North Carolina Products Liability?: Toning Shoes May Cause Injury

August 10, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

What was once considered a quick way to get a good workout may actually be a cause of personal injury. According to the Consumer Reports, toning shoes could send wearers to a doctor or an emergency room. If toning shoes are indeed causing North Carolina personal injury, the wearer may have grounds for a products liability lawsuit against the shoe manufacturer or distributor.

Consumer Reports recently examined the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product complaint database and found that as of May 22, 36 people said they’d been injured because of toning shoes, which were cited as a cause of injury more than any other product in the database that has only been up since March 11.

Consumer Reports’ medical experts say that the reason so many injuries have occurred is because toning shoes are designed to create instability so that wearers are forced to use muscles that they wouldn’t normally exercise while walking. The shoes design is supposed to help tone thighs, buttocks, abs, and calves. With these touted results, it is no wonder that sales for toning shoes initially soared—increasing by 400% last year—with some toning shoes costing around $200.

Yet even then, doctors, consumer advocates, and fitness gurus were skeptical about the quick results promised by the shoes’ makers. In the fall of 2010, the American Council on Exercise put out a study, which found that toning shoes have not demonstrated a significant rise in muscle activation or exercise response. The council also said there was no evidence supporting the claim that users burned more calories and strengthened their muscle tone. Now, it looks like even buyers are starting to stay away and the prices of toning shoes have gone down to $50 dollars or less.

Toning shoe-related injuries reported in the database include:
• Pain to the leg, hip, or foot
• Tendonitis
• Broken bones

Other injuries linked to toning shoes include Achilles injuries, sprains, stress fractures, strains, and injuries sustained in a North Carolina slip and fall accident.

While older people with balance issues are at higher risk of sustaining a toning shoe injury, younger people also reported getting hurt.

North Carolina Products Liability:

Design Defects
When a design defect is involved, this usually means that every product made from the same design will likely be flawed. A product may have a design defect if there was foreseeable risk that the risk of injury could have been decreased or eliminated if a different design could have been used instead.

Failure to Warn:
Not warning that using a product in a certain way could prove dangerous is also considered a product defect known as failure to warn. Unfortunately, failure to warn is a reason why many adults and children are injured by defective products.

Manufacturing Defects:
A product may have become defective during the manufacturing process. What the manufacturing defect is and how it was caused will determine how many of the products were rendered defective.

If you file a North Carolina product liability claim under strict liability, this means
that as long as the product was the direct cause of injury, you don’t have to show that negligence was a factor. Our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability law firm represent clients throughout the state.

The Craze Over ‘Toning’ Shoes Is, Well, Over, Time, July 28, 2011

Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern, Consumer Reports, May 25, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Product Complaint Database, CPSC

American Council on Exercise

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Products Liability: CPSC Attempts to Prevent Injuries to Children with Graco High Chair Recall and Baby Sling Warning, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, March 21, 2010

American Academy of Pediatrics Want Warning Labels on Food that Pose a Child Choking Hazard, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, February 24, 2010

Products Liability: Two Families Sue for Wrongful Deaths of Loved Ones Fatally Burned While Wearing Flammable Bathrobes, North Carolina Injury Lawyer, November 6, 2009


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