You leave your child alone watching TV in the family room or playing with toys on a bedroom floor, never suspecting that a sudden tragedy could strike. But toppling television sets and dressers have become a serious safety problem across the United States.
Kline & Specter, PC, a leader in product liability litigation, recognizes that about a half million tip-over injuries, including more than 400 fatalities, have been recorded in the past 15 years by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Three deaths have been reported — one in Pennsylvania — after IKEA dressers fell on small children, prompting the furniture giant to recently issue a recall for at least 29 million chests and dressers that can easily tip over onto children.
If your child suffered severe injury or died as the result of a toppled piece of furniture or a television set or stand, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. You should call our law firm, which has more than 40 attorneys and vast experience with product liability litigation.
In one highly publicized case, Kline & Specter obtained a $10 million settlement from a table manufacturer after a kindergarten student was killed when a folded table fell on him in a school cafeteria.
The settlement came after many months of investigation by the law firm, including numerous visits to warehouses and schools and legal action to compel Chicago-based table maker Midwest Folding Products to turn over important documents. The information revealed that the manufacturer was aware that its tables were prone to tipping and ignored warnings about safety problems.
The settlement in the case was reached a week before trial was scheduled. And it came after the plaintiffs refused an earlier settlement proposal that would have kept the matter confidential. (See The Cozzolino Case)
In one of the IKEA cases, a two-year old boy from West Chester, Pa., died after a six-drawer chest fell over and pinned him between the drawers and his bed. In another, a 23-month old child from Snohomish, Wa., died after an IKEA “Malm” dresser with three drawers fell onto the child.
The CPSC provides the following advice to prevent tipping incidents and injuries:
- You should anchor furniture to the wall or floor.
- Place televisions on sturdy, low bases, or anchor both the stand and television, while also pushing the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- You should always keep items that might attract children – such as remote controls and toys — off TV stands and furniture.
- Keep all television and cable cords out of reach of your children.
- Make sure free-standing kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Make sure you supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not yet been followed.