A California toddler died after a recalled Ikea dresser fell on top of him while he was napping.
Jozef Dudek, 2, was napping alone in a room in May when the three-drawer dresser fell over, crushing the boy.
Daniel J. Mann, the family’s lawyer, said the family is “absolutely distraught” by the accident, ABC News reports.
“It fell over on top of him. It didn’t contact any furniture.”
Dudek’s death is reported to be the eighth child death in connection to an Ikea dresser or chest that was recalled in June 2016. The furniture has a proclivity to tip over if it isn’t secured properly to a wall.
The company is issuing refunds or free wall anchoring kits to customers who own these dressers or chests.
It said in a statement that “the initial investigation indicates that the chest involved in this incident had not been properly attached to the wall.” Ikea also said the company’s “hearts go out to the affected family, and we offer our sincere condolences during this most difficult time.”
In total, 29 million dressers and chests were recalled by Ikea, and the recall encompass a variety of styles. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice named MALM, among other models.
According to ABC, a tentative $50 million settlement is in the works for three previous deaths when the dresser flipped over on toddlers.
Nancy Cowles, executive director of the non-profit Kids In Danger, believes Ikea needs to be doing more to reach out to parents with these dressers. She said roughly only three percent have received the wall anchoring kits.
“We have to do better, because these are just ticking land mines in a child’s bedroom.”
Ikea reportedly began offering the anchoring kits after two toddlers died in 2014 when their dressers tipped over on top of them – a 2-year-old boy from Pennsylvania whose dresser tipped over and pinned him onto his bed, and a 23-month-old boy from Washington who was trapped underneath his dresser when it fell over.
After the third child was killed in February 2016 – a 22-month-old boy from Minnesota – the company finally issued a full recall that June. Later that year, a fourth death that happened in 2011 – a 2-year-old boy in Virginia – was discovered and added to the list. In addition to these, previous deaths from 1989, 2002, and 2007 involving Ikea dressers were also added.
According to the recall notice, Ikea received 41 reports of these dressers tipping over. Seventeen of these resulted in injuries of children between 19 months and 10 years old.
Mann, whose firm represented three of these families, said more deaths could occur if these products aren’t taken out of homes completely.
“The true tragedy is there might be more of these in the future.”
According to a report by the CPSC, a child is injured every 24 minutes and one child dies every two weeks in the U.S. due to furniture or TVs tipping over on them.
[Feature Photo: Dudek Family]