Furniture Tip-Over Settlement
Furniture tip-over accidents are frighteningly common: every year, 25,000 children and 15,000 adults are injured in these incidents.
Many tip-over victims and their families have filed lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers, alleging wrongful death, negligence, or both.
While most lawsuit settlements are confidential, some plaintiffs have received tens of millions of dollars in settlements.
Here are some of the most notable furniture tip-over settlements and awards.
Curren Collas, Camden Ellis, and Ted McGee (2016) – $50 million
On December 22, 2016, IKEA announced that it had reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three toddlers who were crushed to death in recent years by pieces of IKEA furniture: Curren Collas, Camden Ellis, and Ted McGee. The $50 million (total) will be distributed among the three families. IKEA will also donate $150,000 to children’s hospitals.
Xiaolei Zeng (2009) – $3.2 million
In July 2006, Xiaolei Zeng of Arlington, VA was crushed by a stack of heavy countertops at an IKEA store in Potomac Mills, VA. The stack weighed more than 350 pounds and crushed Ms. Zeng’s pelvis, breaking it in four places. An avid traveler, hiker, and cycler, Ms. Zeng said she had to drastically reduce these activities because of the severe pain they cause her since the incident.
In April 2009, a jury awarded Ms. Zeng $3.2 million for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Katie Lambert (2005) – $2.3 million
In January 2005, a 200-pound wardrobe fell onto two-year-old Katie Lambert of Huntingdon Valley, PA, killing her instantly. The Lamberts filed a wrongful death lawsuit against IKEA in 2007. In 2008, they agreed to a $2.3 million settlement.
Jonathan Cozzolino (2001) – $10 million
In February 2001, five-year-old Jonathan Cozzolino was crushed to death by a lunch table at Disston Elementary School in Northeast Philadelphia. Jonathan’s mother, Angeline Uberti, sued the manufacturer, Midwest Folding Products of Chicago, alleging negligence and wrongful death. In 2004, Midwest settled with Ms. Uberti for $10 million.
(Ms. Uberti also received a $500,000 settlement from the school – the maximum possible under state law.)
Michael Lundblade (1987) – $5 million
In 1987, two-year-old Michael Lundblade of Garden Grove, CA was nearly killed when his head was crushed by a reclining chair. Michael’s parents sued the manufacturer and retailer, and eventually agreed to a $5 million settlement.