Far too many children have been seriously injured or have died from a furniture tip-over accident. Children are curious and love to climb, particularly when trinkets and other desirable items are left on top of dressers and other top-heavy furniture. Tragically, a child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in America from furniture or TV’s tipping over, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). https://www.cpsc.gov/
A furniture tip-over investigation conducted in early 2018 by the consumer watchdog Consumer Reports found that the furniture industry’s voluntary standards for preventing tip-over problems are weak, leaving too many children at risk of becoming trapped or crushed by unstable and unanchored pieces of furniture. https://www.consumerreports.org/furniture/furniture-tip-overs-hidden-hazard-in-your-home/
These voluntary standards recommend that manufacturers design pieces of furniture, including dressers, measuring over 30 inches in height to be able to withstand holding 50 pounds on each dresser drawer when it is extended without tipping over. Consumer Reports, however, claims this tip-over weight does not represent the actual weight of the children who are most hurt by tip-over incidents. Consumer Reports researchers want the safety standard be increased to 60 pounds to more accurately represent the weight of children who are hurt most often by falling furniture.
The CPSC notes that about 38,000 emergency-treated injuries were reported in the United States between 2011 and 2013. Of the 430 fatalities related to defective furniture between 2000 and 2013, 84 percent (360) involved children.
Injuries associated with furniture tip-overs may include:
- Broken bones
- Head, neck, and brain injuries
Child injury attorney Jeff Killino is experienced with cases involving defective products as well as injuries to children. If your son or daughter has been injured in a tip-over accident or by a defective or faulty product, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Furniture and TV Tip-Over Prevention
While compensation of a lawsuit can help to pay for medical or even funeral costs and after the death of a child, furniture tip-over accidents must be prevented from happening in the first place. Injuries caused by furniture tip-overs are often preventable, and manufacturers have a duty to analyze and test for any dangers that may occur before marketing their products. The CPSC notes that nearly all reported accidents could have been prevented if the piece of furniture or TV was secured with a simple and inexpensive wall anchor or strapping system.
In 2015, the CPSC launched its “Anchor It!” campaign to help prevent furniture and TV tip-overs from killing and seriously injuring children.
Someone is treated in an emergency room roughly every 52 minutes due to a television falling or tipping over on a stand that was not properly anchored, according to Consumer Reports researchers. They found that the average weight of a 65-inch TV and stand is about 70 pounds, which can easily crush or trap a small child. As well, Americans are buying larger TVs and older models wind up in other rooms, often perched on stands and dressers not equipped to handle them.
To prevent TV tip-overs, the CPSC advises the following:
- Secure any televisions to the wall that are not wall mounted
- Mount flat-screen TVs
- Follow manufacturers’ instructions to properly secure TVs and furniture
- Older-model TVs should only be placed on furniture stable enough to hold the TV and should be anchored to the wall or to the TV stand
Defective Furniture Recalls
There are a number of recalls every year involving furniture tip-over accidents. Some recalls have led to defective furniture tip-over lawsuits, claiming that the product manufacturers and others failed to disclose known risks of injury associated with the furniture. Regardless of a furniture recall, failure to warn of product defects can be a basis of product liability.
In June 2016, IKEA North America and the CPSC recalled over 29 million units of chests and dressers, including MALM 3-drawer, 5-drawer and three 6-drawer models, as well as other children’s and adult chests and dressers. https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/following-an-additional-child-fatality-ikea-recalls-29-million-malm-and-other-models-of
- Four children reportedly died after MALM chests tipped over.
- Of 41 reported tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers, 17 children aged 19 months to 10 years old suffered injuries.
- Reports of tip-overs involving chests and dressers other than MALMs resulted in the deaths of three children and 19 injuries.
If your child has been injured or killed in a furniture or TV tip-over accident, you may be entitled to recover damages from the party or parties responsible. Child-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino is dedicated to helping children and families obtain the compensation they deserve.
Furniture Tip-Over Lawsuit
A furniture tip-over lawsuit may be an option if your child has been injured as a result of a furniture tip-over accident.
Furniture manufacturers have a duty to provide safe products. If any risks of harm are associated with their products, they must also provide adequate warnings. If a furniture manufacturer fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for potential injuries. Furniture and TV tip-over complaints can address:
- Fraud or negligent representation from misleading advertising.
- Negligence by furniture manufacturers;
- Products liability on defective design or manufacturing
- A wrongful death
The families of children who have died may be eligible to recover money, although no amount of money can compensate the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
Nationally-recognized child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has handled a wide variety of defective product cases, including those arising out of injuries and deaths caused by furniture and TV tip-over accidents. Our experienced attorneys, paralegals, and investigators share the goal of helping injured families win the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. If your child has been hurt or killed in a preventable accident caused by negligence or a defective product, call us today at 1-877-875-2927.