Washington - Jozef Dudek had just been put down for a nap at home in Buena Park, California, when his father went to check on him - and made a horrifying discovery: The two-year-old was crushed under an Ikea dresser and could not be revived.
The toddler's death on May 24, the details of which were released for the first time this week, was at least the seventh death of a child attributed to Ikea dressers and chests - and the fourth from the Swedish furniture giant's Malm line. And its occurrence raises questions about the effectiveness of Ikea's massive recall, which the company issued for about 30 million dressers, including the Malm line, in June 2016.
The family's lawyer, Alan Feldman, said the Dudeks will likely sue Ikea. The Dudeks did not know about the recall, even though it applied to the dresser they had put in Jozef's room, Feldman said in a statement.
"What makes this death more heartbreaking is the fact that last year's so-called recall was poorly publicized by Ikea and ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children's bedrooms," said Feldman.
Last week, Ikea offered condolences to the family. "The initial investigation indicates that the chest involved in this incident had not been properly attached to the wall," a company statement said.
The company defended the 2016 recall and its efforts to publicize it, saying that it worked with US media outlets for coverage, launched a national advertising campaign and posted information about the recall prominently online and in its stores.
It has continued to promote the recall this year; the most recent campaign took place this summer, Ikea said. "We have worked hard to make participation in the recall as easy as possible for consumers," the company said.
The dressers have since been redesigned to be brought up to compliance, the company said.