Posted On October 12, 2017 In Personal Injury
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics show that tip-over accidents cause an injury every 15 minutes somewhere in the US. According to the CPSC, more than 33,000 emergency room visits per year are caused by tip-over accidents. A tip-over accident can occur when top-heavy furniture, such as a bookcase or television, falls on someone.
For small children, the impact force of a falling tv or bookcase can cause catastrophic injuries or death. CPSC statistics show that 65 percent of fatal tip-over accidents that occurred between 2000 and 2014 involved children between 1 and 3 ½ years old. Tip-overs can occur when children pull or climb on top-heavy furniture. However, furniture sold in the US should be designed to account for these risks so children are not injured.
CPSC officials have said that parents play an important role in preventing tip-over accidents. According to the CPSC, parents can use wall anchors or other anti-tip devices to secure furniture. However, parents should not be blamed for failing to use these devices. Parents purchasing furniture may not understand what wall anchors are for or how to install them with furniture.
Some furniture can also contain defects that increase the risk of a tip-over accident. Over the past few years, there have been several major recalls for defective furniture products due to tip-over risks.
For example, Target recalled 180,000 of its Room Essentials 4-drawer dressers two weeks ago. According to the CPSC, it has received 12 reports of these dressers collapsing. The CPSC has warned parents not to use this product if it is not anchored to the wall. There are currently no reported injuries caused by this product.
In 2016, IKEA recalled 29 million of its MALM dressers and chests. These tip-over prone furniture items were linked to four deaths in the US. IKEA recently settled a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of the deceased children.
Certain types of furniture must be designed in a way that can prevent tip-overs from occurring, even when children climb on the furniture. According to the lawsuit, IKEA continued selling MALM products despite knowing they posed a tip-over risk. IKEA claimed the parents were negligent for not using wall anchors with its products.
The IKEA and Target recalls show how unsafe furniture can be sold for years before a recall is issued. In some cases, recalls for defective products (of all kinds) are announced after injuries or deaths have occurred.
The Texas product liability lawyers at Mike Love & Associates, LLC will fight for victims of defective products.
At Mike Love & Associates, LLC, we review your situation for free and spell out every option that may be available to you. If we can’t help there is no charge.