Ikea Faces Proposed Class Action Lawsuit for "Feeble" Recall of Dressers

Isabel Garcia
Photo credit: Matthew Horwood - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

Less than six months after Ikea agreed to pay a $46 million settlement to the parents of a toddler who died after being crushed by a Malm dresser, the Swedish furniture company faces a potential class action lawsuit. The suit alleges that the company knowingly sold dangerous dressers and issued inadequate recall efforts.

The lawsuit was filed on May 6 in Pennsylvania by two Minnesota parents. In the filing, they claim that they bought two Malm dressers before the recall, and their local Ikea wouldn't let them return the dressers after the recall. The lawsuit alleges that Ikea's recall was "inadequate" and "feeble."

Unfortunately, this incident wasn't the only time Ikea has had trouble with tipping dressers. In June 2016, Ikea recalled 29 million chests and dressers in the U.S. after at least six toddlers were crushed by dressers that tipped over. Of the recall, 8 million dressers were from the Malm line. In November 2016, Ikea recalled about 29 million Malm and other Ikea chests and dressers that posed tip-over hazards following a fourth report that of a child fatality associated with the Malm dresser, which occurred in 2011. A year later, it reannounced a recall of Malm and other Ikea chests and dressers after an eight child fatality. This March, Ikea voluntarily recalled 820,000 Kullen dressers at risk of tipping over and seriously injuring or killing children.

While past lawsuits against Ikea mainly deal with the safety of the dressers, USA Today points out that this new lawsuit also focuses on whether Ikea has sufficiently recalled the dressers. The claim includes examples of Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp users complaining that Ikea didn't honor the terms of the recall, didn't let them return their defective dressers, and didn't provide cash refunds.

However, the company maintains that it has allocated significant resources to recalls. "Since announcing the 2016 chest of drawers recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), we’ve been investing millions of dollars in ongoing communication about both the recall and tip-over prevention through a number of different channels, including ikea.com, paid advertising, social media channels, email and press outreach," an Ikea spokesperson said in a statement, adding,"To date, Ikea has sent over 16.7 million emails regarding the recall to its customers, including Ikea Family loyalty program members and known purchasers. As a result, more than 1.54M chest of drawers have been addressed through the recall—1,080,956 through wall attachment kits and 448,082 through refunds."

For the case to move forward, a federal judge has to certify that it qualifies as a class action lawsuit.

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