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  • Writer's pictureKarl Oppenheimer

Family Alleges New York Man's Instantaneous Death Due to Peloton Bike in Lawsuit

The family of a New York man alleges that his Peloton bike led to his death just six months after purchase, but the company contends that the tragedy resulted from his own negligence, as stated in a lawsuit filed in state court.

According to the lawsuit, Ryan Furtado, 32, was engaged in a "core" workout on the high-end exercise bike on January 13, 2022. During the workout, he dismounted the bike to perform some exercises on the floor. When Furtado attempted to get up, he grasped the bike for support, but it unexpectedly "spun around" and struck his neck and face. This impact severed his carotid artery, resulting in his instant death. The lawsuit reports that when members of the New York Police Department arrived at his residence, the bike was still on top of his neck and face, despite having been purchased just six months earlier in July 2021.

Although the lawsuit was filed by Furtado's mother, Johanna Furtado, in March 2023 in Brooklyn civil Supreme Court, it gained recent attention following an article by the Daily Beast published on Wednesday.

While a child was tragically killed by Peloton's treadmill in March 2021, Ryan Furtado's death marks the first known fatality associated with the company's highly popular exercise bike. In response to these developments, Peloton's shares dipped approximately 3% during intraday trading on Thursday.

Peloton spokesperson Ben Boyd expressed condolences, stating, "We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Furtado family for this unfortunate accident. As a Member-first company, the health and safety of our Member community is a top priority."

Furtado's mother asserts that her son's bike was "defective and unreasonably dangerous in design, instruction, and warning" and is seeking unspecified damages.

Peloton, on the other hand, denies liability, attributing the incident to "negligence." In its response to the lawsuit filed on April 17, Peloton argues, "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." Peloton maintains that its actions or inactions were not the proximate cause of the alleged injuries or damages.

Peloton has faced a series of recalls for its exercise equipment in recent years. In May, the Bike was recalled due to a faulty seat post that could unexpectedly detach, leading to 12 reported injuries. Previously, the Tread+ was recalled after a child's tragic death and 90 reported injuries associated with the machine, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

During Peloton's most recent earnings report for the quarter ending June 30, the company revealed that the recall of its Bike seat post incurred higher costs than expected and potentially prompted members to cancel their subscriptions.

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