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IKEA to pay $46 million to settle lawsuit over child killed by recalled dresser

The parents of a 2-year-old California boy killed when an IKEA dresser fell on him are urging anyone who still has a recalled dresser to return it. Author: TEGN...
(FILES) – A picture taken on February 29

The parents of a 2-year-old California boy killed when an IKEA dresser fell on him are urging anyone who still has a recalled dresser to return it.

Author: TEGNA

The family of a 2-year-old California boy who died after an IKEA dresser tipped over and crushed him have secured a $46 million settlement, according to the family’s lawyers.

The attorneys for the parents of Jozef Dudek said they believe it’s the largest settlement related to a child wrongful death case in U.S. history.

Joleen and Craig Dudek filed a lawsuit in 2018 after their 2-year-old son was fatally injured by an IKEA MALM three-draw dresser, according to court documents. The lawsuit stated that Jozef’s cause of death was determined to be “asphyxia caused by mechanical compression of the neck.”

The dresser that fell on Jozef was one of the 29 million dressers recalled by IKEA in 2016 after the deaths of three other children, according to USA TODAY.

The family’s lawsuit states they never received notice about the recall before their son’s death in 2017. IKEA reannounced the recall in Nov. 2017 after an eighth child fatality had been reported.

“We will continue to seek justice for the families we represent who have been victimized by dangerously unstable dressers, and to more broadly support the efforts of parents, consumer advocates, government agencies and legislators to improve the design safety of furniture used by and for children,” Alan Feldman from the law firm Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig said.

As part of the settlement, IKEA has agreed to meet with an advocacy group pushing for mandatory stability standards for dressers and will broaden outreach about the IKEA dressers recalls.

The family on Monday said they’re telling their story because they don’t want this to happen to another family and urged anyone who still has a recalled dresser to return it for a full refund.

“We never thought that a two-year old could cause a dresser just 30” high to topple over and suffocate him,” the parents said in a statement. “It was only later that we learned that this dresser was unstable by design and did not meet safety standards, and that this had happened to other little boys.”

In a separate case, IKEA had previously agreed to a $50 million settlement to the families of three other 2-year-old boys who were killed when their dressers tipped over and crushed them, including families from Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Washington.

Consumer advocates said in June 2019 that there have been at least 10 child deaths associated with IKEA dressers in recent years.

In a statement provided to multiple outlets, IKEA said “while no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution.”

“We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences,” IKEA said.