Toddler Killed by Ikea Dresser; Company Must Pay $46 Million

Jan 13, 2020
by The Atkins & Markoff Team
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Toddler Killed by Ikea Dresser; Company Must Pay $46 Million

Popular Swedish furniture seller Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million to the family of a California toddler who was crushed by one of their dresser models. According to reports, two-year-old Jozef Dudek was crushed to death in May 2017 by a Malm dresser after it tipped over. The dresser model was since recalled after at least five other young children were involved in fatal accidents with the piece of furniture. In the wrongful death lawsuit, lawyers for Joleen and Craig Dudek argued that Ikea was aware of the potential dangers of its Malm line of dressers. The dressers are “prone to tip-overs,” and the lawsuit claimed the Swedish retailer knew about these risks yet failed to warn consumers of its unsteady design. After three long years, the Dudek’s and Ikea finally settled for $46 million.

But this wasn’t the first lawsuit Ikea has faced as a result of their furniture causing fatal injuries. In 2016, Ikea settled for $50 million with three families whose children were killed by furniture.

Sadly, cases like young Jozef’s happen more often than many people realize. We assume the products we buy are safe and ready for our use. But this isn’t always the case. Time after time, we see cases of large companies cutting corners or making other missteps that cause serious injuries, or worse. The Dudek’s were able to seek compensation through their wrongful death lawsuit, but no amount of money will bring back their young son. The lawyers at Atkins & Markoff understand how devastating and stressful these types of cases can be. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma can be challenging, which is where we come in. If you lost a family member because of another party’s negligence, contact our wrongful death law firm today and schedule a free consultation.

The Story

Before we take a closer look at wrongful death lawsuits in Oklahoma, let’s dive a little deeper into the Ikea settlement. In late May 2017, Jozef’s father went to check on his son after putting him to bed for the night. What he found could only be described as tragic. Mr. Dudek’s two-year-old son was trapped under the 70-pound dresser after it tipped over onto him. He died later that die in a local hospital from asphyxiation.

In 2017, the Dudek’s sued Ikea for wrongful death in the company’s North America headquarters in Pennsylvania on the grounds the furniture maker was aware of defects with its Malm line of dressers. The lawsuit argued that Ikea knew about the possibility of the dressers tipping over yet failed to warn customers. After the dresser was recalled for the first time in 2016, Ikea offered wall-anchoring kits as part of a repair program. However, the Dudek’s purchased the dresser in 2008, well before that. They were never contacted about the recall.

Sadly, this wasn’t an isolated event. Since 2011, at least five other children have died as a result of a Malm dresser toppling over. The lawsuit also claimed that 91 other children had suffered injuries before Jozef’s death from this specific line of furniture. In addition to paying the Dudek’s $46 million, Ikea must meet with Parents Against Tip-overs to learn how they can stop accidents like this from happening in the future.

Facts About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death is any death caused by specific actions or negligence of another party. This can happen in many different circumstances, from car accidents to elder abuse, medical misconduct, or product defects, as we saw with the Ikea case. Shockingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. From 2010 to 2016, 949,519 deaths were attributed to accidental injury or wrongful death. When you lose a loved one unexpectedly, chances are you have a lot of questions. Some of the most common questions we field about wrongful death lawsuits in Oklahoma include:

  • What is wrongful death?
  • Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
  • Are there time limits for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit?
  • What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit?
  • Who is going to pay for my lost loved one’s medical bills and loss of income?
  • Can justice be brought against the negligent party? How?
  • Do all wrongful death lawsuits go to court?
  • How likely is a settlement?
  • What are the most common types of wrongful death cases?
  • How do they put a number on the emotional trauma I’ve experienced?

These are just some of the questions you may have following the unexpected loss of a loved one. If you have additional questions or are unsure how to proceed, contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases and are prepared to help you today.

The Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Oklahoma

We know that product defects are a common cause of wrongful death, but what else? As a reminder, wrongful death occurs when a fatality is caused by the careless, intentional, negligent, or reckless actions of another party. This could be an individual, or a global company, like Ikea. Because there are so many different circumstances that may lead to wrongful death, these cases are challenging. In Oklahoma, the “personal representative” of the deceased person’s estate can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits can seek damages for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of wages, benefits, or other earnings

Some of the most common causes of wrongful death cases in Oklahoma include:

As you can see, there is a wide range of events that can occur, leading to wrongful death. If you have lost a loved one because of another party’s negligence or ill intentions, please contact Atkins & Markoff today and schedule a free consultation. We are here to answer your questions and help you seek compensation for your loss.