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Dressers recalled due to tip-over hazard

Northern Virginia households contain numerous items that can be the cause of serious injury. Among the most obvious are knives and other cutting implements found in the kitchen and electrical devices of all kinds. One class of household furnishings, however, is hardly considered to be a threat of injury or death: the plain, unadorned bedroom dresser. Nevertheless, Walmart has taken a dramatic step to forestall numerous products liability lawsuits by recalling 1.6 million dressers because they are unstable and can cause injury or death if they tip over.

The dressers are manufactured by Ameriwood Mainstay and sold by Walmart from April 2009 to May 2016. They cost about $60.00. Soon after a four-year-old child was injured when an Ameriwood 4-drawer dresser tipped over, Walmart decided to issue a recall notice. The dressers are about 40" high, 28" wide and 15" deep. They have plastic drawer glides and a single handle on each drawer. According to critics of the product, the dressers do not satisfy the performance standards adopted by the furniture industry that have been incorporated into ASTM standard F2057-14.

As part of the recall, Ameriwood Mainstay is offering a free repair kit consisting of wall-anchoring hardware and feet for the dresser. Walmart and Ameriwood have also cautioned those who own the dressers to move them to places not frequented by children.

Manufacturers have a legal duty to ensure that their products are free from defects and fit for their intended purposes. If a defective product causes an injury or death, the manufacturers can be held liable for damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one due to a defective product may wish to consult a lawyer who is experienced in handling such cases for an analysis of the evidence and law that will govern the case.

Source: Daily Hornet, "Walmart Recalls 1.6M Dressers for Tip-Over Hazard," Elizabeth Bradley, Sept. 6, 2017

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