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Stairlift tragedies were accidental deaths, says coroner

By Aine Fox

The family of one of two pensioners who died after his stairlift collapsed have said more could have been done to prevent his death.

The men suffered fatal injuries as a result of a "catastrophic failure" when their chairs broke in similar incidents within three months of each other.

Dr Shirley Radcliffe gave a conclusion of accidental death at the joint inquest for George Bathmaker and James Bell at Westminster Coroner's Court.

She said: "Investigations revealed there had been a catastrophic failure of a welding joint between the tubular seat post and the attachment plate."

The coroner said this occurred as a result of "inadequate welding at the time of manufacture of the seat post".

Mr Bathmaker's son Daniel said not enough had been done by the stairlift supplier Acorn Stairlifts and other bodies after the death of Mr Bell in July 2013.

The men, both aged 79, had been using the Acorn Superglide 120, a model no longer in use.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph