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Defective Furniture Causes Injuries & Deaths

Few people imagine that they might get injured by their furniture, but roughly 20,000 furniture accidents happen each year, sending many people to the emergency room. Alarmingly, hundreds of children have died in tip-over accidents involving clothes bureaus or other furniture which was unsteady.

In fact, dozens of furniture items get recalled every year in the United States, but few consumers are aware of them. Instead, they install a new bookcase or entertainment system, never suspecting it will end up causing injury.

If you or a loved one was hurt by furniture, contact Johnston Law Firm to speak with a Portland defective products attorney today.

Unsteady Bookcases, Entertainment Centers, and Bureaus

Tall pieces of furniture are inherently unsteady, and they become increasingly unstable when heavy items are resting on them. Tip-over accidents are surprisingly common. Both the furniture and the heavy items on top can come tumbling down on anyone standing nearby.

Although a tipped over piece of furniture might break an adult’s toe, they are deadly if they fall on a child. Children can become trapped and suffer crush injuries and fractures. Often, small children are simply trying to open a drawer or remove an item from a shelf when the 100-pound piece of furniture collapses on them.

Many bookcases and bureaus come with wall brackets to reinforce stability. But the brackets might be defective or missing. In other situations, the directions are confusing and adults struggle to understand how to secure the piece of furniture.

Poorly Designed Cribs & Highchairs

Children are also at risk of injury when sitting in a highchair or sleeping at night in their cribs. For example, a highchair design could render the chair unstable. Legs might be too close together, or the material could be of low quality. If the seat tips over, your child can slam their head on the floor leading to serious head injuries.

Cribs are also sometimes defective. A dangerous crib can:

  • Choke a child if their head gets wedged in between slats
  • Cause lacerations or puncture wounds
  • Poison your child if the manufacturer used lead paint
  • Injure your child when the crib collapses or tips over

Fire Hazards

The federal government has detailed regulations in place to reduce the risk of furniture catching on fire. However, many items in the stream of commerce don’t meet these standards. Consequently, a mattress or sofa could quickly ignite and lead to devastating burn injuries. Something as insignificant as a lithium battery used in a cell phone could be enough to start a fire.

Check the Consumer Product Safety Commissions Recall website for regular updates. In 2022, for example, Nectar mattresses were recalled for failure to meet flammability standards.

Were You or a Child Hurt by Defective Furniture?

It is possible to hold the manufacturer or other parties responsible for selling dangerous pieces of furniture. However, we need clients to take certain steps. Remember not to dispose of the item which hurt you, and quickly call an attorney at Johnston Law Firm to review. We offer consultations if you call (503) 546-3167 today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.