A lawsuit seeking class-action status against Fitbit was recently filed in California alleging that the company didn’t do enough to alert consumers about possible rashes and blisters associated with using their wristband fitness tracker.
The suit, in specific, contends Fitbit misled consumers by advertising its ‘Fitbit Force’ as safe for wear all day, including during sleep and in the shower.
On February 20th, a recall of 1 million devices was issued in the U.S. and 28,000 in Canada. Fitbit CEO James Park said following “thorough investigations,” it was determined that the skin irritation most likely came from users’ allergies to materials in the device — otherwise known as allergic contact dermatitis.
The company agreed to discontinue sales of the Force and to offer a full refund but the suit alleges it should do more and should be held liable for intentionally and negligently misleading consumers about the products safety. The lawsuit also seeks an order directing the company to pay damages, publicize the associated risks more aggressively and to take other steps to inform consumers.
According to the CPSC, 9,900 people reported skin irritation from the Force and 250 people reported blistering. While these numbers seem high, they’re actually accounting for only 1.7 percent of Force owners.