For more than a decade, from 1994 to 2007, a type of bed handle was sold to assist the elderly and the disabled. It was made by a company called Bed Handles Inc., which sold about 113,000 of them. These were portable handles that can be moved and attached to the bed.
Now, however, they are being recalled. The company, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has said that there is a chance that these could cause death through strangulation.
The problem is that retention straps were not used on these early models. It means that the handles are not fully secure, and they can move and shift on their own. When they slide away from the bed, a gap appears, and it is this gap that is dangerous. If someone were to fall into it and become trapped, they could be killed.
The new models do have retention straps, so it’s just the older handles that must be recalled. The company reported that three people had passed away in this fashion, spurring on the recall. One person was 41 years old and disabled, another was 81 years old, and the third was described as elderly, though the exact age was not reported.
Interestingly, despite the risk, reports show that almost no one has responded to the recall. This time, the response rate is under 1 percent.
It’s very important to look for recalls and to respond to them when you have products that have been proven to be dangerous. If a recall is announced and ignored, it can make product liability cases very difficult in Illinois. However, when you or a loved one is injured before a recall, you may be able to seek compensation.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Bed Handles Inc. Reannounces Recall of Adult Portable Bed Handles Due to Serious Entrapment and Strangulation Hazards; Less Than 1% Response Rate to Recall,” Sep. 17, 2015