Ikea to pay $46m after child killed by falling drawers
Settlement is believed to be largest ever of its kind
Ikea has agreed to pay $46m (£35m) to the parents of a child who was killed when a chest of drawers fell on him. It is believed to be the largest such settlement in US history.
Two-year-old Jozef Dudek suffocated when the Swedish furniture giant’s 70lb drawers fell over at the family's California home. The product had been recalled a year earlier over safety concerns after three other children were killed.
The toddler’s parents, Joleen and Craig Dudek, said they were absolutely “devastated” by the loss of their son.
“We never thought that a two-year-old could cause a dresser just 30 inches (76cm) high to topple over and suffocate him. It was only later that we learned that [it] was unstable by design.”
Joleen, added to USA Today: “We miss him so much. He would be turning 5 this year in April.”
CNN reports that, in 2016, Ikea paid $50 million to the families of three other children who had been killed by the same dressers and agreed to redesign the product to higher safety standards.
“Nevertheless, millions of the unsafe older model dressers remain in the homes of consumers around the country," said Feldman Shepherd, which represented the families in these earlier cases.
Commenting on the Dudek settlement, a spokeswoman for Ikea said: “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.”
She added: “We remain committed to working... to address this very important home safety issue.”
The Daily Mail reports that as part of the settlement with the Dudeks, Ikea’s president, Javier Quinones, agreed to meet with Parents Against Tip-Overs, an advocacy group made up of people who have lost their children to tipped over bureaus and drawers.
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