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IKEA’s KULLEN 3 Drawer Chest Recall

On March 4, 2020, the popular Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA, voluntarily recalled 820,000 dressers/drawer chests due to a potential safety hazard of the dressers tipping over. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers that the product is unsafe if it is not anchored to the wall, because there is a risk for tip-over and entrapment that may result in death or serious injuries to small children. This recall is for the KULLEN 3 drawer chest in two colors, birch and black/brown. It is approximately 28 inches tall and 45 pounds. The KULLEN 3 chests were sold in stores and online in the United States and Canada from April 2005 through December 2019. According to IKEA’s website, the chests imported after August 12, 2019 do not comply with the updated U.S. consensus standard. If you own a KULLEN 3 chests, it is urged that you immediately stop using it if it is not properly anchored to the wall.  Learn more about Ikea recalls from the San Diego defective products lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys.

The Recalled Product Article Numbers are:

  • 501.637.54
  • 803.221.34
  • 600.930.58

The Recalled Product Article Numbers can be located on the underside of the top panel, close to the front edge, after removing the top drawer.

If you have one of the recalled drawer chest, IKEA offers two options for consumers:

  1. Refund: IKEA is accepting in-store returns or arrangement for free pick-up for a refund. Proof of purchase is not required for a refund.
  2. Free Wall-Attachment Kit: IKEA will provide a free wall-attachment repair kit for either self-installation or free in-home installation.

For more information on these options, you can visit IKEA’s website or call IKEA’s toll-free recall hotline at 888-966-4532.

Injuries

Furniture has presented a safety concern for decades. The IKEA KULLEN, IKEA MALM, and many other dressers are a serious safety hazard for children. On average, a child dies approximately once every two weeks when a piece of furniture, television or appliance falls on them. Roughly 28,000 people are injured in furniture tip-over accidents every year, with more than half of the injuries occurring to children. These furniture tip-overs can cause a variety of injuries: head injuries, contusions, lacerations, fractures, suffocation, entrapment, and even death. Most accidents happen when a child climbs on furniture to reach a higher drawer or an object on top of the dresser. For dressers, injuries occur most often when children pull out dresser drawers and climb on them. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 are at the highest risk, because their motor abilities allow them capability to physically climb, navigate, push/pull, and open furniture, and their intellectual development makes them curious about objects that might be out of reach.

Statistics regarding injuries are listed on the CPSC’s Anchor It website:

According to CPSC’s latest report, 459 children have died from tip-over incidents since 2000 in the United States.

  • 67 percent of child tip-over fatalities since 2000 involved children between 1 and 3.5 years old.
  • 83 percent of child tip-over fatalities since 2000 involve children 1 month to 14 years old.
  • An estimated average 12,500 children have been injured and treated at an emergency department due to furniture and TV tip-over incidents each year from 2016 to 2018.
  • About every 43 minutes a child in the U.S. is injured from a TV or furniture tip-over incident. Properly mounting or anchoring a TV can prevent these tragic incidents.
  • About every 12 days, someone dies when a television, a piece of furniture or an appliance falls on him.

Prior the recall, IKEA received at least six reports of injuries specifically for tip-overs regarding the KULLEN 3 Drawer Chest. Two of these reports involved two minor children.

For more information and statistics, CPSC periodically release reports on tip-over injuries that can be found on their websites: www.cpsc.gov or www.anchorit.gov.

Preventing Tip-Over Injuries

Accidents from furniture are often preventable. In an effort to create awareness, the CPSC created the Anchor It! Campaign. The Anchor It! Campaign educates caretakers about the danger of falling furniture. Specifically, Anchor It! encourages consumers to buy sturdy furniture, secure top-heavy furniture and TVs, and purchase anti-tip hardware if it’s not included with the product.

To prevent injuries, CPSC’s website, www.anchorit.gov, offers the following safety tips:

  • Use sturdy furniture designed to hold TVs, such as television stands or media centers.
  • Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall or furniture to prevent them from falling over.
  • Secure TVs even if they are not wall-mounted with an anti-tip device.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs properly.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture with anti-tip devices, whether it’s old or new.
  • Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of TV and furniture.

Besides the CPSC and Anchor It websites, two other helpful resources regarding prevention are the Kids in Danger website and Shane’s Foundation website.

Attorney John Gomez

John Gomez, Product Recall Lawyer

Kids in Danger (KID) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by fighting for product safety. KID was founded in 1998 by the parents of sixteen-month-old Danny Keysar who died when a portable crib collapsed around his neck in his Chicago childcare home. Although the portable crib had been recalled five years earlier, word of its danger had not reached Danny’s parents, caregiver, or a state inspector who visited the home just eight days before Danny’s death. KID’s mission is to save lives by enhancing transparency and accountability through safer product development, better education and stronger advocacy for children. KID reaches out to caregivers to spread safety awareness and recall information, serves as a watchdog on regulatory agencies and manufacturers, and works with designers and engineers to make safety a top priority.

Shane’s Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to child safety with an emphasis on furniture tip-over prevention. Shane’s Foundation was founded in 2012 by the parents of 2 year old Shane Seifert who died after a dresser tipped over and fell on him. Shane’s foundation is a leader in providing tip-over education and responsible for bringing awareness to the forefront of various safety organizations including Lisa Madigan’s Safe Home Coalition, Safe Kids Worldwide, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and ICPHSO.

