Defective products, such as assemble-it-yourself dressers that are inherently unstable, can kill. Parents, agonizing over children injured or killed by defective products, need the support offered by experienced legal counsel.
Every 24 minutes in the United States, a child is injured by furniture or televisions tipping over; worse, every two weeks a child dies from similar defective products, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The tragic case of little two-year-old Curren Collas of West Chester highlights the dangers of assuming furniture, such as Ikea’s MALM dresser, is safe for use around very small children. Though Ikea provides anchor kits with the assemble-it-yourself dressers (and provides free anchors by mail for parents who may have lost the originals), the burden of securing the inherently defective products falls to diligent parents. Collas died when he attempted, as many little children will, to use the dresser’s drawers to climb the furniture.
The U.S. division of Ikea, based on Conshohocken, PA, worked with the CPSC on its voluntary program to provide education and anchors after two children in less than a year were killed by the MALM dressers. Though the company disputes that it sells defective products, it readily agreed to preventive measures, including a page on its website, to avoid further tragedies.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has a standard exactly addressing the CPSC’s cause for concern: ASTM F2057 – 14, Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units, which outlines a “specification…intended to reduce injuries and deaths of children from hazards associated with tipover of free-standing clothing storage units, such as chests, door chests and dressers, over 30 in. (762 mm) in height.”
The CPSC, provides prominent advertising that pointedly spells out the risks of badly designed products such as unstable TVs, unbalanced dressers, and toppling appliances. According to the CPSC, 70 percent of children who die from tipovers are struck down by TVs and furniture, and also from other defective products. An additional 26 percent are killed by furniture alone, and four percent succumb to appliances falling on them.
A staggering 29 percent of the fatally injured children are three to five; 27 percent are one- to two-year-olds, and 24 percent are between two and three.
When a child is injured or killed due to a deficient product that tragically combines with a child’s natural curiosity and athleticism, parents are mired in emotional, financial and physical devastation. At first unbelieving, then accepting of their unbearable fate, these parents need spiritual guidance, gentle counseling, and professional legal help.
An injured child may require immediate, intense medical assistance, long-term care, or a lifetime of expensive support for crippling injuries from defective products. A child five or younger struck down can tear apart the lives of grieving parents. If a product is found to be defective and the cause of a tragedy, the surviving family has a right to recover expenses and damages for the pain and suffering they endure. While helping to mend the shattered lives after the immediate tragedy, a product liability lawsuit for defective products also helps ensure manufacturers take seriously their responsibility to produce safe wares. The case of Ikea’s MALM dressers illustrates this point, as many of the more than seven million MALM dressers sold in the U.S. are now secured to prevent tipover.
If you have suffered from the effects of defective goods such as Ikea’s MALM dresser or another tipover hazard, contact the offices of Ginsburg & Associates to speak to one of the firm’s product liability lawyers. The call today to (215) 564-4400 can help prevent a tragedy from defective products tomorrow.