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Consumer-Assembled Furniture & Product Liability

Last year, Ikea was set to pay out $50M after a specific dresser design toppled over on multiple occasions, resulting in the wrongful deaths of at least three children. According to the lawsuit, which involved three separate instances of wrongful death, Ikea created a defective product – and the courts agreed. As part of its defense, though, Ikea claimed the children’s parents did not put the furniture together properly, releasing the manufacturer from any alleged liability.

While the court didn’t take the manufacturer’s side in this particular case, it’s important to understand your legal rights and obligations in a consumer-assembled furniture product liability case.

Can I get compensation if I assembled the furniture myself?

In some situations, manufacturers can avoid liability by passing the blame to the consumer. However, this isn’t always the case. Per Ikea’s instructions, the dressers in question must be anchored to the wall – but many consumers ignored this step in the assembly instructions. Based on the large payout, the courts determined that the parents weren’t responsible for the wrongful death of their children either.

Factors to consider:

  • Did the manufacturer provide instructions with the furniture?
  • Were the instructions clear?
  • Did the instructions warn users about the product’s dangers?

Elements of a Product Liability Lawsuit

Talking to an attorney is the best way to determine whether or not your case has the potential to make a recovery. While every case is different, you’ll need the following elements in place to pursue a successful case:

  • Proof that the manufacturer owed the consumer (you) duty of care
  • The manufacturer breached its legal obligation to the consumer (was negligent)
  • The manufacturer’s negligence caused the consumer’s injury / damages

If you’ve suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of a dangerous or defective product, get in touch with the product liability attorney at Habbas & Associates. Our San Jose based law firm can provide the legal guidance you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call today or fill out our online form to schedule your first consultation!

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