Ikea’s Settlement to Family Sends an Important Message to Companies

Ikea recently agreed to pay $46 million to the family of Jozef Dudek, a 2-year-old boy who died in May 2017 after a three-drawer Ikea Malm dresser, recalled in 2016, tipped over onto him. Ikea also agreed to expand its outreach efforts so that more people who own the unstable recalled dressers get them out of their homes. “This settlement sets an important precedent because it calls out a company’s failure to carry out a recall effectively. It sends a powerful message to all companies to make sure their recalls are successful at reaching people,” says William Wallace, CR’s manager of home and safety policy.

At the press conference announcing the settlement, the Dudek family committed to donating $1 million to be split among CR, Kids In Danger, and the Consumer Federation of America to continue efforts to prevent deaths and injuries from furniture tip-overs. Marta L. Tellado, President and CEO of CR, said after the announcement, “We humbly thank the Dudek family for their contribution. For more than a decade, CR has worked to ensure that unstable furniture posing a deadly hazard due to tip-over is off the market and that people are aware of this potential danger.” CR and other safety advocates have called on lawmakers to approve the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act. It would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create a mandatory federal rule for dressers instead of the current voluntary standard. The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2019 and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

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