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Product Liability Lawyer reviewing furniture instability injuries and lawsuits for plaintiffs nationwide
Nationwide Success

Furniture Safety Litigation

investigating defective and dangerous furniture following consumer and homeowner injury

When considering the purchase of a television or piece of furniture, most consumers never consider the safety element or hazards involved with certain consumer products. With that said, due to hundreds of reports of furniture accidents and related injuries, consumers cannot assume that any furniture bought at reputable stores is safe.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year over 2 million people are treated for injuries caused by dangerous furniture defects. Reported injuries have involved faulty bookcases, dresser accident, desks, chairs, bureaus, televisions and defective office equipment.

Furniture may tip over because it is defectively designed or manufactured. Many pieces of furniture are inherently dangerous, and are designed and constructed poorly. Poor construction can have serious consequences, and many times, heavier more expensive furniture is the safer option. Cheaper furniture is more likely to break or fall, causing injuries to both children and adults.

A common problem is that furniture is not designed to be tip-resistant, and manufacturers put the onus on consumers to protect themselves with additional safety measures like screwing dressers to walls.

A 2011 Consumer Product Safety Commission report on instability of televisions, furniture defects and appliances shows that almost 300 children died in preventable furniture accidents between 2000 and 2010. Furniture tip-over accidents include internal organ injuries, lacerations, fractures and burns. The majority of severe injuries are to the head.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and furniture defects cases. 

Furniture Tip-Over Accidents

Not all furniture is created equally, and some may be a lot more dangerous than advertised. Children can easily test the limits of safety, as they begin to climb and touch home furnishings.

Some of the scariest furniture accidents can be when young children are crushed or trapped underneath a dresser or chest. Ikea has settled lawsuits following Malm dresser accidents and other product injury.

A recent CPSC report estimated an annual average of 30,700 emergency department-treated injuries associated with furniture accidents and tip-over incidents. Is the furniture industry totally responsible? Many safety experts think the industry has a responsibility to ensure safer, more stable dressers and television safety, and should not rely on consumers to anchor all furniture to a wall.

Personal injury attorneys argue that retailers should take more precautions, and provide anchoring devices with household furniture and large televisions at the point of purchase.

Tip-over incidents are largely preventable. Other defective furniture accidents involve Murphy beds, large appliances, coffee tables, sofas, television stands, cribs, sleepers, and window blinds.

Safety groups recommend that consumers avoid placing TVs on top of dressers. The CPSC says that 53 percent of reported tip-over child fatalities between 2000 and 2016 involved TVs and dressers tipping over. There are basic safety tenants a consumer should follow, though blunt truth is the furniture industry standard leaves too many children at risk.

Folding beach chairs and deck chairs have also been targeted in recent furniture defect lawsuits due to defective design and collapsing chairs that cause serious consumer injury.

Malm Dresser Recalls

Ikea’s more recent recall is the largest furniture recall in U.S. history. According to attorneys, instability and lightweight materials, Ikea’s dressers have allegedly killed at least six children, including two children in 2014, when two kids were killed by Malm chests, prompting Ikea to distribute free anchoring kits. It took a third deadly dresser accident for the company to finally recall the item.

The incident even led to a statement from a Pennsylvania Senator, who called for dresser manufacturers to meet mandatory stability requirements going forward. IKEA settled three wrongful death lawsuits for 50 million dollars.

Other injuries and deaths have been reported as well. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 25,000 children are injured in defective furniture tip-overs.

furniture defects

Hillsdale Dresser Recall

Hillsdale Furniture recalled around 31,000 Chadwick and Bailey five-drawer dressers in December 2019. The dressers were sold at Bob’s Discount Furniture and other retailers. The recall was initiated by the CPSC because the dressers may pose a serious tip-over risk if not anchored to the wall, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Two other companies recalled dresser models around the same time period, highlighting the widespread problem with home furniture. Many products fail stability testing conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Ridgewood Industries (also known as Ameriwood Home) recalled around 1 million Belmont four-drawer dressers sold by Kmart and Sears between April 2013 and September 2019. E&E recalled about 1,800 Ink+Ivy Renu three-drawer dressers, sold online at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and elsewhere between January 2017 through September 2019.

