Saturday, November 18, 2017
Business

Ikea reaches $50 million settlement over three deadly furniture accidents involving children

RECOMMENDED READING


Ikea has reached a tentative settlement to pay $50 million to three U.S. families whose young children were killed after the Swedish furniture company's furniture fell on them, lawyers for the families said Wednesday.

The families of Curren Collas, Camden Ellis and Ted McGee, all around age 2, sued after the children were crushed to death by chests or dressers in Ikea's Malm line.

They contended that the unsafe design of the furniture rendered them "inherently unstable and easily tipped over" and that Ikea had consistently refused to meet voluntary national safety standards for the stability of chests and dressers.

"These were three very preventable deaths that never needed to occur if Ikea had simply made dressers that met the voluntary national standard," Alan M. Feldman, a partner with Feldman Shepherd, the law firm in Philadelphia that represents the families, said in a phone interview Thursday. He was referring to the safety protocols set out by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Ikea confirmed the tentative settlement in an email, Reuters reported Thursday.

In June, Ikea, the world's largest furniture seller, announced a recall of 29 million chests and dressers in response to the deadly accidents. At least three other toddlers have been killed in tip-over accidents involving the company's furniture.

A child dies once every two weeks on average in accidents involving toppled furniture or television sets, according to the safety commission.

In a 2014 report, the commission said children were the victims in 84 percent of the 430 deaths reported between 2000 and 2013 from tipped-over televisions, furniture and appliances; about 65 percent of those children — or 234 — were between 1 and 3 1/2 years old.

The settlement represented progress for consumer advocates who had been working since 1989 to hold the company accountable for the deaths of young children.

In a statement Thursday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who had pushed for a recall of the Ikea furniture, applauded the settlement but emphasized that the danger of furniture tip-overs went beyond the company's faulty dressers.

"Until we have effective standards in place, kids will continue to be at risk of injuries and death," the statement said. Klobuchar has introduced legislation to push the commission to adopt stronger consumer safety standards for storage units.

Comments
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Published: 11/17/17
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Published: 11/17/17
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Published: 11/17/17
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the ...
Published: 11/17/17
Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

Developer changes approach as downtown Largo project lags in financing

LARGO — Driving down West Bay Drive, you may notice some changes to downtown Largo.A new 29-unit apartment complex on Ridge Road stands finished and ready for residents. South of the complex, land that was formerly home to a community of rundown cott...
Published: 11/17/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Updated: 2 hours ago