Furniture Tip-Over Lawsuits Now Being Filed: A tip-over can involve a piece of furniture, often a dresser or other type of clothing storage unit, falling onto a small child. Tip-over accidents can also be caused from television and appliance tip-overs. These dangerous occurrences can lead to a trip to the emergency room, or even death.
In many of these cases, the youngsters, spurred on by an innocent curiosity, grabbed hold of the sides of a television or attempted to climb drawers, like they might have a set of stairs.
And in some cases, horrifically, the incident was not realized immediately because the child’s body – or a carpet – muffles the sound of the heavy item of furniture toppling over.
Johnson//Becker Comments on 2022 CPSC Vote & STURDY Act
2022 Update – The furniture tip-over lawyers at Johnson//Becker applaud the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) vote to pass stronger safety standards with regard to furniture tip-overs. Prior to today’s vote, there was no mandatory standard for dressers and other clothing storage units despite at least 199 child deaths since 2000.
The Unfortunate Statistics
- 91 percent of tip-over fatalities occur in the home.
- More than ¾ of all tip-over fatalities involved children under six.
- 50 percent of tip-over fatalities occur in a bedroom.
- The majority of tip-over incidents result in head injuries.
According to the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 28,300 people in the United States who experienced furniture tip-over injuries and/or death in 2018. Nearly 44 percent of all those furniture tip-over victims were 9 years old and younger.
Children accounted for 82% of reported fatalities (ages ranged from 1 month to 14 years), and 91% of all fatalities occurred in residential settings. Sixty-one percent of reported fatalities involved furniture. Chests, bureaus, nightstands and dressers accounted for the vast majority of furniture-related child tip-over deaths.
Items like tables, chests, bureaus, dressers, shelves and shelving units, bookcases, and cabinets are many examples of pieces of furniture that have both injured and killed children and adults in furniture tip-overs.
Every two weeks a child dies when a television, piece of furniture or an appliance falls on him or her. Take simple, low-cost steps in your home to save lives.
The Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act
The furniture tip-over lawyers at Johnson//Becker commend Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) and Senator Bob Casey (PA) who have reintroduced The Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act. The Act would require the CPSC to create a strong mandatory rule for dressers and similar products to protect children from tip-over incidents. Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT) released a video (included below) explaining why the Act is necessary to prevent furniture tip-over tragedies from happening to other families.
According to the CPSC’s latest data, a child is sent to the emergency department every 60 minutes due to a furniture tip-over, and one to two children die every month.
The Act would require addressing dynamic force applied by children interacting with the dresser, multiple drawers opened and filled with clothing, as well as the effect of being placed on carpet.
Please consider contacting your Congressperson and U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor the bill. Find your elected officials’ names and contact information here.
Furniture Tip-Over Incident Scenarios
Furniture tip-over incidents include scenarios where heavy furniture falls on an individual, usually a child, from some type of interaction, such as climbing or exerting a force on the product while it is in one of its positions of normal use. Product instability that can lead to a tip-over incident can be caused or affected by an unstable dresser design (small foot print, top heavy), use on a sloped or unstable surface (carpet), non-use of a tip-over restraint device or use of a defective tip-over restraint device, heavy objects on top of a dresser, or multiple dresser drawers open.
A television or an appliance that falls in combination with the furniture (that the television or appliance is resting in or on) is also a common occurrence.
Common Furniture Tip-Over Injuries
Injuries from furniture tipping over include:
- Internal organ injuries
- Sprain and strain
- brain damage or traumatic brain injury
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 a furniture tip-over recall or a wall anchor campaign, 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, Unfortunate Deaths & Furniture Tip-Over Lawsuits
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 their furniture tip-over lawsuits for millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements.
- Recently, in 2020, Ikea paid $46 million for the death of child in furniture tip-over lawsuit. Ikea will pay $46 million to the parents of a 2-year-old child crushed to death by a Malm dresser, a piece of furniture associated with several child deaths from accidental tip-overs, according to a mediated court settlement.
- Also in 2020, a furniture tip-over class action lawsuit was filed against Ikea US Retail LLC and Ikea North America Services LLC on behalf of consumers who purchased Ikea chests and dressers that were involved in tip-over incidents.
- 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.
Those are just a few tragic stories of furniture, appliance and tv tip-overs. Unfortunately, there are many more. For additional reading, an excellent article was released by Consumer Reports titled, “Furniture Tip-Overs: A Hidden Hazard in Your Home – Some makers do it right, but children still die from unstable dressers. And there are no laws to help prevent future tragedies.”
Television & TV Tip-Overs
Most tip-over accidents occur when furniture tips over, however television and TV tip-overs can also have tragic consequences. According to a new CPSC study, when a television falls from an average size dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds.
CPSC researchers conducted 38 drop tests simulating a tip-over of both cathode ray tube (CRT) and flat screen TVs on top of furniture. Using frequently reported incident scenarios and an accelerometer to help calculate the force, the researchers concluded:
- The impact energy was typically much greater for a CRT TV than a flat screen, but both had forces that can cause serious injury on impact;
- for acceleration of the TV, impact was between 73 Gs and 240 Gs;
- for CRT TVs, the impact force was up to 12,700 pounds of force; and
- for flat screen TVs, the force was up to 2,098 pounds of force.
With an impact force equivalent to thousands of pounds, no child is a match for falling TVs or furniture.
Furniture Tip-Over Recalls
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for issuing safety and recall notices as it relates too defective or unsafe consumer products. Below is a list of recently recalled products as it relates to furniture tip-overs.
Please understand that it is usually up to the manufacturers to self report furniture tip-overs and/or up to consumers to file an incident report with the CPSC. If your family has been the victim of a furniture tip-over accident and you are interested in pursuing a furniture tip-over lawsuit, you should contact our lawyers regardless of the manufacturer or the store your furniture came from. Often times, a tip-over accident occurs on a piece of furniture that has yet to be recalled.
Kmart Essential Home Belmont 2.0 Dresser / Chest Recall
On August 11, 2020, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of “Essential Home Belmont 2.0 four-drawer chests” citing that the recalled chests are unstable and can tip over if not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children.
This recall involves 4-drawer chests with plastic drawer glides sold by Transform under the Essential Home brand and identified as the “Belmont 2.0” model. The chests measure approximately 29.8 inches in height and 27.7 inches in width, and were sold in four colors including black, pine, walnut, and white. The manufacturer’s name, “Kappesberg Moveis,” and the model number “F214” can be found on the instruction manual that came with each chest.
Kmart Item Number
Mfr. Model Number
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 created a standalone website in the effort of 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. Click the image below to download their poster, “Anchoring is Easy as 1-2-3”.
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.
Questions About a Furniture Tip-Over Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer for a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a furniture tip-over, you are not alone. Johnson//Becker is a nationwide product liability law firm and our lawyers have significant experience in litigating high stakes personal injury and product liability claims.
While no amount of money can justify the loss of a loved one, if you decide to file a by furniture tip-over lawsuit you may be (i) entitled to financial compensation and (ii) send a message to furniture manufacturers that their shoddy design and manufacturing methods need to change.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.