A mother has filed a lawsuit against high-end fitness brand Peloton. She claims that during an exercise in her son’s New York City apartment one of the company’s exercise bikes fell and severed his carotid arterial, killing him “instantly.”
Johanna Furtado claimed that the bike “was not reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose or represented use” in the lawsuit filed in New York, in March. Peloton wants to dismiss the claims, according to court documents.
The incident occurred in January, when Ryan Furtado was completing a “Core” workout involving the bike, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit stated that as part of the workout, Furtado had been instructed to “disembark from the bike and conduct exercises on the floor”
The lawsuit claims that after finishing the floor workout, Furtado pulled himself up using the Peloton. “The bike spun around and struck him on his face and neck, severing the carotid in his neck,” the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, the New York Police Department discovered Furtado lying on the floor in his Brooklyn apartment. The “bike was still resting against his neck and his face,” according to the suit.
Peloton filed an answer claiming “that the plaintiff’s deceased’s negligence, intentional acts and/or fault contributed to any injuries or damages alleged.”
Ben Boyd, spokesperson for Peloton, said that the family of the Furtado was deeply affected by this accident. “As an organization focused on its Members, their health and safety is our top priority.”
The Morgan & Morgan NY PLLC law firm that represents Johanna Furtado did not comment on the lawsuit.
The trainer’s instruction to users to use the subject bike for stretching “made the Subject Bike unreasonable dangerous under foreseeable conditions by users applying pressure to the bike in a pulling and pushing manner causing it to fall.” The lawsuit also claimed that the company should’ve warned of “the foreseeable misuse” where people would use the Subject Bike as a way to lift themselves off the floor while working out, increasing the risk of injury.
The suit alleges that the high-end company did not test or inspect the bike adequately to ensure it was safe for its intended use and purpose. This includes the risk of personal injury that could be caused by stretching the bike while working out, which can cause the Bike to fall and destabilize, injuring the user.
According to the lawsuit, there was only one warning label located on the right front leg of the bicycle. The lawsuit said there should be additional labels on both the stem and the base of the bicycle to “adequately warn the user of injuries that could occur if using the Subject Bike to pull yourself up from the ground during a workout.”
This is just the latest setback for a company that has tried to rebrand by making its products more accessible.
It is believed that this is the first fatality allegedly linked to a Peloton bike. It is not, however, the first time that Peloton’s equipment has caused a death. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in May 2021 the company recalled their Tread+ treadmills after a 6-year-old was killed when he was dragged under the back of the machine.
CPSC also reported that the company received 72 reports about adult users, children, and/or pets being dragged under the treadmill’s rear, including 29 injuries.
According to the CPSC, it also recalled Tread treadmills due to a potential injury risk.
John Foley, the CEO at the time, called this child’s death a “tragic accident”.