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Defective Furniture: Tip-Over Accidents

Defective FurnitureThere could be a hidden danger lurking within your home. According to a study from Consumer Reports (CR), furniture tip-overs are more common than you might think. Every 17 minutes, “someone in the U.S. is injured . . . by a furniture, television, or appliance tip-over,” states a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Unfortunately, an overwhelming number of victims are young children under the age of six.

Between 2015 and 2016, CPSC researchers found that the number of young children injured in furniture tip-over accidents increased from 2,100 to 2,800. Alarmingly, “at least 11 percent of [these] injures” could be attributed to “dressers and other clothing storage units” tipping over. This particular category of furniture units has caused approximately 195 child deaths in under 20 years — and numerous more injuries.

Typically, these tip-over accidents are caused by a young child climbing up the front of a dresser or playing in a dresser drawer. The dresser cannot support the added weight of the child, and as a result, the dresser tips over — often injuring or even killing the child in the process. Currently, furniture safety standards state that “any dresser taller than 30 inches should stay upright with 50 pounds of weight hanging from an open drawer.” There are even product tests designed to assess the tip-over risk for different furniture pieces. However, these tests are not mandatory for manufacturers. In other words, a manufacturer can sell their product to consumers in the U.S. even if it does not meet furniture safety standards.

In a year-long study conducted by Consumer Report teams, researchers concluded that there are many different ways to construct a safe, stable dresser. CR scientists suggest that more stringent safety standards should be upheld within the market. According to the data, the most stable dressers were “deeper,” “heavier,” and “back-weighted,” with “less drawer extension.” These qualities are all crucial for consumers to keep in mind when shopping for a new dresser or other pieces of furniture — especially if that piece of furniture is going to be around young children.

Contact a New York Product Liability Lawyer

Furniture manufacturers have a responsibility to design products with safety and stability in mind. If your child or loved one has been injured or killed in a furniture tip-over accident, you have the right to pursue legal action to hold the company accountable for defective design, manufacture, or failure to warn. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our skilled team of product liability lawyers will fight for you and obtain justice for you and your family’s behalf. Call us at (212) 779-0057 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.


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