Published at Sunday, September 09th, 2018 - 06:59:43 AM. Bedding. By Irma Ferguson.
There has been little study or publication about the risks and benefits of bed rails. However, the reports of adult deaths and injuries from bed rails on file with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) (incidents from 1993 to 1996) provide significant information for attorneys investigating a potential negligence claim. The CPSC information reflects that seventy-four patients died as a result of the use of bed rails. Moreover, it in not unrealistic to conclude that the actual number of patient deaths far exceeded the reported deaths. Regardless of the true frequency of deaths, 70% of the reported patient deaths resulted from entrapment between the mattress and the bed rail such that the patient’s face was pressed against the mattress. 18% percent of the reported deaths were the result of entrapment and compression of the neck within the bed rails. Finally, 12% twelve percent of the reported deaths were caused by being trapped by the rails after sliding partially off the bed, resulting in neck flexion and chest compression.
The financial impact of a bed bug suit can be substantial. In the 2003 landmark case (Matthias v. Accor Economy Lodging); Toronto siblings who stayed in a bed bug-infested motel room received a jury award of $382,000 in their suit against Motel 6. In 2006, a Chicago couple sued a Catskills resort for $20 million, saying they were physically and mentally scarred after suffering 500 bed bug bites. "I was horrified to see all of those bites all over my body," said plaintiff Leslie Fox. "I was miserable. My skin felt as if it was on fire and I wanted to tear it off." In 2007, New York opera star Allison Trainer sued the Hilton hotel chain for $6 million claiming she suffered more than 100 bed bug bites at a Hilton Suites in Phoenix. Her story was widely reported in the press: "They were all over the bed and the comforter and the pillows and I pulled the sheets off and they were just everywhere." Her attorney documented 150 bites and 23 scars. Just last month a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that two Maryland tourists bitten by bed bugs during a 2003 stay at the Milford Plaza could proceed with their $2 million negligence suit, though punitive damages were denied.
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