Federal Judge William Hayes denied Aqua Lung America’s bid to the dismiss the class action lawsuit brought against them back in July 2015 which claimed that Aqua Lung knew the Suunto dive computers were defective but they continued to sell them. (see http://www.scubagadget.com/huntzinger-v-aqualung-america-inc/).
QUICK SUMMARY (original filing):
This is a quick summary from our original filing. The plaintiff claims that all of the listed Suunto branded dive computers distributed by Aqua Lung in the US have defective software which could lead to failure. Further that Aqua Lung knew about the problem and failed to warn customers and the public. If you purchased a Suunto dive computer on the list you are part of the class. If the class is certified and the complaint is successful there is a claim for owners to be compensated. One diver death is cited as being caused by the failure of a Cobra 2. The list appears to include all of the Suunto dive computers distributed by Aqua Lung USA but does not include the new Suunto EON Steel. The listed computers are: Cobra, Cobra 2, Cobra 3, Cobra 3 Black, Vyper, Vyper 2, Vyper Air, HelO2, Gekko, Vytec, Vytec DS, D9tx, D9, D6, D6i, D4i, D4, and Zoop.
In August, Aqua Lung filed a motion to dismiss claiming the following;
- Huntzinger did not allege any injury sufficient to establish standing (another person’s death was associated with the claimed defect).
- Huntzinger should only be allowed to sue for problems with the model of the dive computer he purchased.
- A class should not be certified because differences in state law overwhelm the common
issues of the class.
- That a direct relationship does not exist between AL and Huntzinger because he purchased his computer from a third party retailer (Leisure Pro).
- That the complaint does not plead fraud in a way that meets California case law.
- That the statute of limitations has passed for claims on some of the dive computers.
The judge denied Aqua Lung on all claims except one. Judge Hayes “dismissed without prejudice” Huntzinger’s claim of implied warranty of the dive computer because he purchased the device from a third-party retailer not named in the complaint and not directly from Aqua Lung. As we understand it, “dismissed without prejudice” means that the dismissal can be overturned at a later date.
Aqua Lung America has stopped distribution for Suunto Dive computers. Suunto US distribution was picked up by Huish Outdoors.
We will continue to follow this important case as it may effect millions of divers.