Swedish furniture company Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a child who died after a chest of drawers fell on him.
Ikea agreed to a $46 million settlement with the family of two-year-old child, Jozef Dudek, who suffocated to death in May 2017 when the furniture company’s Malm drawers toppled over at the family’s California home.
The dresser, which weighs 70 pounds, have been recalled by Ikea a year earlier due to safety concerns after three other children were killed. According to lawyers, this is the largest child wrongful death settlement in US history.
A company spokeswoman said: “While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution. We remain committed to working… to address this very important home safety issue.”
In a statement released by Jozef’s parents, Joleen and Craig Dudek, they expressed how devastated they were by the loss of their son. They said: “We never thought that a two-year-old could cause a dresser just 30 inches high to topple over and suffocate him. It was only later that we learned that [it] was unstable by design.”
They added: “We are telling our story because we do not want this to happen to another family.” They are calling for other people who own the recalled dresser to return them already.
The family has also pledged to donate $1 million from the settlement to organizations working to protect children from dangerous products.
Millions of Malm chests of drawers were recalled by Ikea in North America in 2016 over safety concerns, becoming the largest recall it conducted in company history. Initially, the furniture maker urged customers to use wall mounts with the dresser but the death of the third child prompted them to completely recall the products.