Skechers faces a class action lawsuit over it’s popular light-up shoes, alleging that the manufacturer knew about defects that may cause wearers to suffer burns, heat blisters and other injuries, yet continued to market and sell the shoes to children.
The complaint (PDF) was filed last week in the United States District Court Central District of Illinois, indicating that Skechers S-Light shoes, Energy Lights, Twinkle Toes and Shopkins shoes are dangerous and defective.
The shoes combine patterns of lights on the outsoles and side of the shoes, featuring rechargeable batteries, which have been linked to problems with electrical and thermal events that can cause heat, fire or the release of electroyte vapors that cause skin burns.
Rikki Guajardo filed the complaint after Skechers light-up shoes allegedly caused her child to suffer injuries, but seeks class action status to pursue damages on behalf of other consumers as well.
According to the Skechers class action, Guajardo claims she paid a premium for the shoes for her child upon reasonable belief that they were safe and would operate as advertised, similar to hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of other paying customers.
Guajardo further stated the shoes caused persistent injuries to her child including swelling, burning, blistering and pain to which her child complained several times of heat emanating from the shoes, causing his feet to hurt.
When Guajardo attempted to return the shoes to the retailer, she was rejected because they were already worn. She subsequently called Skechers seeking a refund and return but was denied and instructed to return the shoes to the retailer, despite already being rejected at the place of purchase.
The complaint alleges that Skechers “actively concealed and failed to disclose” the design defects and previously reported consumer complaints indicating children wearing the shoes experienced injuries and burns.
According to the lawsuit, Skechers has been aware of the defects in its boys’ and girls’ footwear since as early as last year, when two consumers, one from New York and another from California, reached out to complain about minor and second-degree burns their children suffered on their feet from an alleged battery fault in the S-Light line of sneakers.
Skechers reportedly responded at the time that they rigorously test their products for safety and were not aware of any other incidents.
Guajardo and her attorney allege all of the lighted shoes contain inadequate mechanical protection and are not sufficiently sealed to prevent moisture and contamination from entering the electrical system powered by batteries, which can fail and overheat, catch on fire, or release electrolyte vapors that can cause skin burns to those wearing the sneakers.
As a result of Skechers alleged negligence, Guajardo demands that herself, and all other similarly situated be compensated for damages and the deceptive, unfair, fraudulent and unlawful practices of Skechers USA, Inc.