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 tip-over accidents.
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:
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.
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