This content has been reviewed by Jason D. Stone.
In November 2007, a young toddler named Charlie Horn awoke from a nap and opened a drawer on his 30-inch-tall dresser, possibly attempting to climb the furniture. When the dresser fell, there was no loud noise to indicate what had happened.
It was only after his babysitter found Charlie unresponsive that it became clear the dresser tip-over was fatal. Charlie’s story is an important one, partly because of the advocacy it spawned to make furniture safer for homes with children. But also because it’s one of hundreds of nearly identical stories that have occurred in the U.S. over the past 20 years, and will continue to happen if all negligent manufactures aren’t held accountable.
Tip-Over Dangers Remain an Issue in Household Furniture
Long before Charlie Horn’s tragic story took place, furniture tip-overs have been a serious danger to children in households across the nation. Sadly, despite the fact that these dangers are well known to manufacturers, a Consumer Reports investigation recently found that tip-over risks are still quite common in widely available and purchased dressers.
Consumer Reports tested 13 dresser models for tip-over risks. These dressers represented a cross-section of the market and were purchased from January through March 2021. And the results were not encouraging. They revealed that:
- Seven of the dressers tested by Consumer Reports toppled when up to 60 pounds were hung atop the largest drawer.
- One dresser tested tipped over with just 50 pounds applied.
- Two of the dressers didn’t include wall anchors, despite industry standards requiring them.
These findings highlight the need to raise awareness about the tip-over risks that dressers pose. By understanding the problem, parents have information they need to ensure the safety of the furniture they purchase and how they install it in their homes.
But the fact remains that parents should never be put in the position of ensuring dressers are safe in their children’s rooms. Dressers should be safe upon purchase.
The key takeaway is that manufacturers continue to make and sell dangerous products even though they’ve known for decades the risks of dangerous furniture.
Manufacturers Should Be Held Accountable
As product liability lawyers, we’ve seen firsthand how devastating these types of tragedies can be for families. Even when tip-overs aren’t fatal, they can cause severe injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,300 children are treated in emergency departments each year because of furniture tip-overs.
Sadly, many manufacturers haven’t learned the importance of ensuring their products are safe. When those products cause consumers serious harm, they should be held accountable for the many costs their victims face.
Through product liability claims, victims can demand compensation for the harm that consumers have suffered. Though no amount of money can heal the wounds these dangerous products cause, product liability claims offer families the opportunity to get compensation for medical bills, pain, and suffering.
If You Need Legal Help, Contact Jason Stone
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, our Boston product liability attorneys have years of experience holding negligent manufacturers accountable for the harm their products have caused. If you need legal assistance, contact our team for a free case evaluation. Let us help you better understand your legal rights.