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Death of CEO Reminder of the Danger of Treadmills

June 15, 2015

Recently, Dave Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey, sustained severe head trauma after falling off of a treadmill while exercising in a Mexican resort, according to New York Daily News. His brother was the first to find Goldberg lying next to the machine with a large gash to his head. Goldberg was alive while transported to the hospital, but later sadly died as a result of the injuries. His wife and two children are devastated by the loss of their loved one, who was described as a compassionate, courageous, and deeply intelligent individual.

The death of this successful 47 year old executive is tragic and serves as a reminder as to the dangers of treadmills. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), over 24,400 treadmill-related injuries occurred in 2014. Another 23,900 happened the year before in 2013. There have been 30 reported deaths associated with treadmills in the period from 2003 to 2012.

When other exercise equipment is included in accident statistics, the rate of injuries rises dramatically, with over 62,700 individuals per year injured by exercise equipment. Another CPSC report takes into account additional common exercise activities, such as basketball, using weights, swimming, tennis, and more. According to this data, over 1 million people each year receive medical treatment in an emergency room due to sports-related injuries. 

The most common treadmill injuries include broken bones, head injuries, abrasions, and chest pain. While most exercise related injuries are minor, many others can result in hospitalization or death. Treadmills offer a great source of exercise, but must be used with care.

The following is a list of some treadmill safety tips, among others, offered by the treadmill reviewers at

  • Look forward at all times so that you do not lose your balance or fall.
  • Check to make sure your sneakers are properly tied so that the laces do not caught, causing you to fall.
  • Start the treadmill while straddling the deck as the machine could start at an unexpectedly fast pace.
  • Increase your incline to a comfortable level first before you adjust your speed. Increasing speed and incline at the same time can result in falls.
  • Never run on a treadmill barefoot as the machine can generate heat and cut or scrape bare feet.
  • Do not step off of a moving treadmill. Use the emergency shutoff button if you need to stop quickly.
  • Keep all children and pets away from the machine as the moving parts are dangerous and can result in injuries.
  • Do not push yourself too far and keep track of your heart rate as well as any pain or discomfort.

Although most treadmills are manufactured well and are safe if used correctly, rates of treadmill injuries and deaths appear to be on the rise and hundreds of thousands of treadmills have been recalled in the past decade due to problems ranging from overheating and catching fire to unintended acceleration. Treadmill injuries can result from product defects such as these, which opens the door to personal injury claims.  If you have suffered an injury from a treadmill and you believe that it is because of a defect in the machine, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case as well as advise you on what steps are necessary to protect your rights.

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Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.