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Ikea settles suits for dresser-tipping deaths of toddlers

People seeking reasonable prices on everyday furniture flock to discount retailers like Ikea. Most of us do not think twice about whether furnishings selected from the floor could be dangerous to anyone once assembled and put to use in our homes.

However, this past summer, Ikea recalled millions of its chests and dressers after reports of deadly tip-over incidents involving young children.

Last month, a tentative settlement for $50 million was announced between Ikea and the families of three toddlers who allegedly died when Ikea dressers from its MALM design group tipped over and crushed the children, reported The New York Times.

Reuters said that part of the settlement also includes Ikea donations to children’s hospitals, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers. The article cites an email from Ikea as stating that the settlement had not yet received court approval.

In an earlier New York Times article, the Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC is cited for the statistic that about every two weeks on average a child dies from an accident involving tipping furniture or televisions. Often children try to use pulled-out drawers as stairs.

The CPSC chairman is quoted as saying that safety officials will continue to investigate furniture that is potentially dangerous to kids and that “Ikea is not alone.”

Seek legal counsel

We have posted blogs before about defective products that cause injury or death because of flawed design or manufacturing, or because of inadequate consumer warning or instructions. Legal claims for injury from product defects fall under the umbrella of an area of personal injury law called product liability in which plaintiffs seek money damages for losses caused by faulty-product use, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Depending on the circumstances, potentially responsible parties include manufacturers, distributors and sellers. To show that a product was defective, a lawyer will consult experts like engineers to analyze and investigate the product and the incident that injured the client. Share your story with an attorney to find out what legal remedies might exist.

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