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January 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 42, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Class Action on Faulty Suunto Computers Continues

from the January, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Aqua Lung in the U.S. has failed in its move to dismiss a class action claiming that some Suunto diving computers it distributed were dangerously defective. As previously reported in the August issue of Undercurrent, lead plaintiff Ralph Huntzinger claims they can malfunction and cause injury or death, and that Aqua Lung should have disclosed bugs in the software to users.

In his lawsuit, Huntzinger cited at least one death allegedly related to a faulty Aqua Lung dive computer, claiming the diver believed from information displayed that she had a substantial amount of air left in her tank when in fact it was empty. (Not all of the models listed were gas-integrated.) Aqua Lung moved to dismiss the class action, arguing it was inappropriate to litigate nationally because individual state laws would overwhelm any chances of commonality. The company also argued that Huntzinger purchased his dive computer from a third-party retailer (a dive store), and that the statute of limitations has passed regarding some of the 18 models he listed in his lawsuit.

On December 10, U.S. District Judge William Hayes in San Diego denied Aqua Lung's bid to dismiss, finding that despite Huntzinger never experiencing problems with his own dive computer, he had standing to bring the case, because he never would have bought a $700 computer if he'd known about the defects. He said Huntzinger sufficiently alleged that Aqua Lung was aware of the defects but did not disclose them "while continuing to market and distribute the dive computers."

The case continues.

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