Swedish furniture and home goods retailer IKEA has agreed to pay $46 million in settlement to the parents of a toddler who was crushed to death under one of the company's dressers in 2017, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Joleen and Craig Dudek had sued Ikea in December 2017 in a Pennsylvania court for the wrongful death of their 2-year-old son, Jozef.
The lawsuit claimed that Ikea marketed and sold the MALM line dressers as stand-alone units in spite of full knowledge that they posted a safety hazard, in paritcular to children.
Why It Matters
Ikea had issued a recall for the product in June 2016 ahead of Jozef's death, but the lawsuit claimed that the company's recall efforts were not adequate.
The parents said that they weren't informed of the recall insite of being "IKEA family" members, referring to the retailer's loyalty card program.
"We never thought that a 2-year-old could cause a short 30-inch dresser to tip over and suffocate him," Jozef's mother Joleen said in a statement, as reported by The Times.
"It was only later that we learned that this dresser was designed unstable and did not meet safety standards and that this had happened to other little boys."
Confirming the settlement, Ikea said that it its "grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution," even if the "tragic events that brought us here" can't be altered, The Times reported.
At least six fatalities involving MALM dressers have been reported. Ikea paid $50 million to three families in a court settlement in 2016, whose young children similarly lost their lives to the MALM dresser.