Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 30, 2017 – A tentative settlement agreement was reached between Ikea and the families of three children who were killed when the furniture company’s furniture fell on them. Dressers or chests in Ikea’s Malm line tipped over onto the children, who were all around age two.
“These deaths were preventable,” said Paul Greenberg, a personal injury attorney with the Chicago firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, who is not involved in the case. “Manufacturers have a responsibility to follow national safety standards and otherwise exercise due care in the design and manufacture of furniture.”
The families alleged that Ikea had failed to meet voluntary safety standards and the furniture was “easily tipped over” and unstable as designed. In June of last year, Ikea recalled 29 million dressers and chests in response to the fatal accidents. There have been at least three other deaths involving falling Ikea furniture, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that on average one child dies every two weeks in an accident involving furniture or television sets that topple over.
The safety commission said in a 2014 report that 430 deaths were reported from 2000 to 2013 involving tipped-over appliances, furniture and television sets. Eighty-four percent of those deaths were children, and 65 percent of the deaths involve toddlers. Consumer advocates said that the Ikea settlement represented progress in holding companies accountable for child deaths.
“When the unsafe design of furniture or other products causes death or serious injury, the victims or their families have a right to use the legal process to obtain compensation from the wrongdoer,” said Greenberg.
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