Wrongful death lawsuits are common in fields like healthcare where medical malpractice causes about 225,000 deaths every year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.Furniture stores are a less likely source of personal injury cases, but as a recent case proved they can be just as deadly. Ikea, the furniture retailer, is facing the second wrongful death lawsuit in less than 12 months, according to the local New York ABC affiliate ABC7NY.com.
The families of Camden Ellis and Curren Collas allege that the dressers they bought from Ikea, “lacked counterbalancing weight,” and that the furniture store knew the dressers were top and front-heavy.
According data from the federal government, it’s not just Ikea facing wrongful death lawsuits over faulty furniture. A child is sent to the hospital every 24 minutes due to falling furniture or televisions and a death occurs as a result about every two weeks. While it’s certainly not as deadly as car crashes, which kill 37,000 people annually, or drug overdoses (44,000) it’s still a serious problem that needs to be fixed.
Ikea tried to address some of these concerns last year when they, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced that 27 million of chests and dressers were potentially unsafe if unsecured. Ikea then started what they called their ‘secure it’ program. In lieu of a standard recall, they offered free anchor kits to their customers with brackets so that furniture could be secured to a wall.
“The anchor kits are not enough. The first thing they need to do is design-in safety,” said Alan Feldman, lawyer for Collas and Ellis families.
Ikea would not comment on the wrongful death lawsuits as they are still pending litigation. They did release a statement that simply said they are, “committed to product safety and educating our customers about the need to properly secure chests of drawers to the wall.”