Skechers is facing a proposed nationwide consumer class action lawsuit alleging that it’s popular light-up sneakers for kids are defective and can cause severe chemical burns.
Plaintiff Sherry Foster brought the Skechers class action lawsuit on Wednesday claiming there is a safety issue with its childrens’ line of battery-operated light-up sneakers, including S-Lights, Shopkins, and Twinkle Toes – collectively known as the SLF Collection. Specifically, all the styles sold in the SLF Collection include a Ni-Cad battery. Ni-Cad batteries are extremely toxic, rechargeable batteries commonly used in small battery-operated devices. They are typically lighter and more compact than lead-acid batteries.
The problem is that Ni-Cad batteries prevent cell venting and can cause high pressure ruptures of the batteries – resulting in damage to the product and injury to the userIn the event that the gas release vent of a Ni-Cad battery is covered or otherwise obstructed, the vent will not function properly, causing leakage of battery fluid, heat generation, bursting and, in some cases, fire. Moreover, if water comes in contact with a Ni-Cad battery, the result can be rust and heat generation. If a battery becomes rusted, the gas release vent may no longer operate and can result in bursting. In the event this occurs while a consumer is wearing a product with a Ni-Cad, they could suffer injury, including burns due to the excessive heat.
Despite these known potential risks with Ni-Cad batteries, Skechers claims on its website that the Ni-Cad battery in its children’s sneakers is “nothing harmful or reactive.”
But Foster disagrees and was prompted to take legal action against Skechers after her son was reportedly injured as a result of wearing the light-up shoes. In March 2018, Foster purchased several pairs of Skechers, including a pair of S-Lights for $65.00 for her 9-year old son. Her son regularly wore the S-Lights Skechers with no problem. However, just 3 months after getting them, he began to complain of pain in his feet. When Foster looked at her son’s feet, she discovered that his feet were red and burned. She also noticed that the light-up feature on her son’s Skechers was no longer working. After being examined by the podiatrist the next day, Foster’s son was diagnosed with second degree burns on his feet that the doctor stated were “chemical” in nature.
Foster says she alerted Skechers about her son’s injuries from wearing the S-Lights sneakers. According to the complaint, Skechers responded by offering her a free replacement pair of the sneakers, which Foster declined.
Foster is seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers who purchased Skechers lighted footwear with an encapsulated Ni-Cad battery between November 7, 2015 to “the date of final judgment in this matter.” Along with actual and compensatory damages, Foster is asking the court to award restitution of Skechers “ill-gotten gains” relating to the defective nature of the light-up sneakers.
The Skechers Light-Up Sneakers Class Action Lawsuit is Sherry Foster v. Skechers USA Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-10351, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.