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Ikea settles lawsuit over tipping dressers

Georgia shoppers who have purchased furniture from Ikea may be interested to learn that the company agreed to pay $50 million to several families on Dec. 21. According to the report, the company was sued after three children were killed when Ikea dressers crushed them after tipping over.

Prior to recalling at least 29 million dressers in June, the company launched a campaign to urge customers to obtain a securing kit. These were being provided to customers for free. However, Ikea ultimately reported only 300,000 kits were distributed, even though they had some millions unsafe dressers in the United States. When the third died, the company enacted the recall and stopped selling their popular "Malm" series.

In addition to the settlement, which was to be split evenly among the three families, Ikea also agreed to donate $50,000 to three different children's' hospitals. An additional $100,000 donation will also be made to Shane's Foundation NFP, a children's safety nonprofit organization. Even with Ikea taking action to remove as many unsafe dressers as possible from homes with young children, parents should still be aware that a child dies every two weeks due to unsecured furniture tipping over.

Manufacturers are in general responsible for the safety of their products when they are used in a manner that is consistent with how the product is marketed. If a person is killed due to an unsafe product or one that is inherently hazardous due to a design defect, an attorney could assist the decedent's surviving family members in seeking compensation for their losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution such as wholesalers and retailers.

Source: NBC News, "Ikea Reaches $50 Million Wrongful Death Settlement Over Falling Dressers", Alyssa Newcomb, Dec. 21, 2016

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