Just as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was releasing its latest data on injuries and fatalities to children associated with dresser tip-overs, two more companies have added their unstable dressers to a perpetually expanding list of dresser recalls.
On January 27, 2021, CB2 issued a joint recall with the CPSC for about 11,000 of its Junction Tall Chests and Low Dressers. According to the recall notice, the chests and dressers are unstable if they are not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children. CB2 has received 10 reports (five for each item) of the furniture tipping forward when not wall-anchored. The recalled chests and dressers were sold at CB2 stores nationwide and on the CB2 website from December 2012 through July 2019 for between $700 and $850. The Tall Chest measures 28 inches wide and 46 inches tall. The Low Dresser measures 56 inches wide and 26 inches tall.
The recall notice instructs consumers to immediately stop using any recalled chest or dresser that is not properly wall-anchored and place it in an area that children cannot access. Consumers should contact CB2 for instructions on how to receive full store credit or a full refund.
The CB2 recall comes about three weeks after importer Noble House Home Furnishings issued a joint recall with the CPSC for about 780 chests, cabinets and dressers. Again, the stated reason for the recall is that the furniture is unstable and can tip over if not wall-anchored, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children. The recall involves four different furniture products that were sold online at Amazon, Wayfair, eBay, Hayneedle, Home Depot, Houzz, Target, Overstock, Walmart, Laurel & Pine, GDF Studio, and Noble House Furniture. The recalled products are:
- A four-drawer storage unit in brown mahogany wood that was sold from March 2015 through April 2020 as “Luna Acacia Wood Four Drawer Chest” and also as “Glendora Brown Mahogany Wood Four Drawer Storage Dresser” for between $127 and $250.
- A single-drawer storage unit with two open storage cubbies above the drawer that is white with beech wood legs. It was sold as “Paulus Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 1 Drawer” and also as “Gladys Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 1 Drawer” from January 2020 through July 2020 for between $50 and $88.
- A two-drawer storage unit with two open storage cubbies above the drawers that is white with beech wood legs. It was sold as “Pavona Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 2 Drawers” from April 2020 through June 2020 for between $58 and $98.
- A two-drawer storage unit with two open storage space cubbies above. It was sold as “Penrod Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 2 Drawers, Walnut and White” and also as “Mavis Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 2 Drawers, Walnut and White” from February 2020 through June 2020 for between $56 and $111.
The recall notice instructs consumers to immediately stop using any recalled chest, cabinet or dresser that is not properly wall-anchored and to keep it away from children. Consumers should contact Noble House Home Furnishings for instructions to receive a full refund.
New CPSC Data on Dresser Tip-Overs
The two recalls come as the CPSC released in January its “Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture, and Appliances: 2020 Report.” According to the annual report, between 2000 and 2019, tip-overs of furniture, televisions and appliances caused 571 deaths. Of these 571 tip-over deaths, 82 percent (469 deaths) involved children. Of the 469 deaths, 67 percent (314 deaths) involved children between ages 1 and 3 ½ years. Moreover, the CDC estimates that furniture, television and appliance tip-overs caused an annual average of 25,500 emergency department (ED)-treated injuries between 2017 and 2019. Of the ED-treated injuries, an estimated annual average of 2,600 involved children who were injured by chests, bureaus and dressers that tipped over.
Alan M. Feldman, a co-founding partner and product liability attorney at Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP, said that while he is pleased that CB2 and Noble House are making the effort to get their dangerous dressers out of the homes of innocent consumers, the sheer number of dresser tip-over injuries and deaths involving young children demands that every manufacturer in the furniture industry take immediate action. “It is past time for manufacturers to design and build dressers that do not tip over when used in a foreseeable and expected manner. The epidemic of deaths and injuries to small children can be stopped if furniture companies act responsibly,” said Feldman.
Feldman’s team at Feldman Shepherd, which includes partners Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis, has recovered nearly $100 million on behalf of four families whose toddlers died from IKEA dresser tip-overs. In May 2020, the team filed a class action lawsuit against IKEA seeking consumer damages, alleging that the furniture giant carried out a “feeble” recall of nearly 30 million dressers that it knew were prone to tip-over. The IKEA dressers did not comply with voluntary safety standards and had caused death and serious injury to children.