This blog post was originally what I have a the bottom of this post now: a quick summary of a large verdict against IKEA in Virginia. Updating this post in 2020, I realized people would be more interested in seeing sample settlements and verdicts against IKEA than short summary of a case that is years old.
IKEA Verdicts and Settlements
- 2020, Pennsylvania: $46,000,000 Settlement. A 2-year-old boy died of suffocation after an IKEA MALM dresser fell over and trapped him. The dresser was recalled because its defective design rendered it unstable. His parents purchased it before the recall announcement. They sued IKEA, alleging that the dresser’s faulty design caused their son’s death. The parents claimed that the dresser did not comply with national safety standards. IKEA countered their claims by arguing that the dresser’s instructions recommended anchoring it to a wall to prevent tip-overs. The parents refuted IKEA, arguing that the instructions did not advise that it was necessary to anchor a dresser to a wall to prevent it from tipping over. Despite being members of IKEA’s rewards program, the parents also alleged that IKEA failed to contact them about the defect and recall. This case settled for $46,000,000. The parents, bless them, donated $1,000,000 of their award to three public safety organizations that protect children from defective products.
- 2019, New Jersey: $500,000 Settlement. A 53-year-old woman slipped and fell on a French fry in an IKEA cafeteria. (Yes, a French fry. There has to be more facts that are left out, right?) She suffered a knee fracture that left her leg immobilized for over a month. The woman also suffered the aggravation of her Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neuromuscular disease. She claimed that her injuries made her unable to walk on her own without the assistance of a walker or a wheelchair. The woman sued IKEA, alleging that they failed to maintain safe premises. This case settled for $500,000.
- 2019, New York: $6,000 Settlement. A child suffered unspecified injuries while she played in a ball pit at a local IKEA. Her mother sued IKEA, alleging that they improperly maintained and supervised its premises. She sought compensation for pain and suffering and medical bills. The case settled for $6,000.
- 2018, New Jersey: $20,000 Settlement. A minor suffered unspecified injuries at a local IKEA. Her mother sued IKEA, alleging that they failed to maintain safe conditions and failed to properly supervise individuals within its premises. She claimed that IKEA’s negligence caused her daughter’s injuries. The case settled for $20,000.
- 2017, New Jersey: $50,000 Settlement. A girl fell down the stairs of an IKEA’s play area. She suffered a cracked tooth, a lacerated lower lip, and facial abrasions. The girl had her cracked tooth removed. Her lip laceration resulted in scarring and became a permanent injury. The girl’s father sued IKEA, alleging that the play area was negligently operated. This case settled for $50,000.
- 2017, New York: $17,000 Settlement. A 9-year-old boy suffered a left foot fracture after falling in the playground area of a local IKEA. His mother argued that IKEA failed to provide safe conditions in the playground area. The case settled for $17,000.
- 2015, New Jersey: $100,000 Settlement. A 58-year-old woman slipped and fell on wet entrance rugs in the foyer of an IKEA. She suffered severe ligament damage to her dominant hand. The incident occurred days after a significant ice storm. The woman sued IKEA for failing to maintain safe conditions. She also sued the maintenance company for failing to properly dry the rugs by rolling them up and putting them in a corner at the end of the day. Her orthopedist surgeon testified that her injuries were permanent and made it difficult for her to perform fine motor tasks. This case settled for $100,000. IKEA agreed to pay $50,000, while the maintenance company agreed to pay $50,000.
- 2011, Massachusetts: $596,715 Verdict. A hammock display fell and struck a 26-year-old woman as she was shopping at IKEA. She initially suffered a concussion and post-concussive syndrome. The woman also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and recurring headaches. She claimed that her injuries affected her ability to work as a financial trader because the lights and noise of Wall Street now bothered her. The woman’s expert neurologist testified that her symptoms would continue for many years and might be permanent. Her therapist also testified that she was now terrified of walking around construction sites out of fear that something might fall on her. IKEA admitted liability but denied that the woman suffered a concussion, arguing that her symptoms did not indicate signs of a concussion or post-traumatic stress disorder. The jury ruled in favor of the woman. They determined that the fallen display caused her injuries. The woman received a $596,715 award.
- 2010, California: $422,250 Settlement. A large carpet fell and struck a 37-year-old man’s head at IKEA. An ambulance brought him to the hospital, where he died from his injuries several hours later. He was survived by his two young daughters. His estate sued IKEA, alleging that they failed to prevent hazardous conditions. The case settled for $422,250.
Now back to the original blog post…. A Fairfax County, Virginia jury has awarded $3.2 million to an IKEA shopper in Potomac Mills who had 350 pounds of countertops fall on her, crushing her pelvis and effectively ending her avid pursuits of hiking and biking around the world.
The lawsuit Plaintiff filed in Fairfax County alleged that the countertops were stacked upright on their short sides rather than their long eight-foot sides and were restrained only by an elastic bungee cord.
There are common lawsuits in these types of facility operations cases that involve improperly stabilized heavy loads.
You can find the Washington Post story here.