IKEA Settles Wrongful Death Suits

In the summer of 2016, IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 29 million Malm dressers. The dressers were top-heavy and prone to tipping over. IKEA had received 41 complaints about tip-over incidents, including 17 that caused injuries. There were four additional incidents that caused deaths, all small children.

IKEA has now settled suits with three of the families of the deceased children. The families will split $50 million while IKEA will also provide $100,000 to a nonprofit to raise awareness of tip-over risk and $50,000 in donations to children’s hospitals in the areas where the three children lived. This is the third settlement IKEA has paid over this same problem.

Injuries and death due to furniture tip-over is a surprisingly common problem. IKEA and many other manufacturers suggest anchoring dressers and other furniture to the wall to prevent this problem, but most consumers are unaware of the danger. Children may try to climb to reach a toy or other object on top, causing the dressers to tip.

Wrongful death is a legal term defined as a death caused by another’s negligence or misconduct. Common circumstances leading to a wrongful death claim include faulty products, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and criminal behavior. Claims are made by the decedent’s family.