March 20, 2014 — The Wall Street Journal reports that lawyers have filed a Fitbit Force class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California, San Diego.
The lead plaintiff, Jim Spivey, is a 49 year-old teacher who bought the Fitbit Force in January. He said he did not learn that the product was recalled until he visited the company’s website to learn more about its features. He was not injured by the product, but said “I have a concern that there is still a risk of developing an injury for me and others.”
He is not alone — when the Fitbit Force was recalled in February, at least 9,900 people had reported skin irritation and 250 reported blisters. Lawyers are demanding that Fitbit disclose what is causing the skin reactions. They are also demanding that Fitbit notify people who purchased Force about the recall and $130 refund.
No one knows exactly what is causing the skin reactions (also known as “allergic contact dermatitis”), but there are a few theories. James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit, speculated that it might be due to nickel in the stainless steel. However, Fitbit forums have complaints from people who were not allergic to nickel. Park also speculated that it could be adhesives used in assembly or other materials in the wristband.