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Personal Injuries and Furniture Tip-Overs

Product liability lawsuits can take many different forms, and there are probably more dangerous and defective products on the market than you think. One common type of serious injury that can result from a product defect is an injury in a furniture tip-over accident. You might be surprised to learn that furniture tip-over accidents happen with some frequency, but common items in your home such as bookshelves, desks, dressers, and wardrobes can result in serious and fatal injuries in tip-over accidents. These kinds of accidents most frequently affect young children, and it is critical to learn more about the risks and options for seeking compensation.

Furniture Tip-Overs Cause a High Rate of Child Injuries

A report in The Washington Post discusses a recent study conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy. Those researchers looked at data from a period of approximately 30 years, ending in 2019. During that period, they found that more than 560,000 kids were treated at emergency departments for injuries resulting from furniture tip-over accidents. On an annual basis, on average, anywhere from 10,000 to almost 20,000 kids sustained injuries in tip-over accidents, with an injury rate of over 11,000 in the final year of the study. 

While the injury statistics include all kids under the age of 18, it is important to know that the majority of the children affected by furniture tip-overs are aged 5 and younger. Indeed, the most common age for a child who needed emergency department treatment for a furniture tip-over accident was just 2 years old. When kids of any age visited emergency departments to be treated for furniture tip-over injuries, about half of them had suffered serious head or neck injuries. Of the more than 560,000 kids injured, nearly 600 sustained fatal injuries in that same period and were killed as a result of a furniture tip-over. 

STURDY Act Aims to Make Products Safer

What can parents and caregivers do to prevent injuries? It is important to ensure that heavy furniture is anchored to the wall whenever possible, and that children’s products are not stored on high shelves or in top drawers. Young children can climb up on furniture to try to reach an object, and they can pull a bookcase or dresser over, resulting in crush injuries.

Beyond parent and caregiver responsibilities, it is important to highlight the liability of product makers and retailers.

Recent federal legislation, the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act (STURDY Act), aims to require tighter standards for furniture that can result in tip-over accidents, including better warnings for products that can be purchased by consumers in the United States. Until laws change and make furniture products safer, what can you do to hold a furniture maker or retailer accountable? You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against one of the following: the designer, manufacturer, marketer, or seller of the dangerous furniture product.

Contact a Product Liability Lawyer in Atlanta

Our Atlanta product liability lawyers can assist you with a furniture tip-over case, and we can provide you with more information about seeking compensation for personal injuries resulting from product defects. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys today online or call us at (404) 529-3476.