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Adult bed rails recalled over entrapment, asphyxiation hazards

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Firm News

For elderly adults, it can be a challenge to get into and up from bed with their limited physical conditions. Safety devices such as adult bed rails can make this easier. However, it only takes a poor design to make such a helpful device dangerous to its target users.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reannounced a recall of Essential Medical Supply’s adult portable bed rails due to a defective design. Said rails pose serious entrapment and asphyxiation risks. Users can become entrapped either within the bed rail or between the rail and the side of the mattress. The recall affects about 272,000 units.

The rails were originally recalled in December 2021 after a bed rail entrapped an 86-year-old California man, killing him in December 2012. Since the initial recall, the manufacturer received two more death reports.

CPSC and Essential Medical Supply have recommended that consumers stop using the rails immediately and call for a full refund.

The dangers of bed rails

The risk surrounding Essential Medical Supply’s bed rails isn’t an isolated incident. According to the CPSC, U.S. hospitals treated about 69,000 adults for rail-related injuries from 2003 to 2019. Of those incidents, 247 led to deaths.

Some medical experts have warned that all bed rails are unsafe and that there’s virtually no way to design them to make them safe because entrapment can still occur.

Filing product liability lawsuits for bed rail injuries or deaths

If you or a loved one suffers injuries or tragically loses their life due to these defective bed rails, you might have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Under Ohio law, manufacturers must ensure that their products are safe for their intended use. When a product has a defective design, as in this case, you can hold the manufacturer responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths.

To prevail in a product liability case, you must prove that the product was defective in design, the defect existed when it left the manufacturer, and the defect directly caused injury or death.

Before making any moves, consider getting legal opinion first. A lawyer with personal injury case experience may be able to review your case, help collect evidence and testimonies and serve as your legal representative if the manufacturer takes your case to court.