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Ikea settles case of child killed by dresser tip-over for $46 million

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Cranwell & Moore cares about your safety. In response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via teleworking options. Please call or e-mail us to discuss your options. We continue to operate under normal business hours.

On Dec. 6, 2019, it was announced that Ikea and the parents of a two-year-old toddler had agreed in a mediated settlement that Ikea would pay them $46 million after the child died in 2017 from an Ikea dresser tipping over onto him when he climbed on it, according to The Washington Post.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission and Ikea recalled more than 17 million dressers in the Malm line because of this tipping danger, but the California family reportedly says they did not know of the recall. The parents alleged in their suit that Ikea knew of the danger, but did not take steps to correct it, reports the Post.

The parents will donate some of the money to organizations that spread the word about the risks of tip-overs to children.

What is product liability?

This kind of lawsuit is based on the legal doctrine of product liability – an area of personal injury law providing legal remedies when dangerous products injure consumers. The theories of product liability are grounded in state law and include:

  • Failure to warn: The manufacturer or seller of a product has the duty to warn consumers of a potential danger not obvious to a user. Liability attaches if a consumer is harmed because they were not appropriately warned of the danger.
  • Defective design: When a product is designed with a defect that makes it unsafe to users, and that defect injures a consumer, the designer, manufacturer or seller may be liable for the harm.
  • Defective manufacturing: A manufacturer may be liable for injuries resulting from defects in the manufacturing process that caused an unsafe attribute in the product.
  • Unreasonably dangerous product: If a consumer is harmed by a product more dangerous than an ordinary person would anticipate based on its normal use, liability may attach.

In a lawsuit based on product liability, damages for related injuries may include those for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, long-term care, adaptations to home and vehicle and others, depending on the extent and type of injury. An attorney can provide advice about potential legal remedies for harm from dangerous or defective products as well as for the death of a loved one for this reason.

The lawyers at Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. in Vinton, Virginia, represent clients injured by dangerous or defective products and the surviving loved ones of victims killed in these circumstances in the Roanoke area and throughout Virginia as well as in West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and surrounding states.

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