Lauderdale-area woman strangled by neck massager on Christmas Eve

A Parkland woman is dead after her necklace became entangled in a neck massager, which apparently strangled her to death, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Defective product injuries in Fort Lauderdale
are much more common than most people realize. Whether or not this neck massager was defective, we cannot immediately say. Although it would seem self-evident that the design of such devices should take into account the virtual certainty that people will use them while wearing necklaces or other jewelry.

In this case, the 37-year-old woman, who was employed as a radiologist, was wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve while using a neck massager to relieve neck pain. It apparently caught her necklace, causing her to lose consciousness and stop breathing. She was found by her husband, who is a dentist.

The Broward County Medical Examiner has not yet released the cause of death. And, for whatever reason, the sheriff’s office has refused to release the brand of neck massager or additional details.

While this is an extreme case of buyer beware, the fact is that hundreds of products are recalled each year for life-threatening defects and hundreds, or thousands, of others enter homes undetected.

Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 2.2 million space heaters sold by Wal-Mart because of the risk fire. The heaters include the Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze & Comfort Essential Heaters. The heaters are grey with a metal handle on the top and vents and grey control knobs in the front. Wal-Mart sold the heaters for a decade.

The heaters were sold until October 2009 although it would be more than a year before the recall was finally issued in December 2010.