IKEA Agrees to $50 Million Settlement Following Dresser Recall
Every two weeks a child dies in the United States when a piece of furniture, a television, or a common household appliance accidentally falls on top of them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has found that there are more than 22,000 children under the age of eight treated for a “tip-over” related injury every year. Last month, six months after recalling more than 35 million dressers in North America that were linked to the deaths of seven young children, IKEA has agreed to a $50 million settlement that will be split between the three families who took part in the lawsuit. The CPSC has also reported 41 additional cases of Malm dressers tipping over, which resulted in 17 injuries to children all under the ages of 10.
The recall, one of the largest in the history of the furniture industry, came in response to the latest death of a boy who was killed by a tipped over IKEA dresser in February 2016, which garnered national attention. In four of the fatal accidents the boys, all around two-years-old, were found under a Malm dresser that had not been anchored to the wall. The Malm line is still sold online today by IKEA, the largest seller of furniture in the world, but they now come with the anchor hardware and not just the instructions. The Malm line makes up around a quarter of the recalled dressers (see the list of non-Malm dressers below) and according to the CPSC, three of the fatalities and 19 additional injuries have been linked to the other IKEA models.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in Philadelphia claimed that IKEA knew of the dangers and did not properly notify consumers or initially provide the parts to secure the dresser to the wall. At the time IKEA claimed that, because each wall was different it, was up to the home owner to determine the best option case by case.
Ikea Secure It Campaign
In July 2015, 11 months before the massive June 2016 recall, IKEA implemented an extensive “Secure it!” campaign,to inform consumers of the dangers of a dresser tipping over and to distribute free hardware safety kits to secure existing units out in the market. At the time the CPSC announced that “IKEA will provide a one-time, free in-home installation service, upon request.”
Consumers also have the option to seek a full refund for a recalled dresser made between January 2002 and June 2016. Lars Petersson, the U.S. president of IKEA, told consumers to “please take (non-anchored dressers) out of a room that children can access because it could be a danger.”
As stipulated in the settlement the parents of Curren Collas, Theodore McGee, and Camden Ellis, will each receive $16.66 million. In addition, IKEA will donate $100,000 to Shane’s Foundation, a non-profit set up in 2012 to educate parents about the risk of “tip-overs,” and $150,000 to be distributed equally amongst three children’s hospitals.
But the money will bring little comfort to mother, Jackie Collas, who lost her son in February 2014. She told reporters that she was pleased the lawsuit had been settled, but that she will never get back to her normal life. “Even if I live until 100, it’s going to be before Curren and after Curren,” Collas told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
To request a hardware safety kit from IKEA visit: https://info.ikea-usa.com/secureitkits
To contact IKEA about the recall call: (866) 856-4532 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see the list of other (non-Malm) recalled IKEA dressers see: http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/pdf/non_malm_CoD_list_rev.pdf