Both dressers are allegedly unstable if not anchored to a wall, posing tip-over hazards that could result in death or injury, according to the recall notices from the CPSC. The CPSC tested more than 150 dresser models and other consumer clothing storage units this year to determine if they complied with the industry’s stability standard, with the hope of removing unsafe dressers from the market.

Defective Patio Furniture

One of the joys of owning a home is landscaping and creating a nice outside area to relax. But many outdoor products have been recalled for inherent defects, and may pose safety risks. Outside patio furniture can be very expensive, and the cheaper alternatives may be quite dangerous.

Some patio chairs have failed, most of which are made of inferior materials and are poorly designed. Patio chairs break, and patio furniture malfunctions. Some outside patio tables have been recalled for glass shatter hazards. Garden chairs and other outdoor furniture should be constructed to withstand harsh weather.

Though much of the cheaper outside furniture is not so durable and rots quickly. Outside patio candles and torches also seem like a nice homely touch, but they can pose fire and burn injury risks. Patio furniture causes fall and trip hazards, and lawsuits have been filed.

Defective deck chairs, beach chairs, folding chairs and other light seating defects have prompted many consumers and injured plaintiffs to reach out to product liability attorneys and file lawsuits following injuries. Over 11,000 defective deck chairs sold by West Marine were recently recalled because of an alleged design defect that increases an injury and fall risk.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the lock nut that connects the armrest to the chair may loosen, posing consumer fall and injury hazards. The recalled West Marine deck chair was sold from January 2018 through May 2019.

The folding deck chair has metal legs, wood armrests and blue straps, with the company’s “West Marine” logo printed on the armrest. The seat and back are colored in blue nylon fabric. Consumers should stop using the recalled West Marine chairs, and contact a product liability lawyer should any injury occur

Murphy Bed Hazards

A Murphy bed, or a Wall bed, is a bed that is hinged on one side to a wall, allowing it to be folded up against the wall to save space. These types of beds had been around for a long time, and have developed a reputation for potential accident and injury.

Despite new designs and safety regulations to reduce furniture defects, there have been Murphy bed related accidents reported. Even installing or uninstalling a wall bed can be dangerous and consumers may risk injury. In a high-profile story involving furniture defects, a 33-year-old Staten Island man was killed when a Murphy bed being installed in his apartment hit and killed him with a force that crushed his skull and severed his spine.

In another case, a woman died after a Murphy bed she was sleeping in suddenly collapsed and locked shut, resulting in a wrongful death lawsuit against the bed’s manufacturer. The frame of the fold-up bed suddenly pulled away from the wall and struck her in the head and upper torso, according to the claim.

Manufacturers and distributors urge consumers to make sure these beds close properly, and to avoid over-stuffing it with extra pillows and blankets. Too much stuffing can push against the wall and fold down under its own weight. A built-in lock is recommended.

More recently, the CPSC issued a recall for a Murphy bed kit used to secure the wooden wall enclosures to the wall studs because the kit does not provide sufficient bracing support, posing serious tip-over and Entrapment Risk. There have been five reports of the wooden wall enclosure falling from the wall, including one report of injury.

Furniture Accident Lawsuits

Serious accidents involving defective furniture almost always happen unexpectedly. Accidents and injuries are nearly 100 percent preventable if manufacturers take measures to protect consumers, though that is not always the case and thousands of children and sometimes adults are injured each year when defective furniture falls or tips over.

In recent years, even as pressure mounts from safety advocate groups, litigation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), companies who produce and sell furniture, like IKEA and other furniture giants, have faced lawsuits alleging their defective furniture contributed to or directly caused an injury or wrongful death.

