Fitbit faces class-action suit over skin irritation issue with Force fitness tracker

FitBit Force Both

Fitbit appears to be rather up against it at the moment. Earlier this year, the gadget maker had to apologize when some users of its Force fitness tracker started complaining of skin irritation caused by the gadget.

Last month it issued a voluntary recall of the device, offering affected users a full refund in return, while just a week ago another recall was issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which also placed stricter rules on sales of the Force. 

And now the San Francisco-based startup is facing its first lawsuit in relation to the issue.

Filed earlier this week in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego, the suit, which is seeking class-action status, alleges “the company misled consumers in promoting and advertising the Fitbit Force device,” the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

Filed by San Diego-based Gomez Law attorney John Fiske on behalf of aviation teacher Jim Spivey, the suit calls for Fitbit to contact all California-based purchasers of the Force and offer a full refund that should also include tax and shipping costs.

“We are asking for full disclosure of the dangerous aspects of the product and a full disclosure of why it’s causing these injuries,” Fiske said.

According to the Journal, Spivey bought his Force device in January and discovered there was a potential issue with the device shortly after when he visited Fitbit’s website regarding a separate matter.

Although he hasn’t yet developed any rash, he believes the onus is on Fitbit to alert consumers directly about the recall. “I have a concern that there is still a risk of developing an injury for me and others,” Spivey said.

Fitbit said recently that 1.7 percent of Force users had reported a skin-related problem possibly caused by the gadget, with 9,900 citing of skin irritation and 250 citing blistering.

The precise cause of the issue still isn’t known, with Fitbit recently ruling out any connection with the device’s electrical systems or battery. It’s been suggested it could be an allergic reaction caused by the nickel/stainless steel element of the Force’s interior.

For more information on the issue, check out this letter from Fitbit boss James Park.


Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.