Updated at 4:23 p.m.
An Illinois woman who injured her ankle while sightseeing in Washington is suing Skechers U.S.A. Inc., the company that made the rounded-bottom Shape-up sneakers she was wearing at the time.
The lawsuit(PDF), filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is one of a growing number of similar suits filed across the country filed since February. A Ft. Wright, Ky.-based law firm, Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, is behind the Washington suit and others in Kentucky and Ohio.
Partner Ron Johnson said the firm plans to file new lawsuits in Georgia, Virginia and Utah in the near future. Local counsel is Robert Jenner of Baltimore’s Janet, Jenner & Suggs.
The plaintiff in the Washington case, Theresa Croak, was touring Washngton on foot in August 2009 when suddenly her shoe “pronated inward and caused her left ankle to roll sideways resulting in excruciating pain.”
In the complaint, she claims she was “lulled into purchasing a dangerous product that the Defendant knew produced a substantial risk of causing chronic injuries and inducing falls because of Skechers’ elevated and unstable, rocker-bottom sole.”
Croak, according to the complaint, suffered a torn tendon that required surgery to repair. She is seeking unspecified damages.
The suit is the latest in an ongoing legal backlash against Skechers over the Shape-ups shoes. In addition to the injury cases, a pending class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California accuses the company of fraudulently marketing the shoes as having health benefits.
In a statement, a company spokesman said that, "While Skechers does not comment on pending litigation, the Company is confident that Shape-ups are safe. Skechers has not had an opportunity to review the plaintiff’s allegations, claims, or medical records. However, we can say that millions of people wear Shape-ups without experiencing what the plaintiff alleges."