More than one hundred consumers have filed lawsuits against the athletic shoe manufacturer Skechers for injuries sustained after using the company’s Shape-Ups toning shoes. The lawsuits allege that the shoes rocker bottom design contributed to their injuries. Some of the injuries reported include broken feet and ankles, leg and hip fractures, tendon and ligament damage, head injuries, spinal cord damage, and in one case, a pulmonary embolism, allegedly as a result the Skechers Shape-Ups.
One of the plaintiffs, a young mother suffered a pulmonary embolism after receiving a severe broken ankle from a fall she took while wearing the toning shoes. The aftermath of that fall has resulted in three hospital admissions, multiple trips to the emergency room and doctor visits and permanent health complications.
Among other victims filing against the company is a woman whose foot twisted suddenly, allegedly because of the rocker bottom shoe sole, sending her tumbling down a flight of stairs. The woman suffered a compound fracture to ankle and severe sprain to her left ankle. Another victim was diagnosed with a severe fracture of his right ankle and leg following a fall he suffered while wearing Shape-Ups.
In May 2009, the manufacturer of Skechers Shape-Ups agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it had made unfounded claims that shoes would help people lose weight and strengthen and tone muscles. Although that settlement provided consumers with refunds for the purchase of their shoes, it did not include compensation for injuries allegedly caused by Skechers Shape-Ups.
The Virginia Lawyer’s Perspective:
Despite multiple complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, (CPSC), Skechers failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of the shoe. Medical experts warn that rocker-style bottom toning shoes are designed to cause instability, forcing users to engage muscles not normally used while walking. But that instability might also lead to turned ankles, nasty falls, and other injuries.
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