When a company recalls a product, it has to consider the possibility that a class action lawsuit will follow. But those suits are invariably about the product that was recalled, not the recall itself. Until now.
In June 2016 Ikea issued a voluntary recall with the Consumer Products Safety Commission for 29 million chests and dressers due to tipping hazards. The company announced the recall again in November 2017, both times offering purchasers the option of a repair kit or a refund. Not surprisingly, Ikea was sued by a group of consumers over the recalled product.
Later, however, it was also sued by another group of consumers over the recall. These plaintiffs claimed Ikea failed to provide them with the promised refunds for the recalled dressers. And today, In Dukich v. Ikea US Retail LLC, 2021 BL 142824, E.D. Pa., No. 20-2182, 4/19/21, yet another group of consumers was given leave to intervene in the recall action because they were entitled to receive a notice of the recall, and never did. They claimed to have learned of the recall from the lawsuit. This is the first case I have seen where the recall itself was the subject of the class action.
Any company that undertakes a recall knows the difficulties associated with the process, which are multiplied when a class action lawsuit subsequently gets filed. But it truly adds insult to injury when a company is sued yet again for alleged deficiencies in how the recall was performed. The takeaway is that once you decide to undertake a recall, get the right people involved (like your lawyers at Michael Best) to make sure the recall is done right. It will save you headaches down the road.
The new plaintiffs allege Ikea US Retail LLC and Ikea North America Services LLC didn’t notify them about the recalls, depriving them of the opportunity to obtain refunds. They may represent plaintiffs who, similarly, didn’t receive recall information ...