March 20, 2014 — A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against Fitbit Inc., manufacturer of the popular Fitbit Force activity-tracking wristband, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The class action lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California in San Diego, is seeking damages against Fitbit for misleading consumers in promoting and advertising the Fitbit Force wristband. Lawyers allege that Fitbit should notify everyone who purchased the wristband about the recall to arrange for a $130 refund. Lawyers are also calling for Fitbit to disclose what is causing skin reactions.
The lead plaintiff is Jim Spivey, a 49 year-old aviation teacher who bought the Fitbit Force in January. He said he learned of the recall after looking at the Fitbit website for information about the product’s features. He does not have skin irritation, but says “I have a concern that there is still a risk of developing an injury for me and others.”
It is unclear exactly what is causing the skin reactions. Fitbit CEO James Park said that the problem is not due to the battery or electrical components, but rather some material in the wristband — perhaps nickel in the stainless-steel, adhesives used to assemble the device, or some other material. Many users want to know exactly what metals, dyes, adhesives, chemicals, and other materials are in the product.
The skin rashes are allergic contact dermatitis, a hypersensitivity reaction that occurs in response to irritants trapped against the skin. When the CPSC recalled the Fitbit Force, they reported 9,900 cases of skin irritation and 250 reports of blistering.