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.
Hodedah 4-Drawer Chests Recall
On May 13, 2020, Hodedah Import Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y. recalled several 4-drawer chest products due to potential for tip-over injuries or death.
The chests or dressers come in beech, mahogany, chocolate, cherry, white, and black. They were sold online and various retailers including www.wayfair.com, www.HomeDepot.com, www.Walmart.com, www.Amazon.com, www.Unbeatablesale.com, and www.Homesquare.com, www.Houzz.com, www.Goedeckers.com, www.Cymax.com, www.123stores.com,, www.Hayneedle.com, and www.Overstock.com from July 2017 through April 2020 for between $90 and $200.
Prepac 4-Drawer Chests Recall
On May 6, 2020 Prepac Manufacturing Ltd., of Canada issued a recall of approximately 21,000 chests that were sold online at Overstock.com, Target.com, Amazon.com and other online retailers from April 2005 through September 2018 for about $75.
The chests came in multiple colors including black, oak, and white. Their dimensions are as follows: 29-3/4”H x 30”W x 16”D. To date, there have been no reported injuries or deaths associated with the recalled furniture.
Safavieh Chest of Drawers Recall
In February 2020, a chest of drawers manufactured by Safavieh was recalled due to a tip-over hazard. The Aura and Silas models are 3-drawer chests that are unstable if not anchored to a wall. This can pose entrapment, or serious injury or death to children.
A limited amount of 760 units were recalled from the US market.
They come in three different colors: light gray drawers with light grey linen finish (model number CHS6410B); champagne drawers and chrome finish (model number CHS6403A); steel teal drawers with chrome finish (model number CHS6403C).
Any consumer who has any of the recalled models should stop using them until properly anchored to a wall. Safavieh said it would provide a full refund by providing consumers with prepaid shipping to mail the drawer slides back to the company. The chests were sold online at places such as Wayfair, Overstock, and Gilt between November 2017 and November 2019.
Home Decorators Chest Recall
Home Decorators brand recalled 200 of its print block 4-drawer whitewash chests in February 2020. The chest can become unstable if not anchored to a wall. This poses serious tip-over entrapment, injury, or death to children.
The chest is made from a distressed finish mango wood and was sold between May 2015 and December 2019. It measures about 44 inches tall and weighs 96 lbs. There is a white label on the back of the chest with the manufacturer “Country Art & Craft LLP” with a date of production.
The chest does not comply with the voluntary industry standards of height and stability practices. Consumers are advised to stop using the chest until it is properly secured. The company is willing to offer a free refund with chest pick up if necessary.
The chests were sold online at Home Depot for about $900.
IKEA 3-Drawer Chest Recall Lawsuit
In March 2020, the KULLEN model 3-drawer chest was recalled from IKEA due to a tip-over hazard. If the chest is not anchored to a wall, it can pose a falling hazard. When this happens, especially in a home with children, it could potentially entrap a child, leading to death or serious injury.
Roughly 820,000 units were recalled, including 150,000 that were sold in Canada. The chest measures 28 3/8 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. It was sold in a black-brown and birch color. To figure out if you have the KULLEN model, it should be printed on the underside of the top panel or inside of the side panel.
If you own the KULLEN model involved in this recall, you should stop using it immediately if it is not anchored to a wall. Children should not have access to it either, if that is the case. Contact IKEA for a full refund or a free wall anchor kit.
IKEA is offering to arrange for pick up or an in-store return for a full refund. Additionally, IKEA has offered to provide a free in-home installation of the anchoring service, if requested.
There have been six tip-over reports that involve the KULLEN 3-drawer chest. These reports claim the chest was not anchored to the wall.
It’s important to note, the 3-drawer chests do not comply with an updated version of the US consensus standard (ASTM 2057) which outlines compliance standards for furniture.
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.