On Wednesday of last week, IKEA and the
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) made an announcement recalling 27 million chest and drawer sets due to
safety hazards. IKEA, a Swedish furniture retailer, has acknowledged that
certain furniture pieces may not be safe if free-standing. In the past
few months, two children died and others were injured due to drawer sets
tipping over and pinning children underneath.
IKEA recalled the
MALM series of chests and drawers as well as IKEA children’s chests and dressers
taller than 23 ½ inches and IKEA adult chests and dressers taller
than 29 ½ inches. Although considered a recall, consumers are being
asked to not return the furniture to the store. Instead, IKEA is issuing
a remedy to make the product safer. Consumers can receive a free wall-anchoring
kit by visiting an IKEA store, registering at
www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether, or calling toll-free (888) 966-4532.
Since the accidents, the company has made statements saying that they are
working to prevent other tragedies like this from happening in the future.
One of the issues of this recall is that many parents do not even know
of this type of furniture hazard, so raising awareness is a new goal for
IKEA and the CPSC. In an interview on Wednesday, CPSC Chairman Elliot
Kaye publicly asked the entire furniture industry to make more stable
furniture. Although low prices are highly valued, CPSC would like IKEA
and other furniture retailers to focus on creating more stable furniture
even if that means slightly higher prices. Another activist group, the
American Home Furnishings Alliance, believes the safety of home furnishings can be improved through innovations
in materials and technology. It has encouraged IKEA and similar furniture
retailers to invest in R&D efforts to find ways to decrease furniture
So far, IKEA has been cooperative in regards to the furniture recall and
has stated that it “is committed to helping raise the awareness
of this serious home safety issue and to continu[ing] to provide consumers
with the tools and knowledge they need to prevent these accidents.”
Although IKEA has been a great example of responsibility within the industry,
many companies do not issue a statement and a remedy for the defective
products right away. Recalls cost companies billions of dollars and are
usually not budgeted into the company's costs. Because of this, many
companies try to fight recall claims.
As a consumer, it is important to understand what qualifies as a defective
product and what to do if you are the owner of one. A
defective product is a consumable, commercially produced and distributed good that is:
- unfit for its intended use
- dangerous or harmful for normal use
- does not carry adequate instructions for its use, or
- is inherently dangerous due to defective design, assembly, or manufacture.
Product liability is different from other negligence-based lawsuits in
that the person seeking damages does not have to prove negligence in many
cases. This is because product liability frequently is a question of strict
liability: that is, if the product is defective and that the defect caused injury.
If a product you own is defective, it is important to report it to the
CPSC and then talk to a lawyer. Our Detroit personal injury attorneys
at Goodman Acker P.C. have successfully won defective product cases for
over 30 years. We can lead you through the legal process and help you
get the compensation you deserve for defective products and injuries caused by them.
Call today at (248) 793-2010 for a free, no-obligation
product liability case review.