Often we assume that dangers outside the home are the most likely to cause us harm. However, sometimes it’s the items found within our own homes can cause debilitating injuries or even wrongful deaths. Items like heavy furniture can be especially dangerous to children, and if you or a loved one or a child was injured or wrongfully killed in an accident involving furniture or other household items, contact a wrongful death attorney at the Cambridge law offices of Altman & Altman LLP today.
These tragedies can occur at any time
It may seem unlikely, but a furniture-related accident can happen at any time. Consider how easily a young child can wander away from your watchful eye. It can only take a matter of seconds before a child pulls out a drawer of a dresser and stands in it, simply wanting to play, only for the whole dresser to become off balance and fall onto the child.
These types of accidents have taken the lives of children in places across the world. Most recently, a California family was awarded $46 million in a settlement with Swedish furniture giant Ikea after a similar accident involving a dresser claimed the life of their two-year-old child. It is reportedly the largest settlement paid to a family for the wrongful death of a single child in United States history. In 2016, Ikea paid $50 million to the families of three other children who had been killed by the same type of dresser.
Families of the child victims say that Ikea was aware of the potential dangers involving that specific dresser, especially after the settlement in 2016. Despite this knowledge, they alleged the company did not do enough to get dangerous dressers recalled or do enough to promote better safety in newer models they produced since the wrongful deaths occurred. Ikea, through a spokesperson, took responsibility for the action and offered their condolences to the California family.
Children aren’t the only ones at risk
While children are vulnerable to furniture-related accidents more than an able-bodied adult would be, children are not the only one who can be injured in such an incident. The elderly – especially those who are living alone or with minimal supervision – can easily become injured if a heavy piece of furniture were to topple over.
Perhaps they lose their balance and grab for the nearest thing to catch them, and the furniture is on wheels without any braking mechanism or is too top heavy by design. The furniture could easily then topple over and land on the senior citizen, which would likely cause severe injuries such as lacerations, broken bones, concussions or other major trauma. This could result in extensive hospital stays with necessary and risky surgery, permanent mobility problems and, in the worst cases, death. Continue reading