Earlier in the week, we talked about one woman's lawsuit against the assisted living home where her mother died. The woman has accused the home of failing to warn her father of the danger that nursing home bed rails can cause, even though it was the nursing home that recommended he buy the railings to keep his wife from rolling out of the bed. Tragically, she was strangled after she became caught in the railings.
Though the nursing home does appear to be partially at fault for failing to properly supervise and warn the family about bed rails, it is also important that manufacturers of dangerous products be held liable for the injuries their products cause. No one should be put at risk by something they buy, even if what they buy is inherently dangerous. When that is the case, there should be labels and warnings to prevent consumers from injuring themselves or, worse yet, from dying.
As we mentioned before, it has been frighteningly clear for a long time that bed rails can be quite dangerous, but manufacturers have resisted labeling their products. The federal Food and Drug Administration considered putting labels on the railings, but manufacturers claimed that the labels would cost them a considerable amount of money.
It is likely true that labeling bed railings would come at a cost, but is that any reason not to protect the safety of consumers? People in Albany expect that if they are buying something dangerous there will be prominent and visible warnings and are very trusting of products without labels. In this case, however, it seems that being too trusting of these railings could cost consumers their lives.
Source: The New York Times, "After Dozens of Deaths, Inquiry Into Bed Rails," Ron Nixon, Nov. 25, 2012
In our practice, we work with individuals who have been seriously injured by simple, everyday consumables. When they are injured, however, we work with them to file product liability lawsuits. Stop by our New York dangerous products page to learn more.