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Adverse glare spotlights Ikea's major product liability concern

It is easy to note why furniture that one national news report states "can easily tip over" would spell a major concern for the company that makes it.

That is Ikea, the Swedish mainstay and power player in the home furnishing and décor industry. Ikea's stores dot the landscape all across the United States, with outlets from California to Connecticut.

To say that Ikea currently has a bit of an image problem, coupled with attendant legal woes, would be sheer understatement.

Here is what the company is facing and trying to deal with from both a product liability and public relations standpoint: fallout from the deaths of multiple children linked with furniture flaws.

And those flaws are anything but minor and contained. Indeed, Ikea announced a recall on 29 million company-made chests and dressers back in 2016, and relaunched that initiative just last week.

In fact, the company has been frenetic recently in taking actions that will position it as a proactive and responsible corporate player in the wake of at least eight toddlers in the U.S. who died from furniture that toppled onto them. Those fatalities have occurred over a period of several years.

Ikea recently emailed millions of its customers, alerting them to the dangers posed by furniture that the company states need to be anchored to walls. And its latest recall move involves more than 17 millions dressers and chests.

Ikea will do wall-mounting work for free for any consumer who asks for it, or simply pay back any customer wanting to return a purchased product.

Ikea's remedial actions have understandably failed to satisfy all involved parties and media commentators. One legal spokesman for the families of several children who died from falling dressers says that last week's relaunched recall is a "lame [and] ineffective" response and that Ikea needs to take stronger actions to "get these dangerous dressers out of kids' bedrooms."

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