while a partial store credit will apply for items made before 2002. IKEA will send a crew to a customer’s home to install the wall anchor for those who request this service. As the recall is underway, the CPSC is also urging consumes to store IKEA dressers out of the reach of children.
The mother of one victim, Jaquelyn Collas of Pennsylvania, is suing IKEA over the death of her two-year-old son, whom she found pinned between her bed and an IKEA dresser in February of 2014. According to the complaint, Collas is alleging that the popular chain failed to warn consumers that its dressers were front-heavy and potentially hazardous. IKEA has responded to the lawsuit, denying all allegations of inadequate warning and manufacturing defect.
In IKEA’s statement in reference to the recall, IKEA said a child dies in the United States every two weeks from appliances, furniture or TVs tipping over. The company also stressed that the repair kit program was established last year to highlight the need for the wall attachment, and it resulted in the distribution of 300,000 repair kits to consumers. According to IKEA, it is clear that there are still products that are unsecured in customers’ homes, and the chain will continue to work with the CPSC on product safety and tip-over prevention.
IKEA has since extended its dresser and chest recall to China, according to The New York Times, which was originally excluded along with the European Union. The moves comes after the retailer received harsh criticism from the public media and government agencies there for failing to expand the recall to the country. IKEA is a strong seller in China, notching $1.55 billion in sales at the end of the fiscal year in September of 2015. The recall in China involves 1.7 million chests and dressers, but it still has not been extended to the European Union.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a defective product, speak to an experienced attorney today. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses and your suffering as a result.