As a result, consumers have been forced to come to grips with the fact that since the companies will not regulate themselves, they must force the issue with defective furniture lawsuits. Consumers with babies and small children are also urged to protect themselves from potential injuries with the following safety measures:

  • Purchase low-set furniture
  • Seek furniture with sturdy, stable and broad bases
  • Look for furniture that comes with safety guides or certifications
  • Use equipment for anchoring (attach, mount, bolt) unstable furniture to walls
  • Test furniture in the shop to make sure of its stability
  • Do not put heavy items like televisions on the top shelves of bookcases
  • Prohibit small children from climbing on furniture.
  • Do not put tempting items like toys or food on top of furniture
  • Do not place unstable furniture in a child’s room
  • Put locking devices on drawers and doors to prevent children using them as steps


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing furniture instability
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are Consumer Safety Cases important?

Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on overall consumer safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies liked Ikea and other furniture manufacturers are forced to remove dangerous products and change designs as a result of litigation.


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Questions about Furniture Injury Litigation

Can I file a furniture defect Lawsuit?

Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.

In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a piece of furniture is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.

How is Furniture Defined as Defective?

Furniture may be defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are product liability and strict liability claims available in most jurisdictions nationwide:

(1)  Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:

These issues arise where furniture is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials.

As a result of the deviation, the furniture enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under product liability law.

(2) Defective design and/or formulation:

Defective furniture design cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.

Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. 

(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:

All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. 

Furniture manufacturers are required to warn of the known or foreseeable risks and update the warnings in a timely manner. Litigation arises where there is evidence the manufacturer failed to timely update a warning in light of new data or simply ignored the risk and failed to conduct sufficient research to identify and then disclose the risk.

(4) Misrepresentation:

The product fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.

How do you prove unsafe furniture design?

The following factors are considered under law when determining the risks associated with the design of a furniture product: (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.

The following factors are considered under law when determining the benefits associated with furniture design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)

Defenses for Defective Design(1) a piece of furniture is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).

What is a manufacturing defect?

A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the furniture manufacturing process. Many companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to dangerous manufacturing errors.

Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.

The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care.  Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.

What is a failure to warn lawsuit?

In determining whether furniture is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:

  • The manufacturer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk
  • A reasonable manufacturer would have provided a warning of the risk
  • The manufacturer failed to provide the warning
  • The person was injured due to a lack of warning. The same elements apply whether the claim is based on a warning present during the marketing or post-sale warnings.

Defenses to Failure to Warn Claims(1) the risk was open and obvious or a matter of common knowledge; and (2) in cases of a pharmaceutical drug or medical device, the warning was provided to the prescribing physician (“Learned Intermediary Doctrine”).

Furniture companies have been targeted in failure to warn lawsuits for either failing to place warnings on their products or failing to properly test their product before putting it to market.

What are consumer product safety regulations?

Design and manufacturing defects result in thousands of product recalls each year in the United States, initiated by federal safety agencies. Following injury and illness, regardless of furniture recall status, victims and plaintiffs may pursue legal action and contact a product liability lawyer to begin the litigation process. Rightful compensation can be sought and help plaintiffs recover medical costs and other related damages.

Product liability law overlaps with regulatory law, which are the systems of legislative rules and administrative agencies, and part of federal and state governments.

The listed government agencies, however, may initiate recalls of dangerous products but do not provide remedies or compensation for damages where an individual is injured due to the defective product.

What are some recent furniture recalls?

1. Bed Bath & Beyond Recalls SALT Lounge Chairs Due to Fall Hazard:  

2. CB2 Recalls Trace Bookcases Due to Risk of Collapse; Injury Hazard to Consumers: 

3. Crate and Barrel Recalls Danish Tall Bookcases Due to Risk of Collapse; Injury Hazard to Consumers: 

4. Walker Edison recalled 24,000 drawer chests because the chests are unstable if they are not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that may result in death or injuries to children. The chests do not comply with the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult furniture defect cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Joe Lyon is an experienced Product Liability Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.  Product Liability lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Your Right to Consumer Safety

Filing Furniture Defect Lawsuits

Defective furniture on the market presents safety and hazards for adults and children. Cheap furniture may pose tip-over, entrapment, strangulation and choking risks; and crush injury risks. The manufacturers of all consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.

Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in furniture accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their product liability lawyer

Consumer Safety Settlements

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.



(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.