From the toys we buy, to the clothes we wear and the food we eat, we assume the products we buy are safe. Unsafe or defective products can cause injuries and deaths that the product’s designers or manufacturers can be held responsible for. These are called “product liability” cases and may involve not only the actual product, but its instructions and/or warning labels. There are product liability cases involving a wide variety of products, including:
In most cases, we discovered the manufacturer knew their products were dangerous. The products could have been made safer, but shortcuts were taken to increase profits.
You have probably seen advertisements for athletic shoes that promise to “tone and firm your calf, thigh, abdominal and buttock muscles.” All you have to do is walk around in them all day. These shoes cost over $100. They are even made for young children. The advertising for these “toning shoes” does not warn consumers that the shoes can lead to serious injuries.
The curved or rocker-bottom design of “toning shoes” creates an unnatural gait or walking pattern which can make the wearer unstable. This instability increases the risk of stress fractures, falling and fall injuries. Toning shoes are especially risky for elderly people, diabetics and those with poor balance, vertigo, lack of feeling in their feet or chronically weak ankles.
Many injuries have occurred to nurses, healthcare providers, waiters and others who spend a lot of time on their feet. Toning shoe manufacturers have specifically targeted these groups in their marketing campaigns.
Robert K. Jenner of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, has been appointed Co-Lead Counsel for all lawsuits filed in federal court against Skechers for personal injuries related to its “Shape-ups” brand of toning shoes. Judge Thomas B. Russell named Jenner to this leadership position on May 3, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Louisville, where the Skechers multi-district litigation case (MDL No. 2308) is being litigated.
Knowledgeable medical experts and many in the orthopedic community recognize that anything which impacts your gait may cause harm to your bones, muscles, and joints. Regrettably, the toning shoe manufacturers ignored this literature and failed to conduct adequate safety studies to demonstrate that wearing these shoes is safe.
One toning shoe user in Ohio has expert medical proof that her use of those shoes led to fractures in both of her hips. She has filed a claim against the toning shoe manufacturer to recover damages for her injuries.
Toning shoe manufacturers promote their products with alluring claims of muscle benefits and the shoes’ ability to slim calves and legs. Toning shoe companies state their products increase muscle activation, improve balance and stimulate the metabolism.
Understandably, the market for shoes with those alleged benefits has grown steadily. Spurred by the testimonials of famous athletes and celebrities, various brands are now offered to health-conscious consumers, including:
However, a study conducted by exercise scientists has found no evidence that toning shoes provide any significant benefit over traditional athletic shoes.
If you suspect that an unsafe or defective product contributed to an injury to you or someone else, be sure to keep the product (and any instructions or warnings that came with the product) in your possession. Don’t throw the product away or return it to the distributor. Start the process of identifying the problem and the manufacturer’s responsibility.