A new lawsuit against fitness brand Peloton has recently come to light.
Peloton Interactive Inc. is at the center of litigation involving the first known death allegedly caused by the company’s workout bike, the Daily Beast recently uncovered.
The lawsuit, filed in March 2023 in New York, alleges that after a “core” workout on Peloton’s high-end interactive stationary bike, Ryan Furtado, 32, dismounted to complete a few exercises on the ground at his residence in Brooklyn.
After finishing the floor exercises, Furtado reportedly grabbed the stationary bike as leverage to pull himself up from the ground. The lawsuit claims that the action forced the bike to spin around suddenly, striking Furtado in the face and severing a carotid artery in his neck, “killing him instantly.”
When New York police discovered his body, the exercise bike was still resting on his neck and face, according to the lawsuit filed by Furtado’s mother, Johanna Furtado.
In the suit, Furtado’s mother argued that the exercise bike, which was purchased six months prior to the incident, “was unreasonably dangerous in its manufacturing and design, and the risks of such dangers substantially outweighed any benefit or utility of its design.”
Peloton, however, claimed that the tragedy was a result of Furtado’s own negligence and that the company should not be liable for any alleged injuries or damages.
“We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Furtado family for this unfortunate accident,” Peloton spokesperson Ben Boyd said in a statement on Thursday, NBC 5 DFW reported. “As a Member-first company, the health and safety of our Member community is a top priority.”
Still, the company pushed back on the lawsuit in a legal filing.
“Upon information and belief, the incident giving rise to this action was caused by the negligence or other culpable conduct of one or more parties for which Peloton is not responsible, and, therefore, Peloton is not legally responsible,” the New York-based fitness equipment company said in an April 17 response to the suit, per NBC 5.
Although Furtado’s death was the first fatality involving the company’s stationary exercise bike, it was not the first safety issue Peloton has found itself wrapped up in. In March 2021, the company was forced to recall all its Tread+ treadmills due to the exercise machines reportedly leading to around 90 injuries and one death, according to CNBC.
As of market close on Friday, shares of Peloton (NASDAQ: PTON) were trading just above the 52-week low at around $5.45, having tumbled roughly 30% year-to-date and more than 45% over the last 12 months.