Jozef Dudek was a two years old California toddler who died when one of the company’s dressers tipped onto him in 2017, the family’s lawyers announced Monday that Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million.
The attorneys for the parents of 2-year-old Jozef Dudek said they believe it is the largest settlement resulting from the wrongful death of a child in U.S. history. The settlement is nearly three times the amount Ikea paid in 2016 to settle similar lawsuits filed by the parents of other children killed in tip-overs of its dressers when $50 million was split among three families.
“We miss him a lot,” Joleen Dudek, Jozef’s mother, said Monday. “I would turn 5 this year in April. We never thought that a two-year-old boy could cause a small 30-inch dresser to tip over and suffocate him. It was only later when we learned that this dresser was designed unstable and did not comply with safety standards and that this had happened to other young children. ”
Ikea confirmed the amount of the agreement on Monday.
“While no agreement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the good of the family and everyone involved, we are grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution,” the company said in a statement. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this important home security problem. Again, we offer our most sincere condolences.”
Ikea’s dressers have been linked to the deaths of at least nine children and dozens of injured. Often, incidents occur when a child pulls the drawers of a unit and causes it to crash.
The company, the largest furniture retailer in the world, recalled 17.3 million dressers in 2016, including the 3-drawer Malm that tipped onto Jozef. Millions of the recalled dressers remain in use today, and the company as part of the settlement has agreed to broaden its outreach to consumers about the recall, the lawyers said.