A West Chester woman whose toddler died after an IKEA dresser fell on him has sued the Scandinavian chain for wrongful death and negligence.
Curren Collas, 2, died Feb. 25, 2014, after he climbed the 136-pound MALM chest and it tipped over, pinning him against his bed, according to the products liability complaint filed last Thursday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
Jaquelyn Collas discovered her son when she went in his bedroom to get him for breakfast, according to the lawsuit. He died later that day at Paoli Hospital; a coroner ruled his cause death compression of the chest.
The dresser, which Jaquelyn Collas and husband Jacob bought at IKEA's Conshohocken store, came without hardware to secure it to the wall, nor warnings or instructions to do so, the lawsuit charges.
"The IKEA defendants were aware of a tip-over hazard arising from falling vertical dressers and other furniture. According to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents, with more than 25,000 of those injuries to children under the age of 18," attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann and Edward S. Goldis wrote in the complaint.
Curren's death drove his mother into activism. Jaquelyn Collas created a website, HeavenHasAHero.com, after her son died and still regularly posts on a memorial Facebook page, celebrating her son's short life and urging parents to protect their children.
"I want you to learn from my mistakes," she wrote. "Bolt EVERYTHING down. Dressers, book shelves, TVs, anything that could possibly fall."
IKEA spokesman Mona Astra Liss issued this statement to the Daily News today: "All of us at IKEA express our sincerest condolences to the Collas family. At IKEA, the safety of our products is our top priority. All of our products go through extensive testing and are regularly evaluated. IKEA chests of drawers are safe for their intended use when properly assembled and permanently attached to the wall, in accordance with the warnings and instructions. The best way to ensure the stability of chests of drawers is to permanently attach them to the wall."