Two months after IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission took the unprecedented step in recalling 29 million top-heavy Malm and other models of dressers and chests linked to the deaths of six children, the retailer has missed a deadline to hand over documents related to the recall.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that IKEA missed an Aug. 19 deadline to provide the internal records to lawyers representing the family of a two-year-old boy who died after being crushed by a dresser in 2014.
The family’s lawsuit against IKEA accuses the company of continuing to sell the dressers despite knowing of the tip-over risk and potential injury to children.
A lawyer representing the family says the documents, which include photos and video of IKEA dresser tests and emails, will shed light on the true nature of the the dangers posed by the furniture, including information related to global Malm tip-over incidents.
The 75 requested documents relate to IKEA’s two year-long discussion with regulators that resulted in a July 2015 repair program that included sending replacement wall anchoring kits to owners instead of simply recalling the furniture.
“It is hard to think of anything more relevant [to our case] than Ikea’s discussions with the CPSC about whether or not this product should be recalled,” lawyer Alan Feldman, representing the family, tells the Inquirer, noting that the family has now asked a judge to fine IKEA $1,000 for each day it fails to provided the documents.
If agreed to, those funds would go to Kids in Danger, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group that played a part in getting the dressers recalled and off the market.
The lawyer representing IKEA didn’t return comment to the Inquirer, but has said in court filings that the documents should stay confidential.
He argued that if companies knew such documents related to negotiations would be handed over it could cause others to be less willing to seek recall compromises.
Ikea balks at releasing records tied to deadly dresser recall [Philadelphia Inquirer]