May 29, 2015 — Fitbit Inc. has been hit with a lawsuit (PDF) in California claiming its Surge and Charge HR activity-tracking wristbands cause skin damage, blistering, scarring, burns, and even nerve damage when they are worn as intended.
The wristbands were introduced in January 2015, the latest models in a line of products that began when the Fitbit Force was introduced in October 2013. Six months later, about 1 million Force wristbands were recalled after nearly 10,000 people reported skin irritation and 250 reported blistering.
Now, some say newer models have the same problems. The lawsuit names seven plaintiffs and includes graphic photos of their skin injuries. According to the complaint:
“Defendants claim that the Fitbit Surge and Fitbit Charge HR were developed in a different manner in order to eliminate the injuries that had previously been experienced by users of the Fitbit Force and Fitbit Flex. However … consumers are experiencing and continue to experience the same injuries and reactions.”
The lawsuit also claims Fitbit knew that customers would not purchase the wristbands if they were aware of the risk of injury. As a result, Fitbit continues to “reap huge profits while concealing from and misleading the public of the knowledge of the potential hazards.”
This is not the first time concerns have been raised about the Fitbit Surge and Charge wristbands. Earlier this year, San Francisco-based ABC News 7 reported that over 200 people on social media said they developed skin irritation after wearing the products.