Reports from this week specify how two women filed a lawsuit against a hazard posed by smartwatches. They claimed that Alphabet Inc’s Google hardly went far enough when it recalled one single model of its Fitbit smartwatches. They said that the other versions of the device can possibly burn users and could actually burst into flames.
The women, from Pennsylvania and California respectively, filed the lawsuit on Friday, April 29 in a federal court in San Jose. The lawyers for the women stated how sensible customers, such as their clients, buy these ‘products to burn calories- not their skin.’
In this proposed class action lawsuit, the attorneys look to represent buyers of smartwatches from Fitbit in various states in the United States. These include- California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington, which have similar laws pertaining to consumer protection. In concurrence with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Google announced a voluntary recall. The search giant announced a recall of all 1.7 million Ionic smartwatches which it sold prior to discontinuing the model in the year 2020.
“Reasonable consumers, like plaintiffs, purchase the products to burn calories — not their skin,”
The recall warned the customers about the defective lithium ion batteries in the watches. These batteries could overheat and lead to burns, thus advising them not to carry them on airplanes, citing FAA regulations. Essentially, these regulations prohibit flyers from traveling with recalled batteries. The recall was announced on the webpage of Fitbit. Google thus noted that the recall did not include other smartwatches or trackers from Fitbit. The company did not acknowledge any requests made for a comment on the filed suit.
However, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit stated that this ‘same defect exists throughout all.’ Moreover, they included numerous social media posts from people who say they were burned by these devices, in order to back up their claims. The women are seeking a refund for the purchases of their Fitbits, and to be given necessary compensatory and punitive damages.
According to reports from consumer commission, about 118 users reported getting burns by these Ionic devices. Though majority of these injuries were minor, reportedly four were second degree burns, with two third-degree ones, where the skins is burned through causing serious internal damages. The woman from Pennsylvania stated that she bought Versa Light for her daughter which burned her skin. On the other hand, the California woman stated that she bought a Versa 2, that caused her to burn her wrist.