MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - IKEA has reached a tentative $50 million settlement with the parents of three children killed in dresser tip-over incidents that led to a nationwide recall of Malm dressers. The parents of 22-month-old Teddy McGee of Apple Valley, Minnesota are included in the settlement. Teddy was killed by a falling IKEA Malm dresser last February.
IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of Malm dressers in June, offering a full refund and free wall-anchoring kit to customers. IKEA also agreed to stop the sale of Malm dressers until safety improvements were made.
Danger goes beyond IKEA
The recall followed a demand from three members of Congress, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, for a ban on Malm dressers sales and an immediate recall. Sen. Klobuchar has also introduced legislation to protect children from tipping furniture by setting new industry safety standards.
"IKEA has taken some responsibility for these deaths both through the settlement and the biggest furniture recall in the history of America," Klobuchar said in a statement. "The danger furniture tip-overs pose goes beyond IKEA's Malm dressers. Until we have effective standards in place, kids will continue to be at risk of injuries and death. We need to pass my bill to prevent any further tragedies, ensure stronger standards across the board, and protect our children."
Teddy McGee's death
The McGee family had just returned home from church on Feb. 14 and put Teddy down for a nap. Janet McGee said she was checking up on her son every 15 to 20 minutes.
"When I went in to check on him the last time, I opened the door quietly and at that angle I saw his bed was empty and at that angle, I thought I'd open it further and see him playing on the other side of the door and hiding and peer up and giggle," McGee said.
But instead, a very different scene emerged.
"I immediately ran over and hoisted it up and started digging through the drawers that had all fallen out and screamed someone call 9-1-1," McGee said. "And at the bottom of the drawers was our Ted laying pretty quiet and still."
Teddy McGee's death would become the third caused by a Malm dresser tip-over.