By Angela Leone
Earlier this month, IKEA issued a recall of nearly one million KULLEN 3-drawer dressers for posing tip-over and entrapment hazards. The recall came after numerous reports of furniture tip-over incidents that resulted in minor injuries to consumers. About a month-or-so before that recall, the Swedish furniture retailer agreed to pay $46M to settle a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania related to a furniture tip-over incident.
Jozef Dudek, son of Joleen and Craig Dudek, was only two years old when he died in a furniture tip-over incident in May 2017. An IKEA MALM 3-drawer dresser toppled over onto the boy, pinning him underneath 70lbs of furniture. Mr. and Mrs. Dudek sued IKEA in Pennsylvania, claiming that the company knew that the MALM line of dressers were prone to tip-overs and failed to alert consumers of the flawed and unstable design.
IKEA did recall the furniture in 2016 and offered free anchoring kits to millions of customers, but the Dudeks bought the dresser in 2008 and said they were never alerted to the recall or the product’s design flaws by IKEA.
IKEA also settled a set of wrongful death lawsuits in 2016, agreeing to pay $50M to three separate families who all lost children in IKEA furniture tip-over incidents.
“We miss him so much,” Mr. and Mrs. Dudek said Monday in a statement issued through their lawyer. “He would be turning 5 years old this April. We never thought that a 2-year-old could cause a dresser just 30-inches high to topple over and suffocate him. It was only later that we learned that this dresser was unstable by design and did not meet safety standards, and that this had happened to other little boys.”
In this unprecedented time in America, with families adjusting to monumental changes in both work and home life, keeping children safe and out of harm’s way might feel a bit more daunting than normal. We heard from Penn State Children’s Hospital this week reporting a rise in Pediatric trauma patients due to in-home accidents caused by jumping on beds, climbing on furniture, climbing trees, learning to ride bikes, etc. It’s important that we do everything in our own power to make sure our children don’t sustain injuries and can stay out of dangerous and overcrowded hospitals.
If your child is injured, however, and the circumstances are out of your control, i.e. a defective product, a premises defect, a car accident,or some other type of negligence, there is help available, even now. Messa & Associates is fully operational during this time of crisis and we are available to guide you through this difficult situation.
Call us at 215-568-3500 or send us a message through the online inquiry form. Our attorneys are available discuss your potential claim and your options moving forward.
Stay smart, stay safe, and STAY HOME!