Furniture tip-over
Halt | October 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

Furniture Tip-Over Incidents Continue To Cause Injury And Death

On December 18, 2004, Kimberly Amato woke up to every parent’s nightmare. Meghan, her three-year-old daughter, was found dead underneath her bedroom dresser. According to Amato, the drawer toppled over and crushed her in the middle of the night while the rest of the family was fast asleep.

Her airways were crushed because of the weight, so she could not breathe or cry. As Amato held her child’s lifeless body for the last time, she promised herself that she would be the last child to be killed by furniture tip-overs.

Over 200 Lost Lives Since 2000

Furniture Tip-Over Incidents

Almost two decades down the line, people and especially children, continue to suffer injuries and, at times, death due to tipped-over furniture. Since 2000, more than 200 people, mostly children under 6, have died due to furniture and electronics tip-overs.

Since her daughter’s death, Amato has dedicated her life to ensuring that parents are aware of the dangers posed by the household items in their homes. Together with others who have gone through the same experience, they created an advocacy group, Parents Against Tip-Overs which has helped spread awareness.

There Is No Mandatory Standard

For a long time, there have been no mandatory furniture safety standards for furniture makers in America. The existing standards have always been voluntary, which many opt not to follow because they could be costly. This lack of mandatory standards for furniture safety is likely what caused the death of Amato’s daughter and that of many others who have suffered the same fate.

Manufactures Could Be Liable

Furniture Tip-Over accidents

Manufacturers must ensure that their products do not pose a danger to their users. If it is established that a product was inherently prone to toppling, the manufacturer could be liable for resulting damages.

A typical case was in 2006 when a leading furniture maker, IKEA, recalled millions of its dressers after they reportedly killed ten children. Besides recalling the faulty dressers, the company agreed to a settlement with the families that tragically lost their children through dresser-related accidents.

“If you or any person in your household has been injured or killed by a tipped-over piece of furniture or home appliance, you should consider talking to a personal injury lawyer,” says injury lawyer John Eric Fulda of Whetstone Perkins & Fulda. An attorney may help you establish if you have a valid case and ensure you get the rightful compensation.

Safety Tips

Furniture Tip-Overs

No amount of compensation can replace a loved one. So parents also need to be vigilant to minimize the possibility of electronics and furniture tip-over accidents. Below are some ideas to ensure that your home is a safe place for your kids and other members of your household:

  • Anchor all unstable or seemingly unstable furniture to the wall, including the TV.
  • Avoid placing items that could interest a child on top of furniture because they can encourage them to climb.
  • If you can’t anchor your TV to the wall, place it on a low sturdy base and push it back as far as it can go.
  • Keep heavier items on the bottom drawers to lower the furniture’s center of gravity.

Even with all the safety tips listed above, ensure that you do not leave your children unsupervised. Besides the possibility of an injury, you can be criminally prosecuted for child neglect should anything happen to a child when left unsupervised.

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