A Florida couple filed suit against Peloton Interactive Inc. on Tuesday after their six-year-old son was dragged underneath their “Tread” treadmill and suffered burns to his shoulder and face. The product liability complaint asserts that Peloton ignored warnings from the federal government that its Tread and Tread+ products posed a danger to children and pets that could be sucked under and trapped beneath its belt.
The Northern District of Florida complaint explains that the plaintiffs purchased a Peloton Tread in the summer of 2020. The product reportedly retails for $2,495, and in order for users to fully avail themselves of the machine’s benefits, they must pay a subscription fee on top of the purchase price.
In November 2020, the plaintiffs’ son was injured by the treadmill. In April 2021, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) told consumers to stop using the Peloton Tread, citing the large gap at the rear of the treadmill between its belt and the floor capable of trapping children, pets, and objects.
On May 5, the CPSC and Peloton jointly announced the recall of the Tread and Tread+ treadmills. The recall stated that in addition to the death of a child, the company received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets, and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 instances of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations. Thereafter, the complaint explains, Peloton’s CEO John Foley stated that the company “made a mistake” by contesting the CPSC’s request to recall the treadmills and apologized for not cooperating earlier.
The plaintiffs bring two strict liability claims, one for defective design, one for failure to warn, and a negligence claim for failing to use reasonable care in designing, making, marketing, and selling the exercise equipment. The couple, represented by Schlesinger Law Offices P.A., request a jury trial.
The recall led to securities litigation against Peloton as well.