Since 2008, IKEA has been the world’s largest furniture retailer. Founded in Sweden by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, the Swedish company has become well known for its ready-to-assemble furniture, along with other goods and services.
Dangerous and Deadly Dressers
Despite its continued popularity, IKEA has faced challenges over the past 10 years. Dressers sold by the company became infamous for tipping over, resulting in the deaths of six children. The tragedy saw IKEA implement a massive recall while paying nearly $100 million to settle personal injury claims, including what many believe to be the largest payout in U.S. history for the wrongful death of a child.
In mid-August, history repeated itself. The Kullen dresser, introduced in 2005, failed to comply with industry safety standards despite IKEA’s voluntarily updating safeguards for the bureaus. Thankfully, those shortcomings have not taken any lives to date. What would be the proverbial “straw” for many companies was not the case for IKEA as the product remained on store shelves for purchase.
Nearly four months later, the retailer announced that the dresser would be removed from the inventory. Another four months would pass until the company formally announced a product recall, which came after federal safety regulators said that the dresser has the potential to cause “death or serious injury to children.”
Spinning a Potential Tragedy
IKEA’s product compliance director claimed that plans were in place to phase out the Kullen dresser before the announcement. He cited the complexity of a global distribution network rife with logistical management challenges for millions of products that go to thousands of stores.
That statement, combined with others, not to mention the decision-making process, has families of nine young victims questioning whether IKEA is taking these matters seriously. Rather, it seems that IKEA is making this process harder than it needs to be. One parent even speculated that a simple email to store managers would both resolve the problem and save lives in the future.
Dangerous products can lead to serious injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a dangerous product, contact a personal injury attorney experienced in handling products liability cases.