Lethal IKEA Furniture Recalled Across the Nation
Swedish furniture company IKEA is recalling almost 36 million chests and drawers in the United States and Canada, according to Reuters. The recall covers six models of MALM chests or dressers that were manufactured from 2002 to 2016. The extremely popular line also covers about 100 other families of chests and dressers that could topple over if not anchored securely to walls. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that if the drawers are not properly anchored securely to walls that it could pose a risk of toppling over on children, crushing them and causing death or serious injury.
IKEA had received reports of 41 tip-over incidents attributed to their furniture that caused 19 injuries and deaths of three children from 1989 to 2007. This particular recall is suspected to have been prompted by the deaths of two U.S. toddlers in two separate 2014 incidents and the death of a U.S. toddler in a 2015 incident. The most recent death came after a publicized offering from IKEA of a free wall-anchoring kit to negate risks of tipping over.
Products Liability are Difficult to Prove
Despite the deaths and injuries that have been reported over the years, IKEA denies that the products have an inherent defect that makes them dangerous to children, asserting the position that they have experienced none of these problems in other countries in which the products are sold. The current recall is based on a standard applicable in North America for free-standing furniture that IKEA failed to meet, despite the fact that it met other requirements in Europe and in other parts of the world.
IKEA’s denial of responsibility serves as a reminder that just because a company has issued a recall does not mean that it will admit that it is at fault for any personal injuries that its products may have caused. A recall on the part of the company does not imply a presumption of guilt on. Each individual case involving a recalled product will turn on the facts and the surrounding circumstances of the injuries that the defective product has caused. While a recall may help a plaintiff’s assertion that the defective recalled product caused the injury, the issue of causality must still be proven in order to recover damages. Companies have a strong financial incentive to contest every claim brought against it, making it difficult to recover in many instances.
IKEA Furniture Injuries Representation in Atlanta, GA
If you or someone you know has a child who has been injured by a recalled IKEA furniture model, it is imperative that you seek representation to hold the offending party responsible. Here at Cash, Krugler & Fredericks LLC, we provide our clients with the guidance and representation necessary to achieve a satisfactory outcome in their case. If you require representation for accidents caused by recalled IKEA furniture or any other defective product, please contact us online or call at (404) 659-1710. We will put our years of experience and firm resources to work for you to bring you justice.
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CBS Atlanta News recently reported on the tragedy of a child drowned in an apartment complex pool. The child, evading the attention of his mother, began swimming in the apartment complex’s pool by himself and eventually was pulled out by a stranger after being under the water for an unknown amount of time. These types of cases, in which a child is drawn to a man-made hazard such as a pool or machinery, are so common that they have their own name – attractive nuisances.
Attractive to Children
The attractive nuisance doctrine is a legal theory that holds property owners liable under a theory of premises liability to protect children from their own curiosity. Property owners have a duty of care to trespassing children. If they do not take precautions to protect children from hurting themselves on their property they may be held liable for the death or serious injury of the trespassing child.
Attractive nuisances are common and varied. Pools are perhaps the most common example of an attractive nuisance. Construction sites with open pits, unsecured machinery, and other dangerous equipment are also generally found to be attractive nuisances. Similarly, mine shafts, railroads, man-made ponds and lakes, and play areas such as playground equipment and jungle gyms are all considered attractive nuisances under Georgia law.
There is a question of whether or not natural hazards such as rivers, naturally occurring lakes and ponds, and holes constitute attractive nuisances. As the law stands now, it is not a settled issue.
Property Owners Beware
Under Georgia law, a landowner may be liable for physical harm caused by an attractive nuisance on his or her land if:
- The landowner knows or should know that children are likely to trespass on the property
- The attractive nuisance on the property has the potential to cause death or serious bodily injury to a child
- The children injured are too young or immature to appreciate and understand the risks presented by the attractive nuisance
- The utility of maintaining the attractive nuisance or the cost required to remedy the condition is minimal compared to the risk to the children
- The landowner fails to take reasonable measures to eliminate the danger posed by the condition.
Reasonable Measures to Eliminate Danger
Many property owners may be wondering what reasonable measures they can take to eliminate the danger posed by the attractive nuisance. The answer is not entirely clear. Attractive nuisance cases are very dependent on the facts of the case. However, there are certain steps that most courts agree on that property owners should take to minimize the danger.
Fencing off an attractive nuisance is almost a universal way to prevent children from injuring themselves. It can both obstruct the view of the attractive nuisance and physically prevent a child from trespassing. Posting warning signs may also be effective, but only for children over a certain age. Locking up tools and machinery and gates that may lead to pools is also an effective form of preventing child injury.
Attractive Nuisance Cases are Complex and Difficult to Win
Attractive nuisance cases are very fact specific cases. What may be an attractive nuisance to one court may not be one to another. Therefore it is important to have an attorney representing you who is familiar with premises liability law. The Atlanta law firm of Cash, Krugler & Fredericks LLC has years of experience representing clients who have injured themselves due to the negligence of landowners. Contact them today at (404) 659-1710 or visit them online.