In 2017, Jozef Dudek, then a two-year-old, was seriously injured and eventually killed in a three-tier drawer flip that weighed 32kg in the Ikea Malm series.
A lawyer for Mr. Dudek's parents said $46 million was also the largest settlement in U.S. history for the improper deaths of children. In addition, the sum of up to $46 million is almost three times the amount paid in 2016 to learn about similar lawsuits filed by parents of other children who lost their lives in the drawer flipping.
In a lawsuit filed by the Dudek family, IKEA was actually aware of the casualties associated with the Mulm series drawer flipping before the Duke's death, but did not do enough to improve the safety and stability of the product. Ikea failed to warn consumers that it should not be used without fixing drawers or dressers to walls, the lawsuit said.
\"It never occurred to us that a two-year-old would suffocate him because of the flip of a short 30-inch drawer,\" her mother, Jolyn, told USA Today. Later we learned that the drawer was unstable in design and did not meet safety standards, and that other children had experienced it.
So far, at least nine children have died from the collapse of an IKEA drawer, the Daily Mail reports. Usually, when a child pulls the drawer open and strikes the drawer in the direction of the body, the drawer collapses.
The 《 Daily Economic News reporter noted that IKEA recalled 29 million cabinets and dressers in the United States in 2016 a year before the incident, with 8 million of the Malm series, which died in 2017, causing multiple injuries and several deaths before it was recalled. That same year, IKEA reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three children who died in the Marm drawer knock-down. However, lawyers for Mr. Dudek's parents say millions of recalled drawers are still being used.
On July 12,2016, IKEA (China) also posted a statement on its official website, saying that IKEA China recalled a series of drawer cabinets such as Malm, and said in the statement:\" The possible danger of furniture overturning for home safety is a serious issue for the entire home industry. IKEA promises to play an exemplary role in addressing this challenge. The best way to prevent furniture from dumping is to fix it on the wall. Ikea drawer cabinets are safe when you use the product's anti-dumping connectors to secure the product to the wall according to the installation instructions.
According to the U.S. Consumer Goods Safety Council, an average of 12,500 children are injured every year when furniture, televisions or electrical appliances are overturned. Between 2010 and 2018, about 459 children died, or 83% of all such deaths.
In a statement released late monday local time, FeldmanShepherdWohlgelernterTannerWeinstockDoDigLLP, a lawyer for the dudke family, said the $1 million in the settlement would be donated to consumer groups that had been advocating for more rigorous stability tests on the drawer products.
An ikea spokesman said:\" although no settlement or incident can change the deadly events that have brought us to this point, we are also grateful for the settlement of the lawsuit for all families and related personnel who have been injured because of ikea products.\"
Ikea also said it had destroyed 420,000 returned products in the three years since Malm drawers were recalled. In addition, IKEA has provided 1.05 million kits for fixing drawers to consumers. Still, security advocates say there may still be millions of uncertain drawer-like products among global consumers.