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Product Liability

Exercise Machines and Injuries

November 17, 2020
Alan L. Fuchsberg

The Covid-19 pandemic has closed gyms, forcing consumers to work out at home. All around the nation, indoor cycling is all the rage, with many believing that cycling is easier on your knees and requires less space than a treadmill. Consumers enjoy virtual rides and cycling classes via an interactive screen. And they are happy to skip the pricey gym memberships and high-pressure in-person spin classes. With fitness centers closed, companies like Peloton, Bowflex, Echelon, Myx Fitness, NordicTrack, and ProForm’s sales have soared as consumers purchased exercise bikes and virtual fitness subscriptions.

Recently, Peloton Interactive recalled about 27,000 bikes sold nationwide to replace pedals that can break and cut riders' legs. The fitness equipment maker said it had received 120 reports from users of pedals breaking, with 16 cases resulting in injuries.

What Recourse Do You Have if You Get Injured on an at-home Fitness Machine?

Defective products, including exercise machines, can cause serious injuries. For over half a century, the personal injury attorneys at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm have been representing those who have been harmed by defective products, holding at-fault parties responsible for pain, suffering, lost wages, and other losses. New York recognizes three different legal theories as grounds for bringing a product liability action.

A Plaintiff can bring a claim under the Negligence Theory, which is where the defendant did not exercise “reasonable care” or, in some cases, an expert standard of care. If the designer or manufacturer unreasonably failed to consider advances in science and technology, they can be held accountable for negligence. Other examples of negligence include fault with product design, failure to provide clear instructions for use, failure to warn or issue a recall when a public safety threat has been established.

A Plaintiff can also bring a claim under the concept of Strict Liability, which is where a vendor or manufacturer may be liable if it can be shown that the product was not suitable for its intended use or its risk outweighs its value. Strict liability does not require a finding of fault, so the plaintiff can recover without proving that the defendant knew or should have known that the product was defective.

Finally, a Plaintiff can bring a claim under Breach of Warranty, which is where a manufacturer can be liable for a product's failure to fulfill a claim. The claim can be express –stated explicitly – or implied. There is an implied warranty that, when used properly, a product will not cause injury.

What if the Fitness Machine Has a Defect of Some Kind?

You may also recover damages for injuries resulting from three types of product defects.

Three Product Defects Are:

(1) Defective Design, where the product is not reasonably safe even though it was feasible to design the product in a safe manner. If the design is defective, all of the products manufactured with that design will pose the same harm.

(2) Defective Manufacturing, which is where the product did not perform as intended due to a manufacturing flaw. The product at the
center of litigation may be found defective as compared with other products of the same design that did not cause harm.

(3) Defective Failure to Warn, which happens when sometimes a
product is properly designed and properly manufactured but still has some dangers that consumers need to know about. An injured party may have a claim if the defendant failed to warn about a danger that is not obvious, even if it arises from an unintended but reasonably foreseeable use.

What Should You Do if You Have Been Injured by an Exercise Machine?

First, get the medical help that you need. And when you are feeling up to it, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our New York product liability attorneys. Our team serves clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island and throughout the tri-state area, including New Jersey and Connecticut. You can reach us at any time at 212-869-3500.