Consumer advocates including the parents of children fatally crushed by furniture, like the parents of Danny and Shane, have called out both IKEA and government regulators for not doing enough to address the issue. Currently, there are safety regulations for furniture retailers and manufacturers that can be used as guidelines, but these guidelines are not mandatory. If a furniture retailer or manufacturer does not meet the specifications in the guidelines, there is not a government regulatory department that will investigate and hold them accountable. Because of this, the CPSC is working on creating mandatory safety regulations for furniture to prevent children from being crushed.

If you or someone you know may have been injured by a KULLEN 3 drawer chest, please contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at intakes@thegomezfirm.com or at 619.237.3490.

Previous Recalls

Recently, furniture recalls have become more and more frequent because of tip-over injuries. Over the last six months, the CPSC has announced seven recalls of chests and drawers, because of this danger. The KULLEN 3 drawer recall is the second recalled IKEA dresser/drawer chest product. The first recall was in 2016 for 29 million MALM and several other models of chests and drawers due to the same tip-over safety concern. The recalled chests and dressers include MALM 3-drawer, 4-drawer, 5-drawer and 6-drawer chests. The other models are listed on the IKEA website. The MALM series was sold from 2002 until June 2016.

At least eight children died due to injuries from these recalled dressers/drawer chests. Below are some of the incidents reported to IKEA.

  • In February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania died after a 6-drawer MALM chest tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed.
  • In June 2014, a 23-month-old boy from Snohomish, Washington died after he became trapped beneath a 3-drawer MALM chest that tipped over.
  • In a February 2016 incident, a 22-month-old boy from Apple Valley, Minnesota died when a MALM 6-drawer chest fell on top of him.
  • In July 1989, a 20-month-old girl from Mt. Vernon, Virginia died after an unanchored IKEA GUTE 4-drawer chest tipped over and pinned her against the footboard of a youth bed.
  • In March 2002, a 2½-year-old boy from Cranford, New Jersey died after an unanchored IKEA RAKKE 5-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned him to the floor.
  • In October 2007, a 3-year-old girl from Chula Vista, California died after an IKEA KURS 3-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned her to the floor.
  • In September 2011, a 2-year-old boy from Woodbridge, Va. died after an unanchored MALM 3-drawer chest tipped over and trapped the child between the dresser drawers.

Besides IKEA, multiple other major retailers have had similar recalls. Some of those retailers include, but are not limited to, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Crate and Barrel. If you own a product that it is recalled, it is important that you take the recall seriously. Ignoring a recall could result in avoidable injuries. Furthermore, it is important to note that a product can be dangerous even if it is not recalled or not recalled yet. For example, the MALM dresser was on the market for 14 years prior to being recalled with several reported injuries prior to the recall.

If you or someone you know may have been injured from a furniture tip-over, please contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at intakes@thegomezfirm.com or at 619.237.3490.

Defective Design

ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, provides safety specification guidelines for various products, including dressers (or clothing storage units). In August 2019, ASTM International updated the safety specifications for clothing storage units in order to minimize the tip over risk for children. The previous specifications created applied to units over 30 inches. The updated specifications apply to units over 27 inches. Any clothing storage units over 27 inches must meet the weight guidelines as well as the labeling requirements. IKEA admitted that the KULLEN 3 drawer chest did not meet these specifications.

If you or someone you know may have been injured by one of these dressers, please contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at intakes@thegomezfirm.com or at 619.237.3490.

Ikea Lawsuit for Previous IKEA Recall

In January 2020, IKEA agreed to pay $46 million after one of their MALM dressers that tipped over, suffocated and killed a 2 year-old boy in California. The boy was taking a nap prior to the incident. His parents found their son trapped with the dresser tipped over on top of him when they came in the room to check on him. In the parent’s lawsuits, they said they were unaware the dresser was recalled and blamed IKEA for not doing more to raise awareness of the danger.

Since 2011, at least five other children have been killed when various models of the MALM dresser toppled over, according to the lawsuit.

Prior to the $46 million settlement, IKEA settled for $50 million with three other parents who each had a child who also died due to a MALM dresser tipping over.

If you or someone you know may have been injured by one of these dressers, please contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at intakes@thegomezfirm.com or at 619.237.3490.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if my dresser is recalled?

To determine if you own either a MALM dresser or a KULLEN 4 dresser, look for the name listed on the label and/or the Article Number to see if it matches the name and/or Article Number listed on the recalls. For further information, look on IKEA’s website for a list of their Product Recalls.

To determine if you have furniture that is recalled that was not made by IKEA, contact the manufacturer of the product directly. Additionally, you can search the CPSC’s website for up-to-date recalls and safety concerns.

  1. Why was the KULLEN 3 drawer recalled?

KULLEN 3 drawer was recalled for safety concerns due to it tipping over and harming children. Additionally, IKEA noted it was recalled because it no longer met the recently updated safety standards.

  1. If my IKEA dresser is recalled, can I get a refund?

Yes, you can get a refund or you can free wall-attachment kit from IKEA.

  1. I do not have a receipt for my recalled IKEA dresser. Can I still get a refund?

Yes, a receipt is not required for a refund or the free wall-attachment kit from IKEA. Please note that you must still have the dresser in your possession to get a refund or a free wall-attachment kit.

  1. What do I do if my child was injured by a dresser?

First and foremost, if your child is injured, please contact a medical professional immediately. After your child receives medical treatment, please contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 619.237.3490 or intakes@thegomezfirm.com.


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