The family of a deceased Brooklyn man are suing Peloton after the 32-year-old’s exercise bike toppled over and killed him last year.
According to the lawsuit, Ryan Furtado had been pedaling on the bike in his Downtown Brooklyn apartment in January of 2022, when the instructions for his Peloton-created workout routine called for him to dismount the stationary two-wheeler and continue his exercise on the floor.
When the 32-year-old finished his routine on the ground, he grabbed the bike to assist him getting back on his feet, which is when the horrific scene unfolded, as the bike toppled over and hit Furtado — killing him instantly.
“The bike spun around and impacted him on his neck and face, severing his carotid artery in his neck, killing him instantly,” the lawsuit reads.
Police later found Furtado lying in his apartment, with the 135-pound bike still atop his dead body, according to the filing.
Now, Johanna Furtado, the victim’s mother, is suing Peloton in Brooklyn Supreme Court, alleging that the design of the bike, and the lack of safety warnings, were responsible for her son’s death.
The lawsuit alleges that, not only does Peloton discourage people from leaning on the bike (which ultimately caused it to topple over and kill the victim), but Peloton’s virtual instructors actually encourage users to “use the bike for stretching.”
“The bike was unreasonably dangerous, beyond the reasonable consumers’ expectations,” the lawsuit reads.
There is a warning label attached to each Peloton bike, but, the lawsuit argues, it is located away from where users would be able to see it when using the bike to support their weight as they attempt to stand.
“There should have been more labels attached to the stem and base to adequately warn the user of injury that could occur if the bike is used to pull oneself up from the floor during a workout,” the suit reads.
If successful, the lawsuit would see Peloton pay Furtado’s family monetary damages to cover funeral and medical costs, as well as “pain, suffering, and emotional distress.”
Responding to the lawsuit in a court filing, Peloton lawyers said that Furtado’s injuries were not the company’s fault, but rather stemmed from the victim’s “misuse or abuse” of the bike.
Representatives for Peloton did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
While the legal proceedings will play out in court, the news of Furtado’s death will certainly be a blemish on the company’s reputation.
With bikes that start at $1,445 for the lowest-end model, the company’s flashy exercise machines have become beloved by millions of users, including bigwigs and celebrities — from Joe Biden to Beyoncé.
Furtado’s death is not the first time that the company’s products have garnered embarrassing headlines for serious safety concerns, though.
In May of 2021, the company recalled 125,000 of their Tread+ treadmills after a number of accidents — including when a 6-year-old child got stuck in the fast-moving treadmill and died.
Now, their signatures bikes are under scrutiny, thanks to Furtado’s family’s lawsuit.