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Defective products: Ikea criticized for failing to act

Consumers put their trust in companies to sell products that are in line with basic safety standards. While most companies take great care to ensure that what they sell will not harm people, sometimes defective products still make it to the shelves. Texas families may remember how furniture seller Ikea has been accused of selling a dangerous dresser that killed at least eight children when the unit accidentally fell on them. Though the company recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit over one of the fatalities, some critics say Ikea isn't doing enough to protect consumers.

The dresser was part of a line known as "Malm" and it was recalled in 2016 because of how easily it could fall over. A large number of the dressers were returned to Ikea while other customers were given kits to attach the dresser to the wall and prevent it from tipping over. Ikea, for its part, has instituted new safety measures, including an app, employee training and workshops for customers. 

Critics say that all of this isn't enough, especially since the recall was voluntary and may not have equalled the number of dressers that were actually sold. Also, though Ikea has advertised new products with built-in safety features, a delay in production means that customers cannot find them online on the company's site. The Consumer Product Safety Commission could opt to sue Ikea, but that may take time to have an impact.

Companies should put customer safety first, but if that doesn't happen they may be held accountable for any injuries or fatalities resulting from their defective products. Those here in Texas who have been hurt by a dangerous product may not know where to turn for help. An attorney with experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims can be a valuable resource.

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