May 29, 2015 — Seven people who had severe skin reactions after wearing the Fitbit Surge or Charge HR activity-tracking wristbands have filed a lawsuit against Fitbit in California, Law360 reports.
The lawsuit (PDF) claims that side effects like skin damage, blistering, scarring, burns, and even nerve damage can occur when they are worn as intended.
Fitbit is accused of downplaying the risk because they know consumers won’t buy a product that causes skin irritation. According to the complaint:
“Defendants claim that the Fitbit Surge and Fitbit Charge HR were developed in a different manner in order to eliminate the injuries that had previously been experienced by users of the Fitbit Force and Fitbit Flex. However … consumers are experiencing and continue to experience the same injuries and reactions.”
The Surge and Charge HR have been on the market since January 2015. They are the newest products in a line of wristbands that began with the Fitbit Force, introduced in October 2013.
After just six months on the market, Fitbit recalled about one million Force wristbands because nearly 10,000 customers reported developing skin irritation, including 250 who had blisters after wearing the devices.
Now, many consumers say the new wristbands have the same problem. ABC News 7 reported earlier this year that about 200 people on social media had reported skin irritation.