A California family is suing IKEA after a dresser they purchased from the company toppled over and fatally crushed their 2-year-old child.
Jozef Dudek is the eighth child to have died following an incident involving an IKEA dresser, the Daily Mail reported. The toddler lost his life after a three-drawer Malm dresser toppled over and crushed him in his bedroom in May.
Jozef's parents had put him down for a nap at the time. The child was alone in his room when the dresser fell, and was later found trapped underneath the IKEA product by his father.
The incident marks the first confirmed death since the IKEA dresser was recalled last year. It also marked the eighth death of a child from an incident involving an IKEA dresser. Four of those children were killed specifically by the Malm item.
Feldman Shepherd law firm attorney Daniel Man is representing the Dudek family. He said the parents were "absolutely distraught" over the death of their child, and added that they were not aware the Malm dresser was recalled.
"Jozef's tragic death was completely avoidable," Mann told The Inquirer. "What makes this death more heartbreaking is the fact that last year's so-called recall was poorly publicized by Ikea and ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children's bedrooms across the country."
Mann did not provide any more details about the circumstances of Jozef's death. He did however, confirm that the Dudek family plans on suing IKEA.
IKEA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are aware of Jozef's death. The safety agency confirmed that an investigation has been launched, while IKEA issued a statement on the matter.
“Our hearts go out to the affected family, and we offer our sincere condolences during this most difficult time,” spokesperson Mona Astra Liss said. She added that the dresser was not attached to the wall in this recent incident and that customers should use the anchors provided with the company's products.
Mann's firm has previously represented families of children who have died from IKEA dressers falling on top of them.
The families of Curran Collas from Pennsylvania, Camden Ellis from Washington and Ted McGee from Minnesota all received $50 million each in a settlement with IKEA.
The furniture company has recalled a total of 29 million products sold in the U.S. in 2016. The items did not pass the industry safety tests because they were prone to falling over when not attached to a wall.
The company began providing safety kits to customers for their dressers and chests. On IKEA's website, they ask consumers to fill out a registration form to receive the kit. It also provides details as to what kit would fit their particular product best.
"When we all work together, we can reduce the risk of home accidents," the website states.