Fitness device is recalled, California class action suit launched

When consumers purchase a product that causes dissatisfaction, or perhaps causes pain, discomfort or injury, it's easy to just stop using it. The idea of an individual suing a manufacturer or brand owner would probably never occur to most people. Suing a large company can be intimidating, and some people might think they don’t stand a chance.

In some situations, though, it becomes clear that many people share a negative experience with the same product, and that's when a product liability class action lawsuit becomes a possible tool.

This scenario is playing out in California at the moment. Health device company Fitbit makes a product called the Force bracelet, which it sells for approximately $130. The device is worn on the wrist to track physical activity. Of all purchasers about 1.7 percent have complained about skin reactions to the device, including blisters, burns, rashes, oozing and bleeding.

Now in a San Diego court, one user has initiated a class-action lawsuit against the product owner. Among other things, his suit contends that the company:

  • Uses marketing communication that is deliberately misleading and fraudulent.
  • Knowingly misrepresents the device as safe.
  • Never communicates the possibility of injury.
  • Continues to withhold information about what is causing the skin reaction.

The plaintiff claims that the bracelet’s manufacturing defects can increase the likelihood of an adverse cardiovascular episode occurring in its wearer. The class action is demanding a recall and refund, discontinuation of material that promotes the device as safe, and disclosure to all complainants of the true cause of the adverse reaction.

In response, Fitbit has said in a press release that the company itself initiated a recall and offered a refund to purchasers before the lawsuit, and that it disagrees with all the other contentions.

You should never have to suffer injury or harm caused by a company’s negligence, and yet so many companies turn a blind eye in order to turn a greater profit. Those companies should have to pay back what they have taken from you and from others.

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