An IKEA dresser recall has been announced in the U.S. following the deaths of 6 children who were killed when IKEA dressers or chests tipped over on them. The tragedy is not limited to those 6 deaths, as 17 other children were injured in tip-over incidents involving the models of IKEA chests and dressers listed in the recall, and 19 more children were injured in tip-over incidents that involved chests and dressers that are not being recalled.
Although the IKEA dresser recall was not issued until June 28, 2016, the first child death from an IKEA dresser occurred in July 1989 in Mt Vernon, Virginia. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall in conjunction with IKEA, warns that anyone with a recalled chest or dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall should immediately stop using the furniture and move it to an area where it cannot be accessed by children.
The History of Child Deaths and IKEA Dressers
The 1989 fatality in Virginia occurred when an unanchored IKEA GUTE 4-drawer chest tipped over and pinned a 20-month-old girl against the footboard of a youth bed. The second child death involving IKEA furniture happened in March 2002 in Cranford, New Jersey, when a 2½-year-old boy was fatally pinned to the floor by a tipped over, unanchored IKEA RAKKE 5-drawer chest.
Sadly, the tragedies did not end there. In October 2007 in Chula Vista, California, an IKEA KURS 3-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned a 3-year-old girl to the floor.
The next 3 child fatalities all involved IKEA MALM chests, which are the subject of the current furniture recall. The MALM chest incidents began in February 2014, when a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania died after a 6-drawer MALM dresser tipped over and fatally pinned him to his bed. Four months later in June 2014, a 23-month-old-boy in Snohomish, Washington died after a MALM 3-drawer chest tipped over and trapped him.
Following these 5 fatal incidents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA jointly announced a repair program for IKEA dressers and chests, including the MALM models. The repair program launched on July 22, 2015, and it included a free wall-anchoring repair kit and warning label stickers for the furniture. However, the repair program was not sufficient to protect children from the dangers of IKEA furniture tipping problems.
The next tragedy occurred in February 2016 in Apple Valley, Minnesota, when a 22-month-old boy died, and the cause of death was an IKEA MALM 6-drawer chest that fell on top of him. The Minnesota boy’s death brought the total number of child fatalities involving IKEA furniture to 6, and 4 months after the boy died, IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the IKEA dresser recall.
A Child Safety Epidemic
Accidents are the leading cause of childhood deaths in the U.S. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 2 weeks a child in our country dies when a television, furniture, or appliance falls on him or her. Injuries to children are even more prevalent; about 3 occur every hour.
Many of these incidents occur when a child climbs on unanchored furniture, while some of the tragedies happen when a child is simply playing near dangerous furniture. Bedrooms are the most common location, and most deaths occur when the victim is crushed.
Facts About the IKEA Dresser Recall
The IKEA dresser recall is for 8 million of its MALM chests and 21 million additional dressers and chests sold in the U.S., plus 6.6 million more that were sold in Canada.
The IKEA dresser recall covers children’s dressers and chests that are taller than 23.5 inches, as well as adult chests and dressers that are taller than 29.5 inches. Included in the recall are the following MALM models:
- MALM 3: sold 10/2002 to 6/2016; measuring 31½” x 18⅞” x 30¾”
- MALM 4: sold 6/2002 to 6/2016; measuring 31½” x 18⅞” x 39½”
- MALM 5: sold 10/2002 to 4/2006; measuring 15⅞” x 19” x 48¼”
- MALM 6: sold 6/2002 to 6/2016; measuring 31½” x 18⅞” x 48⅜”
- MALM 6 LONG: sold 11/2002 to 6/2016 and measuring 63” x 18⅞” x 30¾”
- MALM 6: sold 4/2006 to 6/2016; measuring 15¾” x 19¼” x 48⅜”
The recall notice warns that the recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, and they pose a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children. Consumers are entitled to a full refund for dressers manufactured between January 2002 and June 2016. Partial store credit is available to customers with chests and dressers manufactured prior to January 2002.
Customers may opt for a free wall-anchoring repair kit, which they can install themselves or request a one-time, free in-home installation service from IKEA. In addition, customers can reorder the repair kits throughout the life of their dressers and chests.
In order to receive a refund or repair kit, customers are advised to call the company toll free at 866-856-4532; go to ikea.com; or visit an IKEA recall store. All U.S. stores, including the Conshohocken and South Philadelphia locations in Pennsylvania, have removed MALM chests from their in-store displays.
Product Liability Lawyers in Delaware County
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion every year. If you or your loved one has been the victim of a defective or dangerous product, you deserve compensation for your losses.
The attorneys of Donaghue & Labrum will fight for you. They have decades of experience and a history of successful representation of the victims of product liability lawsuits. You don’t have to endure the stresses of litigation alone. Contact the law offices of Donaghue & Labrum for a free consultation today.