There are few things more horrifying than the senseless death of a child. Ikea had been named negligent in a lawsuit surrounding 3 young boys deaths when they were crushed to death by their dresser. Every terrifying story was eerily similar when each boy’s parent had purchased the dresser for their room, only to later find them crushed under its weight. One boy and his family resided near Pittsburgh and the suit was later brought against Ikea in the state of Pittsburgh, although the families resided from around the country.
The outcome required Ikea to pay the 3 families $50 million for their responsibility in failing to produce and market a safe product based on design defects and marketing defects. This recall was based around the ‘Malm’ line of dressers that toppled and killed the three young boys. It is one of the largest payouts in history for a lawsuit of this kind, although $50 million probably feel so small to the family in comparison to losing their sons. The complaint against Ikea argued that the furniture giant knew that the dressers were dangerous, and did nothing about it.
Ikea countered, unsuccessfully, to argue that the families were negligent as they did not use the proper mounting bracket as described. Product recall was ordered, with nearly 29 million dressers and similar recalled based upon the safety hazard. Ikea is also allocating money to the hospitals the children were sent to and a non-profit focused on raising awareness about the dangers of falling furniture and it’s threat to kids and others. There are other ways to remedy the safety hazard the dresser poses, for existing units, including in-home installation of safety brackets per Ikea’s expense.
This story of product safety is truly senseless and devastating. While there may not have been intent to hard on behalf of the retail-giant, the result was the same nonetheless. The family did receive a favorable settlement in this case. Hopefully this case will pave the way for other families who have been wronged by products liability. The hope is that Ikea dressers will now be safe for all to use.
Source: post-gazette.com, “Ikea to settle for $50 million after toppled dressers kill 3 young boys,” Ben Guarino, Dec. 22, 2016