A mother is suing high-end fitness company Peloton, alleging that one of its exercise bikes fell on her son during a workout in his New York City apartment, severing his carotid artery and killing him "instantly."
Johanna Furtado argued that the bike was "not reasonably fit, suitable, or safe for its intended or represented purpose," according to the lawsuit that was filed in New York in March. Peloton filed a rebuttal and is seeking to dismiss the claims.
The incident occurred in January, when Ryan Furtado was completing a "Core" workout involving the bike, according to the lawsuit.
As part of the workout, Furtado was instructed to "disembark the bike to conduct exercises on the floor," the lawsuit said.
After finishing the floor portion of the workout, Furtado used the Peloton product to pull himself up from the ground, and the "bike spun around and impacted him on his neck and face severing his carotid artery in his neck killing him instantly," according to the lawsuit.
The New York Police Department found Furtado on the floor of his Brooklyn apartment with the "bike still resting on his neck and face," the suit said.
FILE-A man walks in front of a Peloton store in Manhattan on May 05, 2021 in New York. (Photo by John Smith/VIEWpress/Getty Images)
Peloton filed a rebuttal claiming that the "alleged injuries or damages, if any, were caused or contributed to by plaintiff’s decedent’s own negligence, intentional act and/or fault."
"We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Furtado family for this unfortunate accident," Peloton spokesperson Ben Boyd said in a statement to FOX Business. "As a Member-first company, the health and safety of our Member community is a top priority."
When the trainer instructed users to use the bike for stretching, it "rendered the Subject Bike unreasonably dangerous under foreseeable circumstances through users applying pressure on the bike in a pulling and pushing fashion causing the bike to destabilize and fall." The suit also said the company should have warned about "the foreseeable misuse that people would also use the Subject Bike to pull themselves up from the floor during a workout increasing an unknown risk of injury to the user."
The suit claims that the high-end fitness company failed to test or adequately inspect the bike's "warnings to ensure that it was reasonably safe and suitable for its intended purpose and use so as to ensure that it was not unreasonably dangerous under foreseeable circumstances – including the risk of related personal injury from continuously stretching on the bike during workouts, causing the Bike to destabilize and fall, causing injury to the user."
The one warning label on the front right leg of the bike was inadequate, the lawsuit said. It said that there should have been additional labels on the stem and base of the bike to "adequately warn the user of injury that could occur if the Subject Bike is used to pull oneself up from the floor during a workout."
Morgan & Morgan attorneys Mike Morgan and Gennady Voldz, who represent the Furtado family, told FOX Business that Peloton "has a duty to communicate clearly and honestly with customers about the dangers inherent in their products."
This is the latest woe for the company that has been trying to rebrand itself by making its products more widely accessible.
This marks the first known fatality allegedly tied to one of Peloton's bikes. However, it is not the first death that has been caused by its equipment. In May 2021, the company recalled its Tread+ treadmill after a 6-year-old was pulled under the rear of the machine and killed, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The company also received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 injured, the CPSC reported.
It also recalled its Tread treadmills for a risk of injury, according to the CPSC.
Then-CEO John Foley called the child's death a "tragic accident."