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Peloton Misrepresented Treadmills as Family-Safe, Suit Says (1)

April 21, 2021, 1:50 PM; Updated: April 21, 2021, 2:29 PM

Peloton Interactive Inc. misrepresented their treadmills as safe for households with children, a new proposed class suit in a California federal court alleges.

Peloton marketed its Tread+ as appropriate with family use, the suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges. The company advertised the product with pictures such as one featuring a woman with a young girl, presumably her daughter, working out, the suit says.

But the Tread+ contains significant design flaws that allow children and pets to become trapped underneath the machine while it’s operating, Shannon Albright alleges.

At least one child has died as a result of the Tread+, and at least several dozens more have been injured, the suit alleges.

The suit appears to be the first federal court suit filed in the wake of a Consumer Product Safety Commission’s warning about the Tread+ earlier this month that advised consumers to stop using the equipment if there were small children or pets at home.

Consumers have been financially harmed by Peloton’s false and misleading advertisements, the suit alleges. Albright alleges she paid $4,295 for a Tread+ in September 2020, based on a belief it didn’t pose a risk to children.

Peloton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit.

The company previously said in a statement that it was “concerned” by the commission’s warning, which it termed “misleading and inaccurate.” There’s no reason to stop using the Tread+ as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed, it said.

Albright says she and other consumers should be provided with either a refund or replacement with a device that isn’t as dangerous to children and pets.

Causes of Action: California Consumers Legal Remedies Act; California Unfair Competition Law; California False Advertising Law; Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act; breach of implied warranty.

Relief: Injunctive relief; restitution; disgorgement of money allegedly wrongfully attained; statutory, general, special, exemplary damages; corrective notice campaign; attorneys’ fees and costs.

Potential Class Size: Unknown number of persons in nationwide class and California subclass.

Attorneys: Cutter Law PC represents the plaintiff.

The case is Albright v. Peloton Interactive, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 3:21-cv-02858, complaint 4/20/21.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Patrick L. Gregory at pgregory@bloomberglaw.com

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