On Wednesday, May 5, after 70 reported injuries and the tragic death of a six-year-old child, Peloton finally issued a recall of all its treadmills. Despite having received numerous reports of children becoming “entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the device,” Peloton delayed its recall for another month after fighting the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) April request to recall the product.
The CPSC is one of three federal product safety agencies and handles consumer products, while the FDA handles medical and food, and the USDA-FSIS handles meat and poultry recalls. However, these agencies do not have the power to issue product recalls. They serve as a liaison between consumers and companies. If enough incidents are reported regarding a specific product, these agencies will warn consumers about the product and urge the product’s manufacturer to recall it.
Peloton received an “urgent warning” from the CPSC nearly two weeks ago, but Peloton executives did not heed the warning and allowed its dangerous product to remain on the market. While Peloton warned consumers to keep children away from the machine, the company refused to recall the treadmill. At the time of the CPSC’s urgent warning, there were 39 incidents reported. Only two weeks later, there were 70 reported injuries, including a child’s death. Finally, Peloton is taking action.
The federal government is not entirely without authority, however. If Peloton had not issued the product recall this week, the federal government has the authority to force a recall, but this is a slow, arduous, and bureaucratic process.
In the meantime, the public must rely on the product manufacturers to police themselves. The most efficient and effective method to ensure dangerous products are removed from the marketplace is a product recall issued by the product manufacturer. But how do we avoid situations requiring a recall to begin with? In the best-case scenario, dangerous products would never make it to the marketplace. This episode highlights an unfortunate reality: just because a product is on the market does not mean it is safe.
Product liability lawsuits often result in improved product safety. These claims identify unsafe product design, a defect in the manufacturing process, inadequate warnings, or product instructions that do not address risks and/or how to prevent harm from occurring with reasonable and foreseeable use of the product. By holding manufacturers and distributors responsible for harm that occurs in the use of their products, companies like Peloton are encouraged to ensure that the products they profit from are reasonably safe for consumers.
If you or a loved one have been injured after using a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation including:
- All related medical expenses
- Loss of income due to inability to work
- Compensation for pain, emotional suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life
Some cases are so egregious that injured victims may also be entitled to punitive damages— which may be awarded when manufacturers or distributors behave in a reckless or willful manner. Peloton’s reckless refusal to recall the product after the urgent warning from the CPSC is the type of behavior that may warrant a punitive damage claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured through the use of a defective product, you need an attorney experienced in product liability cases to help you navigate the process and maximize your compensation. McNabola Law Group has a well-earned track record of providing successful representation in all types of defective product cases, from surgical implants, to automobile defects, and everything in between. Contact McNabola Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your rights.