The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced Bed Handles, Inc.'s voluntary recall of 113,000 adult portable bed handles due to entrapment and strangulation hazards. *Source: www.cpsc.gov
The CPSC reports that three women have died after becoming entrapped between the mattress and the bed handles. Two of the women were elderly. One woman died in an assisted living facility, while the other woman died in a managed care facility. The third woman was disabled and died in an adult family home.
The recall involved bed handles sold by Bed Handles Inc. from 1994 to 2007. These bed handles do not have safety retention straps to secure the handles to the bed frames. When portable bed handles are attached to beds without the use of safety retention straps, the handles can shift out of place creating a gap between the bed handles and the side of the mattress. This gap is dangerous because it poses a risk of entrapment and strangulation.
The recalled handles are L-shaped and made out of 3/4 inch tubular steel. They measure 20 inches wide. Models recalled include the Original Bedside Assistant® (BA10W), the Travel Handles™ (BA11W) which is sold as a set of two bed handles, and the Adjustable Bedside Assistant® (AJ1).
The bed handles were sold by home health care stores, drug stores and medical equipment stores nationwide and in home and health care catalogs from January 1994 through December 2007 for about $100.
When consumers are injured by dangerous products, they may have legal rights against the manufacturer of the product. An injured consumer may file a personal injury lawsuit called a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. The theory of liability is that the product is defective, which caused injuries to the consumer.
Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, a product can be defective in several ways:
In a case involving the recalled bed handles, it can be argued that there is a design defect. The bed handles should have included the safety retention straps. If later models were provided with safety retention straps, then there is a strong argument that the manufacturer should have recalled the earlier models before consumers were injured.
Because the above victims died in assisted living care facilities, the facilities may also be responsible for the deaths of the women. For instance, if the instructions for the bed handles specifically stated that the handles should be used with safety retention straps, but the employees failed to follow the instructions, the facilities may be liable for the deaths of the residents and any resulting damages to the residents’ families.
PA personal injury lawsuits against manufacturers for dangerous products can be complex. Injured consumers should consult the advice of a PA personal injury lawyer to inquire about the process and their legal rights. In addition, other parties may also be liable; therefore, a thorough investigation is needed. For a free consultation, call Daniel J. O'Brien at 877.944.8396. Mr. O'Brien has extensive experience in handling dangerous products cases in PA and NJ.