Ikea Recall Highlights Liability Issues

Ikea Recall Highlights Liability Issues

In late June 2016, IKEA issued a recall of more than 29 million chests and dressers designed for both children and adults. The recall occurred after a sixth child died from a dresser tipping over. The recall brought to light numerous questions that affect how Reno defective product attorneys pursue damages for clients.

How long does liability last?

In Nevada, Reno defective product attorneys have four years to seek damages for client injuries; however, this statute of limitations only applies from the date of the injury. Manufacturers may be held liable for injuries from products that are much older than four years.

For IKEA, some of the pieces of furniture under recall were built more than ten years ago, but those dressers are only becoming a problem right now. It will be up to the courts to determine the degree to which IKEA is still liable for injuries resulting from those pieces.

Who is responsible for injuries?

Generally speaking, manufacturers are responsible for injuries, if:

  • The manufacturer was negligent in the design of the product and allowed an unsafe product to be sold to the public.
  • The product violated “strict liability” laws and was unsafe in its design, even if there was no evidence of negligence.
  • The company marketed a product in ways that it was not intended to be used.
  • The product lacked proper warning labels or instructions on proper use.

The IKEA case raises an interesting question about liability, because the product did contain instructions on correct installation, and included the necessary tools to anchor the pieces of furniture to the wall safely. While IKEA believed those warnings were adequate, the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission found the instructions were unclear and appeared optional.

What is the remedy?

Manufacturers have a few different options for defective products. Most offer a simple exchange of the product for an improved version, though some companies will offer a cash refund. Others, like IKEA and many car companies, offer free repairs of the affected products.

Companies that act quickly try to shield themselves from lawsuits from Reno defective product attorneys, but consumers who have already suffered injuries still have the right to pursue compensation.

Companies operating in Nevada must take great care to ensure their products are safe for public consumption. When a company like IKEA violates the public safety, consumers may seek compensation for their pain and injuries.