Ridgewood, a furniture company, issued a recall on October 3rd, 2019, for its four-drawer dressers under the Belmont name
. Over 1 million of the units were recalled due to hazards presented from instability. The drawers could tip over when filled, especially if they are not secured and anchored to the wall. The drawers that were manufactured over 30 inches tall do not meet certain requirements from the U.S. voluntary industry.
The dressers come in two sizes and four colors
, ranging from 29 inches tall to 32 inches tall, and in white, black, and two shades of brown. They were manufactured in Canada by Ridgewood Industries
and were sold at Kmart for over five years, from April 2013 to November 2018. They were retailed for $40. The model numbers, which can be found in the instruction manual that came with the dresser, are:
The tip-over hazards were not the result of any specific incidents. To date, no reports have been filed concerning tip-overs or injuries
, but the company is choosing to err on the side of caution.
For a remedy, Ridgewood has recommended that all owners stop using the drawers, empty them of their contents, and place them in a safe area away from children. Consumers can contact the company to request a free anchoring kit that allows them to fasten the drawer to the wall with the use of an anchor strap. Additionally, consumers can request a free installation of the kit for a single time instead of doing so themselves.
Ridgewood Recalls Four-Drawer Dressers Due to Tip-Over and Entrapment Hazards; Sold Exclusively at Kmart. Hazard: The recalled dressers are unstable and can tip over if not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children.
Dangers of Unstable Dressers
There are many dangers present with dressers that are not stable and can tip over if they are not fastened to the wall. You usually use the dressers to store clothing, while the tops of dressers can have knickknacks and trinkets, or larger items like picture frames and vases. The unstable dressers can tip over
and cause the contents to fall and the weight of the entire piece of furniture to land on you.
Call (888) 649-7166 to set up a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.
For example, if you are cleaning underneath the dresser or in front of it, the dresser could tip over and land on your back, causing extreme injuries like herniated discs and broken vertebrae. The dresser could also fall over onto your foot and break numerous bones, putting you out of commission and movement for a long time. If glass falls off the dresser, lacerations and cuts can also cause blood loss and infections.
Children should be especially considered; they often run and play in all areas of the house and may even have the dressers in their rooms. A child is likely unable to push such a heavy dresser off himself without sustaining additional damages, and the weight of the item can crush him, even leading to death in some cases. It is important that you pay close attention to what dressers are located where in your home. If there is a Ridgewood dresser storing clothing in your child’s room or in a common area, it is wise to remove it.
How to File a Product Liability Claim against Ridgewood for Defective Dressers
If you wish to file a product liability claim against Ridgewood
because of injuries stemming from a defective Belmont dresser, you must be able to prove that there was a problem with the dresser. Product liability claims must have one of these three points proven:
- There was a design flaw with the product that prevented it from working as intended
- There was a manufacturing defect that caused a batch or group of items to be defective
- There were no hazard signs or warning symbols on the item or on the packaging to dissuade potentially dangerous use
The dresser did not meet the standards that other furniture must meet, which means that there was likely a design flaw with the item. The lack of stability and planning could point to a much earlier issue than there being a problem during its actual creation. Therefore, the designers and concept team should be held accountable – by extension, the company is responsible, as a whole.
Once you have shown that there was a design flaw with the dresser, you must acquire evidence of the incident and defect. Here is what you should do after the accident happens:
Firstly, you should go to the hospital to get medical treatment. It is important that you do not take too long to go to the doctor; the longer you wait, the more damage you will do to your claim. You may also worsen your injuries if you do not get treatment at once. Once you have gone to the doctor, you should hold on to the medical notes, receipts, and treatment details to add to your claim.
You should also make sure not to tamper with the product at all. Do not try to repair it or craft an anchor that can be used to keep the dresser affixed to the wall. Do not take it apart to fix it or take it to a repair shop for a remedy. If you do alter the dresser, then Ridgewood can claim that there were problems present before, or that there is no way to differentiate between any previous problems and what you caused. You will essentially lose credibility with your case.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (888) 649-7166.
You should also not return the product to Ridgewood or to the store from which you purchased it. If you do, you will lose your key evidence and will not have any way to prove that it was defective.
You should also take photos of your injuries and what may happen to the dresser if there is weight on it. You can record videos of the tip over and of the damages you received, as well.
It is highly recommended that you hold on to all receipts, documentation, proof of purchases, bank statements, and more showing that you bought the dresser. It will benefit your claim if there is additional evidence to prove that you were the rightful owner of the dresser.
If anyone else saw the incident happen or could attest to the defect and your injuries, you can add their testimonies and statements to the claim. Your lawsuit will be better served if you have more witnesses who can help you prove that you were a victim.
Lastly, it is important for you to call a product liability lawyer
who can handle your claim for you. If you have never taken any legal action before, you may not know what to do to file a lawsuit. With the assistance of an attorney with experience in the realm, you won’t have to worry about potentially messing up the claim or failing to provide evidence.
Compensation from a Product Liability Claim against Ridgewood
Product liability lawsuits are examples of personal injury claims, which can result in monetary compensation for damages caused by negligent behavior. Our attorneys will work around the clock to ensure that you are paid the following forms of restitution for your damages:
- Medical expenses and treatments from the past and future
- Loss of income if you could not go to work in the past or in the future due to recovery time or additional medical procedures
- Property damage for any personal items you owned that were destroyed or must be replaced
- Pain and suffering damages to cover emotional trauma and psychological stress that happened in the incident
The value of your lawsuit will greatly depend on the insurance agent’s interpretation of the factors and facts. If your injuries were severe and they had a profound effect on your life and career, your lawsuit would likely be worth a fair amount. The agent, though, may not make a large offer at first, and it will be up to us to negotiate a fair deal from him.
Statute of Limitations on Product Liability Lawsuits
The statute of limitations to file a product liability lawsuit is 2 years from the date of the injury. If you fail to sue within that time period, you will not be able to do so in the future. All personal injury lawsuit abide by this time frame and are meant to give both parties ample opportunity to prepare evidence. The longer a case goes without being filed, the more likely it is that evidence will be lost or will not be able to be properly interpreted and used.
You may be able to have the statute of limitations extended if you were underage at the time of the incident, if you were left incapacitated after the accident, or if the defendant left the state. To learn more and determine how much time you have left on our claim, call our law offices today.
Our Firm and You
The Downtown LA Law Group
has a team of product liability attorneys
available for you. We can help you with your case and ensure that Ridgewood pays off your various expenses. We are willing to go to court if necessary and our aggressive lawyers will stop at nothing to get you the damages you need.
Call (888) 649-7166
today for a free legal consultation to discuss your claim and talk about your legal options. We will tell you what we think the value of your case is and how we can move forward. We will also give you our zero fee guarantee if you hire us – you pay no money, win or lose, and we only get paid if we win. The money will come from the settlement we bring you from the insurance agency of Ridgewood.
To sue Ridgewood for injuries
from a defective Belmont dresser, contact
the Downtown LA Law Group