Ikea to pay $46 million to end suit over dresser that killed child

The family of a 2-year-old boy who was killed when an Ikea dresser toppled and crushed him in 2017 has secured a $46 million settlement from the Swedish furniture store, lawyers said Monday. 

Attorneys with Tanner Weinstock Dodig believe the settlement is the largest child wrongful death recovery in U.S. history. The settlement stems from a 2018 lawsuit brought by California residents Joleen and Craig Dudek, the parents of Jozef Dudek. Jozef died after a dresser fell on him, crushed his neck and caused him to suffocate, according to court documents. 

The Dudek settlement comes a few months after a parents group accused Ikea of not doing enough to protect children from its furniture. The parents joined consumer advocates in June in rebuking Ikea and U.S. regulators of acting too late in addressing an issue linked to the deaths of at least 10 children over 30 years.

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“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,” Tanner Weinstock Dodig attorney Alan Feldman said in a statement. 

Ikea could not be immediately reached for comment. In 2016 the company offered full refunds or free anchoring repair kits for all 17.3 million chests, dressers or bureaus sold in the U.S. since 1985. The largest recall in the company’s history followed a public information campaign by Ikea and the Consumer Product Safety Commission urging consumers to anchor Ikea dressers to a wall.

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