Ikea will pay $46 million as part of a settlement to the family of Jozef Dudek, a California toddler who was killed by a recalled dresser that tipped over on him.
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“While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution,” Ikea said in a statement. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this important safety issue. We offer our deepest condolences.”
Also as part of the settlement, IKEA U.S. President Javier Quiñones will meet with members of Parents Against Tip-Overs, an advocacy group that promotes child safety.
The group has been calling for a meeting since 2017.
“The one thing we want to walk away with is to collaborate with them, to help make this recall effective” and to get more dressers taken off the market, she said. “There are millions of these still sitting in people's homes," she said in November. "They’re like ticking time bombs.”
There have been at least 186 reports of Malm dressers tipping over, including the ones that fell onto Dudek and McGee’s son. There are 113 more reports of other IKEA dresser fall-overs, resulting in 53 injuries. And eight children have died in the accidents.
McGee is part of a group of three families that split a $50 million settlement from IKEA in 2016 after their children were killed by falling dressers. And the mom thinks the new, much larger, settlement in Dudek’s case is more proof that the incidents are IKEA’s fault.
“That money shows the guilt of IKEA,” she told USA Today. “The first tip-over death was reported to them in 1989. They have known about this problem a very, very long time."
Of the 28,000 people injured in tip-overs each year, more than half are children. And while Quiñones only took over IKEA's U.S. division in March, the company said it is taking every action it can to prevent more tip-overs. He previously held a similar role at the retailer’s headquarters in the United Kingdom where the dressers remain available.
“We are committed to raising the awareness of how to prevent furniture tip-overs ... through our 51 U.S. stores and on the IKEA USA home page, which received 327 million visits last year,” IKEA said in a statement to FOX Business in November. “Our goal is to continue to work with all stakeholders — our customers, Congress, the [U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission] and safety advocates, to further reduce the risk of tip-overs.”
IKEA recalled more than 29 million dressers in 2016 and supplied one million anchoring kits to families with small children in an attempt to remedy the accidents. The recall, though, makes up for only a small percentage of IKEA dressers. And McGee said many parents don’t know the product can be dangerous since it's still on online marketplaces.
A list of recalled IKEA products can be found at www.ikea-usa.com/saferhomestogether.