On June 28, 2016, IKEA issued a voluntary recall of 29 million chests and dressers due to a tip-over and entrapment hazard. The company is recalling the MALM 3-drawer dresser, MALM 4-drawar dresser, MALM 5-drawer dresser, and three styles of MALM 6-drawer dressers, as well as other models. These dressers and chests have come under scrutiny due to a potential danger in which they tip over and can entrap children. So far, it has been reported that the dresser and chest tip-overs have led to the death of six children and injuries to three dozen others.

In April, we posted a blog discussing the potential danger to consumers involving IKEA furniture tipping over.

IKEA says that these pieces of furniture pose a risk if they are not properly anchored to the wall. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) discussed the potential risks at a news conference, even demonstrating how these chests and dressers tip over. The recall includes children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches, as well as adult chests and dressers over 29.5 inches.

IKEA’s recall gives consumers who have purchased the dressers or chests two options. They can either receive a free wall anchoring repair kit, or if they are unable to do the anchoring or do not feel comfortable with doing it, they can seek a full or partial refund from the company. Customers who purchased the furniture between 2002 and 2016 would be eligible to receive a full refund and those who purchased the dressers or chests prior to 2002 would receive store credit equal to half the original purchase price.

According to news reports[1], all six children that died were under the age of 3 with one death occurring roughly 27 years ago. The CPSC claims to have received 36 reports of children who sustained some kind of injury as a result of the defective product. IKEA itself has received 41 reports regarding tip-overs in the U.S.

In February of 2014, a 2-year-old was killed when he was pinned against a bed after a six-drawer dresser fell over onto him. Four months later, a three-drawer MALM dresser fell over and trapped a 23-month-old boy, killing him. In February of this year, even after IKEA and CPSC worked to limit the dangers involved, a 22-month-old boy was killed due to a tip-over. IKEA has received reports—aside from the six deaths—of 17 injuries sustained by children between 19 months old and 10 years old[2].

The president of IKEA U.S. told news media that these particular products are not designed to be freestanding, and they will no longer be sold in their current design[3]. IKEA maintains that from this point forward, it will only sell products that meet CPSC guidelines for stability.

At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin, we have extensive experience handling cases involving defective products similar to the IKEA dressers and chests. When these products cause serious injury — or in this case, death — it is important to make sure you know your options. Our defective product attorneys can provide you with a free case evaluation if your family has suffered tragedy due to a poorly manufactured piece of furniture. Learn your legal rights today.