Fitbit Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Force Band Rashes

Fitbit recalled its Fitbit Force wristband fitness tracker after some users complained of skin rashes. That wasn't enough for Jim Spivey because a class action lawsuit was filed on his behalf against the company claiming they didn't do enough to warn users of the possibility of skin irritation.

Fitbit faces lawsuit over fitness tracker-related rashesFitbit faces lawsuit over fitness tracker-related rashes

The skin rash issue has impacted less 1.7 percent of Fitbit Force users, but that was enough for the company to stop sales and issue a voluntary recall on the devices. Ironically, Mr. Spivey isn't one of the Fitbit Force owners that developed a rash.

He filed the lawsuit in California and is asking the court to force Fitbit to notify everyone that bought a Force in the state that the device can cause a skin rash, and to refund each user US$130, plus tax and shipping costs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

John Fiske, the attorney representing the lawsuit said, "We are asking for full disclosure of the dangerous aspects of the product and a full disclosure of why it's causing these injuries."

The Fitbit Force was a popular seller as soon as it shipped last October because it offered more features than the Fitbit Flex wristband. The device tracked daily steps, stairs climbed, sleep patterns, and more. The data it collects is transmitted to your Mac or iPhone where you can view charts showing your activity level daily and over time.

Once users got the device on their wrist, some complained they developed a rash where the band touched their skin. Fitbit posted a warning on its website, and said the issue was most likely caused by an allergic reaction to nickel.

Even though Mr. Spivey didn't develop a rash, he felt compelled to sue the company for what he saw as a failure to adequately warn buyers of the potential health risk. "I have a concern that there is still a risk of developing an injury for me and others," he said.

Fitbit hasn't commented on the case, although it has confirmed that it is working on a the next generation of its wristband fitness tracker.