settlement is believed to be the largest child wrongful death recovery in
PHILADELPHIA – January 6, 2020 — Plaintiffs’ personal injury law firm Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP has secured a $46 million settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 2-year-old California boy who was fatally injured by a tip-over of an IKEA MALM three-drawer dresser. The settlement, believed to be the largest child wrongful death recovery in American history, includes non-monetary terms intended to protect other children from IKEA furniture tip-over incidents.
On May 24, 2017, Jozef Dudek was put in bed for a nap by his father in their home in Buena Park, California. When he returned to his son’s bedroom to check on him, he found Jozef under the dresser. Jozef died later that day from crush injuries to his neck which caused him to suffocate. The lawsuit filed by Jozef’s parents on June 18, 2018 alleged that IKEA knew of many injuries and deaths associated with tip-overs of the MALM line of dressers prior to Jozef’s death but failed to take adequate measures to improve the safety and stability of the dressers. IKEA dressers, Including the MALM which caused Jozef Dudek’s fatal injuries, were recalled in 2016 as part of one of the largest consumer recalls in United States history. The recall occurred only after Feldman Shepherd had filed lawsuits on behalf of two other families whose children were killed by MALM dresser tip-overs, and IKEA was placed on notice of the death of a third child whose family was also represented by Feldman Shepherd.
The settlement followed a mediation before Rodney Max, a
nationally recognized mediator for complex civil cases. It includes the
following provisions intended to keep children safe in their bedrooms:
The litigation was led by Feldman Shepherd product liability
attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis, who also
represented the families of Curren Collas of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Camden
Ellis of Snohomish, Washington, and Ted McGee of Apple Valley, Minnesota, all of
whom perished from MALM dresser tip-overs.
As part of a $50 million settlement in 2016 of these three cases, IKEA
agreed to redesign its dressers to comply with the national voluntary standard
for tip-over safety and stability. Nevertheless, millions of the unsafe older
model dressers remain in the homes of consumers around the country.
Mr. Feldman said “We will continue to seek justice for the
families we represent who have been victimized by dangerously unstable
dressers, and to more broadly support the efforts of parents, consumer
advocates, government agencies and legislators to improve the design safety of
furniture used by and for children.”
To download a copy of the complaint along with other case files, click here
Statement from Joleen and Craig Dudek:
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