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Fitness weights recalled after many serious injuries

The weightlifting equipment manufacturer and distributor Cybex has recalled 15,000 units produced over a 20-years period. Primarily used in health and fitness clubs, the plate-loaded weightlifting equipment has been tied to 27 reported injuries, including spinal fractures and paralysis, after the weight bar unexpectedly fell on the user.

The equipment cited are Cybex Smith Press Model 5340, which was made between 1989 and 1993, and the Model 5341, which was manufactured from 1993 and 2009. The initial cost of this gear is between $1,000 and $3,400.

Recognizing the gear

If you have concern about whether you use this equipment, check the base of the frame for the model number. Designed for upper-body and lower-body workouts, both models have a weight bar set on latch pins that moves up and down two parallel vertical tracks (one on each side). The bar was sold with the Smith Press while the plate weights were sold separately.

A serious reminder of the danger of workout gear

Most of us who visit health and fitness clubs are concerned with pulling a muscle, straining our backs or even receiving improper coaching that causes injury, but the dangerous nature of the injuries caused by hundreds of pounds falling on users should also be a concern.

Cybex is being proactive in addressing manufacturing issues and seeking out the injured, but speaking with an attorney if you have been injured while using exercise equipment is always recommended, particularly if there is life-changing spinal cord or head injuries. A personal injury lawyer can offer knowledgeable advice about compensation and liability of fitness centers, gear manufacturers and distributors.