The Consumer Safety Commission is working with IKEA on a safety corrective action for 27 million IKEA dressers and chests. Ikea is a Scandinavian furniture company that produces simple, reasonably priced furniture. The safety correction action comes after the announcement of two separate incidents of IKEA dressers toppling over onto children and causing their respective deaths.
IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are recommending that customers stop using all IKEA children’s chests and drawers taller than 23 ½ inches and adult chests and drawers taller than 29 ½ inches unless they are securely anchored to the wall. The dressers are NOT being recalled, instead consumers are urged to pick up a new free wall anchoring kit for all affected furniture. The fact that IKEA is calling this a repair program as opposed to a recall is causing some concerns from product safety advocates. First, the repair program puts the responsibility back on the consumer. Second, the fact that it is a REPAIR versus a RECALL prevents IKEA from being added to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) online database of product recalls and from appearing on the annual recall report to Congress.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nearly 25,000 injuries occur each year as the result of furniture toppling over onto children. IKEA is now facing a lawsuit, filed by the parents of one of the toddlers. The filing claims that IKEA knew of the risk of the tip-over hazards of the 130 pound dresser. The dresser used by the plaintiffs did not come with any warnings, instructions or hardware that encouraged the use of an anchor.
As parents, it is important to be mindful of the potential harm that can come from unstable furniture. It is also critical that furniture manufacturers be aware of their responsibilities in designing, assembling and marketing their products. If you have IKEA furniture that you are concerned about, contact the company or the website to view the safety action announcement:http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/customer_service/important_information.html
If your child or a loved one has been injured by an IKEA dresser and you feel that the injuries were caused because the furniture was unsafe, then you may want to consider talking to an attorney. Brett H. Oppenheimer is a Kentucky attorney with offices in Louisville. You can contact Brett via email or you can call (502) 242-8877.
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