Concord Wrongful Death Attorneys Warn that Commonly-Used Products can be Deadly
Short of items like swimming pools, trampolines or certain infant products, consumers do not expect common household items to present serious dangers. When small children reside in a home, however, adults need to take a critical look at the safety of seemingly harmless items.
Furniture Should Be Useful — Not Dangerous
It is natural to assume that furniture weighing nearly 150 pounds would be stable. However, in July 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a press release announcing the availability of a free wall anchoring repair kit from IKEA to fix a tip-hazard problem with chests and dressers.
This announcement came after a family filed a wrongful death suit against IKEA following the death of a toddler who was crushed under the furniture. This was actually one of two toddler deaths caused by the dresser in 2014. An additional 14 tip-over complaints related to the same product were reported, and reports of tip hazards involving other IKEA furniture dated all the way back to 1989.
From a safety standpoint, it is good to know that the company now provides the anchoring kits needed to secure the furniture and prevent further tip accidents. Unfortunately, this action came too late to save the toddler’s family from untold grief. IKEA may have had some level of long-term awareness of the risk, but no consumer could reasonably be expected to anticipate that a common dresser could become deadly.
Lawsuits may Present the Only Option When Negligent Acts Result in Fatalities
Two young lives were cut short almost before they started. No amount of monetary compensation can even begin to replace those lives or end the grief of their families. Even without further details about these cases, it seems clear that IKEA knew about the hazards of their products and that the plaintiff will have a valid case by proving one or both required elements of the law:
- That the product was delivered without adequate warnings or instructions, or
- That the manufacturer or seller knew about the risks of the product and failed to take reasonable steps to warn or otherwise protect against injury
While North Carolina law does not follow strict liability in product liability actions — and plaintiffs bear the burden of proof in these claims — this situation appears to prove a valid claim based on the published CPSC information alone.
Even the most innocent products are not necessarily harmless, and many families tend to unfairly blame themselves when they lose a loved one unnecessarily due to product flaws or other negligent acts. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help families pursue the compensation they deserve in cases like these. For sensitive legal support, call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form.