NY man Ryan Furtado killed ‘instantly,’ suit says

Cari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home in San Anselmo, California, April 6, 2020.

Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

The family of a New York man claims he was killed by his Peloton bike just six months after buying it, but the company insists that his own negligence caused his death, according to a lawsuit filed in state court. 

Ryan Furtado, 32, was doing a “core” workout on the pricey exercise bike on Jan. 13, 2022, when he disembarked to complete a few exercises on the floor, the lawsuit states. 

When Furtado was getting up, he grabbed onto the bike to assist him, but it soon “spun around” and hit his neck and face, severing his carotid artery and “killing him instantly,” the lawsuit charges. 

When members of the New York Police Department responded to his home, the bike was still on top of his neck and face, the suit states. It had been purchased just six months earlier in July 2021. 

The lawsuit, filed in March 2023 in Brooklyn civil Supreme Court by Furtado’s mother Johanna Furtado, is several months old. But it was brought to light by the Daily Beast in an article published Wednesday. 

While at least one child was killed by Peloton’s treadmill in March 2021, Furtado’s death is the first known fatality linked to the company’s ultrapopular exercise bike. 

Shares of Peloton were down about 3% in intraday trading Thursday. 

In a statement Thursday, Peloton spokesperson Ben Boyd said, “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 charges that her son’s bike was “defective and unreasonably dangerous in design, instruction, and warning.” She’s seeking unspecified damages.

Peloton claims it is not liable and “negligence” is to blame. 

“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’s response to the lawsuit, filed April 17, states. 

“No action or inaction by Peloton was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s or plaintiff’s decedent’s alleged injuries or damages.” 

Peloton’s exercise equipment has gone through numerous recalls over the past few years. 

In May, its Bike was recalled because of a faulty seat post that could unexpectedly detach and break during use. The move followed 12 reported injuries.

Previously, it recalled its Tread+ after a child died and 90 injuries were reported in connection with the machine, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has said. 

During Peloton’s most recent earnings report for the three months ending June 30, the company said the recall of its Bike seat post was costing far more than it expected and potentially leading members to cancel their subscriptions.

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