Retailer To Settle $50 Million Lawsuit With 3 Families

Lawyers for three families say Ikea is agreeing to pay $US50 million ($69 million) because toddlers died when the company's dressers tipped over on them.

Ikea Furniture issued a recall of 29 million MALM model dressers in the United States and Canada after a total of six children were crushed to death under the furniture.

For its part, IKEA contended that the parents of the children - a two-year-old boy from Washington, 22-month-old from Minnesota, and a two-year-old boy from Pennsylvania - were negligent in their deaths for failing to anchor the dressers to the wall.

Following Ted McGee's death Senator Amy Klobuchar urged the recall of IKEA dressers and co-wrote the Stop Tip-over of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, which would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to adopt a stronger, mandatory stability standard for storage units, including chests, bureaus, and dressers, which are a major category of furniture at risk for tipping over.

"We would never want other parents to have to experience what we have been forced to endure", penned Janet McGee in a statement to Gizmodo. Both died in 2014.

In addition to the $50 million settlement, Ikea will donate $50,000 to three children' hospitals in memory of the three boys.

The tentative settlement was reached Wednesday after a two-day mediation before a retired federal magistrate, the families' law firm said.

Prior to the recall in 2015, Ikea launched a campaign to urge consumers to request a free fastener kit if they have unsecured Ikea dressers.

The Inquirer reports that the settlement isn't the first related to tip-over deaths for IKEA. Legal experts called the resistance unusual, and the judge said Ikea's refusal made him "start to wonder" what was in the documents. The families' attorneys agreed to return the files to Ikea, with the stipulation that company not destroy them.

Ikea, which has its US headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, could not immediately be reached for comment.