Many people in Louisiana recognize the Ikea brand name. The Swedish company supplies furniture to millions of households, but the instability its three-drawer Malm dresser has left as many as eight small children dead and the company owing millions of dollars for product liability settlements. Ikea’s most recent settlement with the family of a 2-year-old boy who was killed when the dresser tipped over totals $46 million. Three other similar settlements with families cost the furniture maker an additional $50 million.
The boy’s father found his son asphyxiated with his head lodged between the middle and top drawers of the tipped-over dresser. The parents had bought the dresser in 2008, but their lawyer stated that Ikea never notified them about the Malm dresser recall that occurred in 2016. According to the lawsuit, the company knew about the dresser model’s instability and threat to child safety but failed to take effective actions to warn consumers.
In 2014, when the dressers killed two children, the company made free wall-mounting kits available to owners of the Malm dressers. In the opinion of consumer safety groups, the offer of wall-mounting kits represented a weak alternative to designing stable dressers.
The family of the deceased 2-year-old boy plans to donate $1 million to organizations that strive to keep unsafe products away from children. An Ikea spokesperson acknowledged that the settlement money could not undo the parents’ tragic loss.
When a defective product harms someone, the victim might not know how to approach a large manufacturing company. Consulting an attorney about product liability represents a logical first step when a person needs compensation for injuries. A personal injury attorney might organize the evidence, tally financial damages and file a lawsuit. This support might empower a person confronted by an unfamiliar legal bureaucracy and company hoping to avoid paying damages.