Ikea has made headlines recently as the defendant in the largest single plaintiff wrongful death settlement in US history. The resolution follows a claim filed in June 2018, alleging inadequate steps taken by Ikea to ensure its furniture is safe and secure for all consumers. The lawsuit also blames Ikea for not acting hastily when learning of the extreme dangers associated with their signature Malm dresser.
For over three years, since 2016, consumers have relayed 144 instances of child injuries to the Swedish-based furniture company, which led to the recall of over 17.3 million furniture units. Ikea has since promised to increase its broadcast of the recall pertaining to the Malm bedroom series, the product that contributed to the death of two-year-old Jozef Dudek in May 2017. This particular death was the center of the recent settlement, in which the family of the child received $46 million in compensation. In the toddler’s bedroom, the Ikea Malm dresser fell on top of Jozef and onto his neck, causing suffocation. While there is always an option to nail a dresser to the wall, it may also be assumed that the furniture purchased for a child’s bedroom is approved for security and stability.
Unfortunately, on its US website, Ikea lists eight instances of dresser-related child deaths. Just in 2016 alone, Ikea settled with three families whose children died from the crushing structures of their Malm dressers. The payout was $50 million. The company understands the measures it must take now and has arranged to reconstruct the Malm model to represent more elevated safety standards. While this step taken by Ikea is necessary, there are already millions of units distributed in the bedrooms of young children throughout the US. Parents must become more aware of the possible dangers of displaying these dressers in the bedrooms of their children and should act quickly in reaching out to Ikea about the recall.