12,000 Personal Massage Devices Recalled after User Killed

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Thursday, September 1, 2011

An electronic massaging device has been recalled after one user was killed and two others were injured due to a defect in the design. The recall, which affects nearly 12,000 devices, comes nearly a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the massagers.

The defective device in question is called the ShoulderFlex system massager. They were manufactured between 2003 through 2011. They are designed for the user to lie down and rest his or her head, neck and shoulders over the bar and a headrest while a rotating bar and removable artificial fingers massage their muscles. They were manufactured by King International LLC of Beaverton, Oregon.

According to the FDA’s Aug. 25 warning, the Consumer Product Safety Commission received a report of a user who was killed by the device, along with another person who was nearly strangled. The incidents were due to a defect in the massager that can catch hair, necklaces or clothing and choke the user. Two other users have been injured due to the defect.

On Sept. 1, King International announced a voluntary recall of 11,934 of the massagers, nearly all of the about 12,000 that were sold in stores, through catalogs and online.

The FDA warning urged those who own a ShoulderFlex to stop using it immediately and throw it away in separate pieces so that it could not be used by someone else. Anyone who has been injured by one of the massagers should contact the FDA.

Source: Mass Device, “UPDATE: Personal massager recalled after strangling death,” Sept. 1, 2011

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