IKEA to pay $46m to parents of 2-year-old crushed to death after 'unstable' dresser fell on top of him
The settlement sum is nearly three times the amount paid in 2016 to settle similar lawsuits filed by parents of other children.
Swedish multinational company, Ikea, is set to pay $46 million to the parents of a two-year-old boy, Jozef Dudek, who was crushed to death by one of the firm's dressers that fell over on him in his bedroom in 2017.
The family's attorneys announced the settlement on Monday for the California couple, Craig and Joleen Dudek, whose son died in May 2017.
The couple's lawyers, in a statement, said that they believe it is the largest settlement ever paid in the county's history, emerging from the wrongful death of a child. The settlement sum is nearly three times the amount paid in 2016 to settle similar lawsuits filed by parents of other children who were killed in dresser tip-overs. In the 2016 court case, three families had split $50 million between them.
An Ikea spokesperson confirmed the settlement on Monday in a statement, saying: "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," Daily Mail reported.
"We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue," the statement. "Again, we offer our deepest condolences."
Jozef's mother, Joleen, while speaking to USA Today, said: "We miss him so much. He would be turning 5 this year in April. We never thought that a two-year-old could cause a short 30-inch dresser to tip over and suffocate him. 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."
A memorial fund was set up on GoFundMe for Jozef shortly after his death by Heather Anne in 2017, which raised $11,000 for the service.
Reports state that at least nine children have died involving Ikea dressers tipping over them. Most of the incidents occurred when a child pulled on a drawer of the unit, tipping it forward. Jozef's death is believed to be first confirmed death since the Swedish multinational giant recalled the controversial dresser in 2016.