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Ikea has agreed to pay $US46 million ($66.5 million) to the parents of a two-year-old child who was crushed to death by a Malm dresser.

The massive payout was the result of a mediated court settlement, which centred around the notorious Ikea dresser, which has been linked to several child deaths from accidental tip-overs.

The young victim, Jozef Dudek died in 2017 in Buena Park, California, when he climbed on the short bedroom furniture and it fell on top of him, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Furniture Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that it had been aware of four other children who had been crushed by Malm dressers. As a result, the Swedish furniture retailer launched a product recall of the popular product.

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The products “are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in injuries or death to children”, the Commission said.

About 8-million Malm chests and drawers were recalled, along with 21-million other pieces of furniture.

Consumers were given the choice of either a refund or a kit to anchor the furniture to the wall.

However, at the time, Ikea Australia, refused to join in on the recall saying: “IKEA chest of drawers are safe when attached to the wall as directed in the assembly instructions.”

“We spread awareness of the importance of securing furniture on our products and product instructions, on the website and in-stores. IKEA Australia is not undertaking the recall.”

No Knowledge Of Recall

According to the Dudek’s attorney, the family said that they hadn’t known about the recall nor had been contacted by Ikea about this.

Craig and Joleen Dudek subsequently sued Ikea, saying that the company had known about this issue for many years but had failed to rectify it.

The Dudek’s payout is believed to be the biggest settlement for the wrongful death of a child.

In 2016, Ikea agreed to pay $US50 million to settle three similar lawsuits following the death of children killed by the Malm furniture.

Donation To Advocacy Groups

The Dudeks said at a news conference that they planned to donate $US1 million to advocacy groups that warn about the dangers of furniture tip-overs, such as Kids in Danger and Consumer Federation of America.

The Dudek’s lawyers also said a top Ikea executive has agreed to meet with an advocacy group formed by parents whose children were killed by fallen furniture.

“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,” Ikea said in a statement. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue.”

It Can Happen So Easily

This video below which originated in the US highlights how shockingly easy it is for a toddler to be killed while they innocently play around the home.

Have these kinds of stories help raise your awareness of securing furniture? Tell us in the comments below.

  • An amazing payout – but I would imagine all parents should know about bolting furniture to the wall – it has been known about for at least 70 hears that modern furniture isn’t rugged like those built so many years ago used to be.

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  • I’m sorry to hear that it took another child’s death for something to be done. Most items would possibly have the warning on them but in such small print. Why not have this as the first thing people read before the assembly instructions. I’m sorry for their loss

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  • I think plenty of people don’t read warnings and instructions on furniture.

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  • On a recent visit to Ikea when we asked if an item we were purchasing could be mounted we were made aware of these events and told that it could be and items are now being recommended to be secured.

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  • I’m glad it could be settled. I’m sure most instructions say to fix the furniture to the wall to prevent falls?

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  • Nearly all items of furniture like chests of drawers, bookcases, etc., come with anchors – for a reason! Very sad story.

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  • A huge payment but it does not bring the child back.

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  • This is a sad story to read. Condolences to the family.
    My dad always made us bolt tall furniture to the wall

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  • Some of their furniture has instructions in the construction manual stating that the furniture should be anchored to a wall.

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  • I’ve never thought about it before, it’s a tragedy

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  • I don’t get it, all heavy furniture can be dangerous, keep an eye on your kids!

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  • This is just awful. No amount of money will fill the gap of their loss.

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  • Oh my goodness, how sad!
    Hopefully more people will learn from this.

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  • How sad for their loss but the saddest part of it is that no amount of money will bring their child back

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  • oh poor family… heartfelt condolences. :( just so sad.

    Reply

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