Some in Texas and across the country are wondering why it took six deaths and almost 20 injuries for IKEA to institute a recall of one of its most popular dressers. Others applaud the sweeping recall of 29 million dressers and chests that may put a financial drain on the Swedish-based furniture giant. In either case, IKEA faces legal action as parents seek compensation for the suffering caused by this dangerous product.
In February 2014, a toddler died after being pinned under a dresser that was purchased at IKEA. A few months later, a 23-month-old boy was similarly trapped when a chest tipped over onto him. A third child died this past February when a dresser he was climbing on fell over and crushed him. According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission, the design of this brand of dressers does not comply with voluntary safety measures in the country.
The president of IKEA in the United States insists that the dressers are not meant to be free standing and that securing such furniture to the wall as a safety measure should be automatic. After the death of the two children in 2014, IKEA began distributing kits to anchor the furniture to the wall. So far only about 1 percent of the customers who purchased a dresser have returned for a wall anchor kit.
Other deaths and injuries from tipping dressers, both the brand in question and other styles, had apparently been reported to IKEA as early as 1989. This tragedy is prompting politicians to demand a national standard for furniture safety in the United States. Meanwhile, people in Texas and beyond are urged to remove the dangerous product from their homes. Some who have suffered injury or loss because of its defective design may join other parents and enlist the help of an attorney in seeking compensation.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "IKEA to Recall 29 Million Dressers, Chests in U.S.", Saabira Chaudhuri, June 28, 2016