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Husband of Facebook Chief Dies after Falling from Treadmill at Gym

SurveyMonkey Chief Executive, David Goldberg, died during a training session at the gym after he fell from a treadmill and suffered a fatal blow to the back of his head.

The 47-year-old American was on holiday in a Mexican villa with his wife Sheryl Sandberg who is Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, and other family members and friends. He was working out in the villa’s gym when he slipped from a treadmill and banged his head.

Mexican officials say Mr Goldberg was found lying next to the treadmill with clear signs of a head injury and blood loss. He was transferred to a local hospital where he later died.

Are Treadmills Dangerous?

Treadmills are found in nearly every gym nowadays. They offer gym-goers the opportunity to include running as part of an ‘under one roof’ cross-fitness training programme and allow people to run indoors all year round, avoiding busy roads and the worst of the British weather.

Research conducted by CBS News found that more than 50 million Americans regularly use treadmills and, according to the US Sports and Fitness Industry Association, treadmills are “the largest selling exercise equipment category by a large margin” in the USA.

While treadmills can provide a handy way to stay in shape without battling the elements outside, they can be extremely dangerous if you lose concentration.

Treadmills accounted for 30 fatal accidents in the USA from 2003 to 2012 – an average of three a year, according to US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Almost 25,000 people in the USA were injured in treadmill accidents in 2014 alone.

It’s not clear exactly what caused Mr Goldberg to suffer his fatal fall but treadmill users are certainly presented with more distractions nowadays. More and more gym-goers use smartphones whilst running and treadmills themselves have an increasing number of built-in video options, buttons to be pushed and progress data to be monitored.

Experts recommend using the safety clip that automatically switches off the treadmill in the event of a fall. Other gym companies surveyed as part of a BBC report into treadmill safety recommend that treadmill users are trained properly how to use the machines and that they don’t look at their feet while running.

For more advice on staying safe whilst working out, see our blog: Avoiding Injury at the Gym.

Slater and Gordon Serious Injury Solicitors can provide expert legal advice if you have suffered a head injury through no fault of your own. Call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll call you.

Immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support are available anywhere in the UK.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,450 staff and 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Derby and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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