Ikea has reached a tentative settlement to pay $50 million to three American families whose young children were killed after the Swedish furniture company’s furniture fell on them, lawyers for the families said on Wednesday.
The families of Curren Collas, Camden Ellis and Ted McGee, all around age 2, sued after the children were crushed to death by chests or dressers in Ikea’s Malm line. They contended that the unsafe design of the furniture rendered them “inherently unstable and easily tipped over” and that Ikea had consistently refused to meet voluntary national safety standards for the stability of chests and dressers.
“These were three very preventable deaths that never needed to occur if Ikea had simply made dressers that met the voluntary national standard,” Alan M. Feldman, a partner with Feldman Shepherd, the law firm in Philadelphia that represents the families, said in a phone interview on Thursday. He was referring to the safety protocols set out by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Ikea confirmed the tentative settlement in an email, Reuters reported on Thursday.
In June, Ikea, the world’s largest furniture seller, announced a recall of 29 million chests and dressers in response to the deadly accidents. At least three other toddlers have been killed in tip-over accidents involving the company’s furniture.
A child dies once every two weeks on average in accidents involving toppled furniture or television sets, according to the safety commission.