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IKEA reaches $50 million settlement with families of children killed by dresser tip-over

By Brady McAninch on January 19, 2017

In November of 2016, Hipskind & McAninch wrote about multiple child deaths that were caused by the IKEA MALM dresser.  Now, only two months later, IKEA, the world’s largest furniture store, has agreed to pay $50 million to the families of three of the young children who were killed when the IKEA dressers toppled over on them.  All three children were sadly only 2 years old.

One of the largest settlements of its kind

The suit filed by the families against IKEA alleged that the IKEA MALM dressers were inherently unsafe due to their propensity to easily tip over.  In support of their position, the families pointed to other injuries and deaths that arose out of similar IKEA furniture tip-overs.  The families argued that IKEA’s knowledge of these issues put them on notice of the dangers associated with the MALM dressers.  Further, the families contended that the IKEA MALM dressers failed to meet minimum safety standards for the stability of chests and dressers. The families admitted that these safety standards were voluntary, but took the position that the knowledge of these standards, coupled with the known injuries associated with the MALM dresser, put a duty on IKEA to recall and redesign the dressers at issue.

IKEA countered by arguing the parents of the children were at fault for failing to use the wall anchors provided by IKEA.  The instructions for the MALM dressers recommended that the wall anchors be used in order to prevent the possibility of a tip-over.  It does not appear the wall anchors were used by any of the families involved in this suit.

After two days of mediation with the attorneys for the injured families, IKEA agreed to settle the case for $50 million dollars to be divided evenly among the three families.   This settlement marks one of the largest-ever of its kind and shows the power of the law to hold companies responsible for their wrongdoing.  To date, IKEA has not responded to any requests for comment from the media.

Notably, IKEA had previously recalled the MALM dressers and chests in June of 2016.  If you purchased one of these dressers, you should contact IKEA immediately in order to receive a refund or obtain a wall-anchoring kit.

Although a settlement was reached, the families involved will never be the same after suffering such unimaginable tragedy.  Our thoughts remain with those families and their loved ones.

If you or someone you care about has suffered injuries relating to a defective product, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch for a FREE CASE CONSULTATION at: 618.641.9189 | 314.242.2930 | info@hm-attorneys.com

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