Three years ago, a 2-year-old little boy died after a dresser his parents purchased from Ikea fell on him.
According to USA Today, as a result of 2-year-old Jozef Dudek’s death in 2017, the boy’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ikea. It was reported on January 6 by USA Today, ABC News, and NBC News that Ikea has now agreed to pay the family $46 million dollars.
Joleen Dudek’s attorneys claim that the settlement is historic. They believe that it is the largest settlement resulting from the wrongful death of a child to take place in the United States.
One of the attorneys, Alan Feldman, told ABC News that the parents had even secured the furniture to the wall hoping that would ensure their child’s safety.
“Our clients were extremely safety-conscious. They baby-proofed their home, and they had even secured other furniture in their home to the wall if they thought it presented any risk of tipping over.” He added:
“However, when they purchased the three-drawer MALM dresser from Ikea in 2008, they never suspected that this small, short dresser could be an instrument of death.”
And as ABC News reports, Jozef isn’t the only child to have died as a result of faulty furniture from Ikea, but he was the first. Since 2016, a reported eight children have passed away after faulty furniture from Ikea has fallen on them.
Joleen said in a personal statement, “We miss him so much. He would be turning 5 this year in April.”
“We never thought that a 2-year-old could cause a short 30-inch dresser to tip over and suffocate him. It was only later that we learned that this dresser was designed unstable and did not meet safety standards and that this had happened to other little boys.”
According to USA Today, three other families have also received settlements from Ikea. Those families received 50 million dollars in total. The company also issued a statement after the large settlement was agreed upon.
“While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution. We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences.”
In 2016, 17.3 million dressers were recalled by Ikea. However, because the three-drawer MALM dresser had been sold for years prior to that recall, millions of customers still use the dresser in their homes to this day.
Feldman told USA Today that another part of the settlement that was made ensures that Ikea will “broaden its outreach to consumers about the recall.”
The parents will donate $1 million to three consumer organizations that focus on warning parents about tip-over safety, which include Kids in Danger, Consumer Reports and the Consumer Federation of America.
The donation will be made in honor of Jozef.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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