May 26, 2001
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is suing Wal-Mart Stores for failing to report a series of injuries involving Icon Health and Fitness exercise equipment. It's the first time the CPSC has sued a retailer.
The CPSC is seeking $4.5 million in fines from Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Icon. It charges that 41 Wal-Mart shoppers were injured while trying out the machines and that, though the company knew of the incidents, it failed to report them, as required by law. The suit charges that Icon knew of 68 injuries but did not report them.
The machines involved are:
- Weider Power Glide;
- Weslo Shape Trainer; and
- Weider Shape Glider.
Icon, based in Ogden, Utah, describes itself as the world's largest manufacturer of home exercise equipment. Besides Weider and Weslo, it manufacturers equipment under the brand names NordicTrack, Pro-Form, Reebok, Healthrider, Fit.com, Image and Jumpking.
The CPSC recalled 75,000 of the machines in April 1999 and Wal-Mart contends it did not realize there was a problem with them until that time. A company spokesman said Wal-Mart sold 50,000 of the machines and received only three dozen injuries reports over three years. A CPSC official said companies are required to report all product-related injuries.