Sometimes, consumer products that seem well-constructed and designed end up causing injuries or even loss of life. When it comes to household furniture, designers and manufacturers have to consider the esthetics and function of a particular piece. But, they also must ensure that the furniture isn't unnecessarily dangerous for anyone who might use it in the home, including small children.
Recently, Ikea issued a recall for almost 30 million pieces of its furniture because of dangers that they pose to children. The popular furniture retailer, which has a store here in Orange County, recalled certain models of chests and dressers because of the possibility that they could tip over onto children. Three children have already died after pieces of the furniture in question fell over on top of them.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this is not an unusual problem. Data from the CPSC shows that once every 24 minutes, falling furniture, including televisions, injure a child and require emergency attention at a hospital. Moreover, on average, a child dies from this type of injury once every two weeks.
Ikea's president for its United States operations urged customers to remove the dangerous chests and dressers from their homes. The company is offering refunds on the products, or a repair kit that anchors the furniture to the wall so that it will not tip over and harm children.
When a person buys a common product, like a dresser for their home, they may never even consider that the item could harm their family or anyone else who uses the product. Although most ordinary products are relatively safe, manufacturing or design defects can make certain products dangerous.
Now that Ikea has recalled the dangerous line of dressers and chests, hopefully no other children will suffer injury from them. In other situations where death from defective products occurs, the victim's family members can pursue a fatal product liability case.
Source: NBC News, "After 3 Deaths, Ikea Recalls Millions of Dangerous Dressers," Tom Costello and Tim Stelloh, June 28, 2016