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Wrongful Death Highlights Treadmill Accidents

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death on Treadmills is Common, According to Statsshutterstock_573543022

The announcement of CEO Dave Goldberg’s death on Friday, May 1st, in a treadmill accident was shocking to many people. While it is still unclear exactly what caused the CEO of SurveyMonkey to fall and fatally hit his head, his death has created much discussion around treadmill safety and the number of personal injuries and wrongful deaths on these machines every year.

Goldberg’s accident is an extreme example of all-too-common treadmill injuries. Goldberg was using hotel gym equipment at the Four Seasons Punta Mita Resort. It is currently unknown how he fell, but he fell off the treadmill and struck his head with violent force. Although he was found alive, he was transported to a hospital where he was declared dead from traumatic brain injury and hypovolemic shock – a condition tied to loss of blood and other fluids.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are on average 3 wrongful deaths on treadmills every year (there were 30 deaths total between 2003 and 2012, out of about 50 million Americans using the devices). While this number might seem small, there are a growing number of other personal injuries involving treadmills. In fact, treadmills outpace trampolines for reported personal injuries.

The most common injuries from treadmills are sprains and strains, common workout injuries that are not caused by exercise equipment itself. However, a University of Washington study found that treadmills specifically caused 66% of exercise-related deaths. Treadmills are an especially popular type of workout equipment, according to the study, and working out is becoming more popular every year; that said, while in 2007 there were 264,921 exercise equipment personal injuries, by 2012, that number had practically doubled, to 459,978.

Dr. Joseph E. Herrera, the director of sports medicine in the department of rehabilitation at Mt. Sinai Hospital, says that he has seen 7 patients with treadmill injuries not caused by over-exercising – like fractures or tendon strains. In one example, a patient had never used a treadmill before and was flung away at high speed when he started the machine at a pace too fast for him to keep up with.

“It’s a very rare occurrence,” Dr. Herrera said. “But if it does happen, it can have severe consequences.”

Additionally, more children are going to the emergency room with exercise equipment related injuries, especially trapped hands. Since 2007, the number of children going to the emergency room because of an exercise equipment injury has jumped 35%. Treadmills in particular can cause abrasions, friction burns, blunt trauma – such as the blow to the head that led to Goldberg’s wrongful death – and even amputations, in both children and adults.

Some important safety steps when using a treadmill or beginning any type of exercise routine include learning about using exercise equipment safely – especially treadmills and weights – and getting a physical exam before starting a new work-out. If you have an underlying heart condition, for example, exercise could cause that to surface and lead to a treadmill accident.

However, even accounting for knowledge and health conditions, treadmill accidents are still too common.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Products Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, or a loved one has died, because of a treadmill accident or other accident involving a defective product, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. The South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand details of defective products law, and will fight for your rights and safety in court. We offer a free consultation to discuss how we can help you, so contact us today. 803.252.4800



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