Nearly every household in the world has furniture in it. Regardless of the style, brand, price tag, you name it– furniture helps us stay organized. But what happens when furniture tips over and puts our lives and our families lives at risk?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 28,300 people in the United States who experienced tip-over injuries and/or death in 2018. Nearly 44 percent of all those furniture tip-over victims were 9 years old and younger.
Items like tables, chests, bureaus, dressers, shelves and shelving units, bookcases, and cabinets are many examples of tip-over pieces of furniture that have both injured and killed children and adults.
Common Tip-Over Injuries
Furniture is more than stubbing a toe on a pesky bookshelf– it houses books and clothes for little ones, it holds the television you watch with your family. Injuries from furniture tipping over include:
- Internal organ injuries
- Sprain and strain
According to the CPSC, the places most common for furniture to injure you in the event of falling over are:
- Legs, feet, and toes
- Arms, hands, fingers
Why do some furniture items fall while others stay in place?
One of the biggest reasons for recalls is the construction of the furniture itself. Many items are not built sturdy enough to withstand pulling, heavy items placed in drawers, or shelving on top of it. Sometimes the consumer may not have put the furniture together properly and the result is sub-par construction.
The problem usually is remedied by a wall anchor in order to prevent this very thing from happening. But usually by the time a company initiates wall anchors, it means someone has already been harmed.
Many retailers are at the mercy of relying on their vendors to provide safe furniture. Many victims have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of faulty furniture, seeking monetary compensation for their injuries and/or the unfortunate death of a loved one.
Read below for recent furniture recalls and how the lawyers at Johnson // Becker can help you file a furniture tip-over lawsuit.
Tip-Over Injuries and Unfortunate Deaths
There have been many horrific tip-over deaths that have occurred in recent years. Curious children have climbed atop furniture that was unstable, unsteady and poorly designed. Many well-known companies have settled for millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements.
- In 2008, IKEA agreed to settle for $2.3 million in a lawsuit filed by the parents of Katie Lambert– a three-year-old who was found crushed to death by a wardrobe that fell on her.Her family started a non-profit charity called the Lambert Foundation for Child Safety, in response to her tragic death.
- Brayden Poole was a three-year-old child who was killed by a falling television in 2011. The family believes he climbed atop the dresser to restart a movie he’d been watching, when the dresser fell and the television crashed atop him.
Ridgewood Dresser Recall Lawsuit
In 2019, Ridgewood recalled one of its dressers due to a tip-over hazard that could also entrap a small child.
The four-drawer dresser was sold exclusively at Kmart stores across the country and online for roughly $40 between April 2013 and November 2018.
Kmart has since taken the furniture off their shelves, but if you own one you should stop using it immediately. The company is offering a free anchoring kit in order to strap the dresser to the wall. Customers can also request a free home installation of the wall strap.
To check if your dresser was involved in the recall, head over to the Ridgewood Dresser Recall Lawsuit page by clicking here.
South Shore Industries Recall Lawsuit
In 2019, South Shore Industries recalled its popular 3-drawer dresser due to potential tip-over injury. The Libra style dresser was labeled as “unstable” when not anchored to a wall. This poses a tip-over or entrapment hazard and can be very dangerous for children.
At the time of the recall, there were two reports of the dresser falling over on children. One of those reports was the unfortunate death of a child.
The dresser was sold in nine different colors. To check if your dresser was involved in the recall, head over to the South Shore Recall Lawsuit page by clicking here.
Preventing Tip-Over Injuries
The CPSC has a guide for preventing tip-over injuries. The organization came up with a national campaign called “Anchor It!” that provides public education and awareness on how to prevent furniture and TV tip-overs from happening.
The campaign suggests the following guidelines for preventing injury or harm from common household furniture:
- USE STURDY FURNITURE
Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold a television, such as television stands or media centers.
- SECURE YOUR TV
Televisions that are not wall mounted should still be anchored to the wall.
- MOUNT FLAT-SCREEN TVS
Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or to furniture to prevent them from toppling over.
- FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.
- LOW AND STABLE – CRT TV
Recycle older CRT televisions.
- SECURE TOP-HEAVY FURNITURE
Existing furniture can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture, such as dressers, are sold with anti-tip devices. Install them right away.
- REMOVE TEMPTING OBJECTS
Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
Do you have a furniture tip-over lawsuit?
The lawyers at Johnson // Becker want to make sure you receive compensation for any injuries you or your family sustained from furniture tipping over. By filing a furniture tip-over lawsuit, you may be entitled to financial compensation for injuries and/or property damage. We offer a Free Case Evaluation and would be honored to speak to you.