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  • Ikea Agrees To Pay Family $46M For The Death Of Their Toddler Crushed By A Dresser

    Since 2011, at least five other children have died in dresser tip-over accidents.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Ikea Agrees To Pay Family $46M For The Death Of Their Toddler Crushed By A Dresser
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Swedish furniture giant Ikea has reached a settlement with an American family whose 2-year-old son died after a 70-pound dresser they bought from the furniture company fell on him.

    Ikea will pay Joleen and Craig Dudek $46 million, according to a report by The New York Times. Their child, Josef Dudek, passed away in May 2017 when one of Ikea’s Malm dressers toppled over at their family home and crushed him. He suffered from injuries that caused him to suffocate, according to the family's lawyers.

    “We miss him so much. He would be turning 5 years old this April,” the Dudeks said in a statement issued through their lawyer. “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.”

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    According to an Ikea spokeswoman, the furniture company had “taken steps to raise awareness of the safety hazards of tip-overs.” They have also required safety training for their employees.

    “While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution,” said the Ikea spokeswoman. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences.”

    In 2016, the furniture company recalled several children’s and adult chests and dressers over safety concerns. Since 2011, at least five other children have been killed by various models of the Malm dresser toppling over, according to the lawsuit.

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    “The recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children,” said Ikea. “Consumers should immediately stop using any recalled chest and drawer that is not properly anchored to the wall and place it into an area that children cannot access.”

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    Elliot F. Kaye, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman also issued a statement after the recall and warned parents of the dangers that come with having dressers at home.

    “Every two weeks a child in the U.S. is killed in a tip-over related incident involving furniture or TVs,” he said. “Those are tragic numbers.”

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    He urged families to act immediately if they think they have one of the recalled dressers. “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children,” he said.

    Toddlers like to explore and are curious about anything and everything, so it’s important to childproof your home. Check for things around your home that can easily be tipped or knocked over and make sure furniture like dressers, bookshelves, and cabinets are secured to the wall.

    As much as you can, don’t leave your child unsupervised. Our little ones are prone to accidents so parents and guardians must always keep close watch. Don’t just leave them on their own.

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