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Peloton "instantly" kills man by severing artery, lawsuit claims

The mother of a New York City man is claiming that a "dangerous" Peloton bike led to the death of her son when the fitness equipment fell on him as he was exercising and severed his carotid artery, according to a lawsuit. 

Johanna Furtado is asking for damages for "pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages," as well as medical expenses and other damages, including the cost of past and future medical and psychiatric care, according to the suit, which was filed in March in New York Supreme Court. 

According to the lawsuit, Ryan Furtado, 32, was completing a "core" workout, which required him to dismount from his Peloton bike and do some exercises on the floor. When he attempted to rise from the floor, he used his bike to help him get up, but the equipment allegedly "spun around and impacted him on his neck and face severing his carotid artery in his neck killing him instantly," the suit alleges.

"Ryan was found by the New York Police Department with the subject bike still resting on his neck and face," the lawsuit said of the January 2023 incident.

Peloton recalls 2.2 million exercise bikes 00:26

The litigation comes after Peloton has faced previous scrutiny for the safety of some of its equipment, including a recall earlier this year for 2.2 million bikes with seat posts that could break off while being used for exercising, and treadmills that injured several children and killed one. 

Johanna Furtado alleges that Peloton didn't properly warn users about the risks and that it didn't adequately test the bike to make sure it could be safely used by consumers who "continuously [stretch] on the bike during workouts, causing the bike to destabilize and fall, causing injury to the user."

The lawsuit alleges that the bike includes "only one warning label," which is on the front right leg. 

"[T]here should have been more labels attached to the stem and base to adequately warn the user of injury that could occur if the subject bike is used to pull oneself up from the floor during a workout," the lawsuit alleges.

In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, Peloton 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."

Ryan Furtado grew up in Maui and graduated from the University of Redlands, according to his obituary, which described his death as "sudden." He had worked as a senior customer success manager for Demandbase, a sales and marketing company.

"He passed in Brooklyn, New York, where his life was flourishing," the obituary noted. "Ryan's kind heart, witty humor, and overall zest for life will be forever cherished and missed."

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