IKEA to Pay $50 Million in Settlement Over Three Toddler Deaths Due to Dresser Tip-Overs

The settlement is still tentative and has to be approved by the court

IKEA to Pay $50 Million in Settlement Over Three Toddler Deaths Due to Dresser Tip-Overs
Image: NCCC
December 22, 2016

IKEA has agreed to a settlement in which it will pay $50 million to the families of three toddlers killed when unsecured MALM dressers tipped over.

NPR reports that the Swedish company confirmed that the settlement has been reached, but described it as "tentative" because it has not yet been approved by the court.

The lawyers say that the families will divide the money between them evenly. Under the terms of the settlement, IKEA must also meet voluntary dresser safety standards, donate $150,000 to children's hospitals and $100,000 to a children's safety organization, and invest more money in its "Secure It" program that raises awareness about the risk of furniture tipping over.

The settlement was reached following the deaths of three toddlers over the past three years as a result of incidents in which MALM dressers that had not been secured to a wall tipped over. The 2014 deaths of Curren Collas and Camden Ellis prompted the launch of the "Secure It" program as well as the offering of wall-mounting kits free of charge.

Then Ted McGee died in the same way in February. Each of the children was roughly two years old when he or she died. IKEA voluntarily recalled 29 million chests and drawers a few months later.

The families of the children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company. According to their lawyers, they claimed that IKEA "had consistently refused to meet voluntary national safety standards" and "refused to re-design its furniture products to be more stable and tip-resistant."

Jackie Collas, the mother of Curren Collas, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that it is a relief for the case to be over, but that she had not received any closure as a result of the settlement.

"Your life, it will always be cut in half," she said. "Even if I live until 100, it's going to be before Curren and after Curren."