An announcement was made recently, regarding the filing of several different lawsuits against Skechers on behalf of individuals from four different states, who have suffered meniscus injuries allegedly caused by the defective design of Shape-Ups toning shoes. The plaintiff consumers reside in Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were injured when the rocking bottom of the shoe suddenly caused them to fall, resulting in a torn meniscus. A torn meniscus is a painful knee injury, which involves damage to the cartilage in between the thigh bone and the shin bone (the meniscus). While physical therapy can sometimes help, surgery is often needed in order to adequately fix the injury.
This is not the first time Skechers has faced scrutiny for its Shape-Ups. The shoes were marketed toward consumers for having various health benefits, including allegedly increasing muscle tone simply by wearing them. According to documents filed by the plaintiffs, an independent study on the shoes found no evidence of increased intensity of exercise, increased burning of calories, or increased muscle strength or tone from wearing them.
Therefore, in 2012 Skechers was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay $40 million for its misleading advertising campaigns. This order included a court determination that Skechers failed to warn consumers about potential risks associated with these shoes, and that the company had not performed adequate safety testing.
These injury incidences, as alleged, fall clearly within the purview of Products Liability law.
Products liability is an area of the law that focuses on holding manufacturers liable for their dangerous or defective consumer products. The primary purpose of this area of the law is to ensure that manufacturers are financially accountable for their impact on consumers. It ensures that the businesses responsible for putting defective products into the market bear the costs when those products later cause injuries or property damage. Just what is considered a “product” is quite expansive. While in this case it is potentially a pair of shoes, it also includes things like motor vehicles, household appliances, lotions, food products, etc.
This type of case, since it implicates the alleged lack of safety testing, might be pursued under a negligence theory. In a negligence cause of action, the plaintiff asserts that the company who manufactured the product failed to do what a reasonably prudent manufacturer would have done. Manufacturers are legally required to be reasonable in the design, manufacture, and inspection of their products prior to making them available for consumers. Additionally, manufacturers must warn the consumer of any potentially dangerous conditions associated with the product, such as with drug side effect warnings. The failure to warn alone may serve as the basis for a claim by a plaintiff injured by a dangerous product.
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed as a result of a defective or dangerous consumer product in Maryland or the Washington D.C. area, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen. We have many years of experience in representing plaintiffs in a wide variety of different types of products liability lawsuits. Our dedicated attorneys will work hard to ensure that you receive a fair settlement or judgment, and that you receive the financial compensation you are entitled to. You can reach us through our website, or by calling 1-800-654-1949, in order to discuss your case during your free, no obligation initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws Lead to Lower Death Rates for Children, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 7, 2013
Federal Court Hears Oral Argument on NFL Concussion Litigation Motion to Dismiss, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 30, 2013