DJO, LLC and/or its parent company DJO Global, Inc. make a medical boot for people who have been injured. The complaint for this action claims that the boot has such a thick sole that it causes people to walk off-balance, inviting other injuries, and that DJO should warn purchasers and/or sell the boot with its device for adding to the length of the other leg.
The class for this action is all persons in the US who received a DJO boot. Subclass A is all class members within a two-year statute of limitations; Subclass B is all class members within a three-year statute of limitations; and Subclass C is all class members within a four-year statute of limitations.
Plaintiff Daniel Dreifort had a hip injury. His doctor prescribed an Aircast boot made by DJO. The complaint says that no one warned him that walking off-balance might lead to secondary injury. After six days with the boot, Dreifort herniated a disk in his back. He had previously had disk problems in 2007 and 2013. The injury “put him out of commission, in pain for two weeks.”
According to the complaint, this problem is typical of users of the DJO boots, because neither the doctor nor the consumer is warned. (The boots are available online, without prescription, as well as through doctors.) The complain illustrates the problem with a drawing showing the shoulders, hips, and knees on one side of the body lower than the other. The off-balance walk created cause pain in the knees, hips, and back.
The really sad part of this is that DJO makes a device called the Evenup. An image of this item is included in the complaint: It straps to the bottom of the other foot to raise that side of the body to minimize the difference between the injured and uninjured sides.
Unfortunately, Dreifort did not know about this device initially. The complaint says he believes that the Evenup would have prevented his back injury, or at least lessened or delayed it.
The complaint reproduces advertising material for the Aircast Walking Brace. The material includes a cross-section of the thick sole. The middle is labeled with these words: “Mid-stance section is designed to minimize hip differential and knee flexion movement.”
According to the complaint, this gives consumers to understand that the boots minimize hip differential. DJO, it says, “makes partial representations that are misleading because they suggest that the boot is safe and do not warn of the potential for secondary injury or harm.” In fact, the complaint says that DJO concealed the potential for harm; the manufacturer’s instructions for some boot models contained the entry “Contraindications: NA.”
The complaint claims the boot is advertised as having “a rocker sole [that] promotes a natural walking style for smart healing at every step” but that this statement is untrue.
The complaint claims fraud, product liability, and violations of California’s False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.