Children Can be Killed by Defective Furniture
Hazards lurk everywhere—even in our homes. According to statistics kept by the U.S. Consumer & Product Safety Commission (CPSC), one child dies every two weeks after a television, appliance, or piece of furniture falls on them. To protect your children, follow some simple safety tips to reduce the chances of a tip over.
According to the CPSC, children suffer three injuries every hour, which works out to about 25,400 injuries in a year. The following objects most commonly fall on them:
- Televisions and tables: 70%
- Dressers or tables: 26%
- Appliances: 4%
Even adults can become injured; however, death is more likely with children who can become trapped or crushed underneath bulky pieces furniture. Adults, conversely, are often injured when they fall from defective chairs, beds, and other pieces of furniture.
Sometimes, parents are to blame for not properly anchoring furniture. However, in other situations, the furniture has been designed defectively so that it is a risk for tipping over if a child bumps into it or falls against it. In these situations, the furniture manufacturer might be legally liable for any injuries your child suffers.
For example, furniture manufacturer IKEA settled multiple wrongful death lawsuits brought after IKEA dressers tipped over and killed children. The manufacturer settled for $50 million dollars and recalled over 29 million of its most popular dressers.
Protect Your Children
The CPSC website contains helpful tips for making your furniture more secure:
- Only place TVs on stands that were designed to hold them. These stands are usually lower and wider, which reduces the likelihood that they will tip over.
- Anchor the television to the wall or, better yet, mount flat screen TVs to the wall.
- Anchor top-heavy furniture (like bookcases) to the wall using brackets.
- Put objects like remote controls and toys out of the reach of children so they won’t be tempted to reach for them. When children reach, they can grab onto the furniture and pull it forward, causing it to tip.
You can also check for recalled furniture on the CPSC Recalls website, which lists the most recent manufacturer recalls. For example, Vanguard Furniture recalled a chest of drawers because of serious tip-over hazards. Like other pieces of furniture, the chest of drawers needed to be anchored to the wall in order to be safe.
When a person dies because of another’s wrongful conduct, surviving family members might be entitled to financial compensation. In Ohio, surviving spouses, children, and parents are presumed to have suffered losses. A wrongful death lawsuit allows these survivors to hold the party at fault financially responsible for the wrongful death.
If you can show that a furniture manufacturer is responsible for the death, then they might need to pay compensation for a variety of losses, including the surviving parents’ mental anguish for losing their child.
Contact a Toledo Products Liability Lawyer for Help
Defective furniture causes needless deaths of children each year. If your child has been injured in a tip-over accident, you might be able to receive money damages for their injuries. To check whether you have a valid legal case, schedule your consultation with a products liability lawyer at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott today.