Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Federal Court Denies Fitbit's Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Gross Inaccuracies and Recording Failures in PurePulse™ Heart Rate Monitors

Federal Court Denies Fitbit’s Motion to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Gross Inaccuracies and Recording Failures in PurePulse™ Heart Rate Monitors

San Francisco, CA—On June 5, 2018, Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order denying Fitbit’s motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit alleging that its PurePulse™-equipped devices are grossly inaccurate and frequently fail to record any heart rate at all. The lawsuit brings claims for false advertising, unfair competition, common-law fraud, fraud in the inducement, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and under the consumer protection statutes of California and Arizona. While the court removed plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim, the motion to dismiss was otherwise entirely denied, subject to plaintiff’s agreement to amend the complaint to include product packaging statements and further allegations of reliance.

Fitbit had argued that its advertising claims have “nothing to do with accuracy,” but as the court noted in response, “that cannot be reconciled with the plain meaning of its own marketing words.” The court further noted that “[g]iven the magnitude of the aberrant heart rate readings and multiple allegations that the devices under-report heart rate, [plaintiff] has plausibly alleged an ‘unreasonable safety hazard’ that may arise when users rely on Fitbit heart rate readings during exercise.”

With regard to Fitbit’s material statements underlying plaintiff’s allegations as to warranty claims, the Court said, “These statements are not ‘vague’ or ‘equivocal.’ Rather, they specifically promise that the devices are capable of giving real-time feedback on heart rate that can be used to adjust workout intensity.”

Summing up, the Court further noted, “According to the complaint, the ability to record heart rate in real time and during physical activity is marketed as a key feature of the PurePulse™ devices, yet in reality the products frequently fail to record any heart rate at all or provide highly inaccurate readings, with discrepancies of up to 75 bpm. Those facts indicate that the devices lack even a basic degree of fitness for use as exercise or activity monitors.”

Lieff Cabraser partner and attorney for plaintiff Jonathan D. Selbin notes, “We are pleased that the Court recognized the strength of our claim that Fitbit misled consumers when it marketed its Fitbit trackers as being able to continuously and accurately measure heart rate during exercise. As independent test after test has shown, these devices are wildly inaccurate and cannot be relied upon to monitor heart rate during exercise reliably and safely.”

The case will move forward on all claims apart from that for unjust enrichment.

Consumer Protection Attorneys at Lieff Cabraser

On January 5, 2016, attorneys at Lieff Cabraser, along with their co-counsel, filed a class action complaint on behalf of consumers seeking redress for Fitbit’s deceptive and misleading representations about its heart rate monitor products. The consumers claim that, as all the data demonstrates, Fitbit’s heart rate monitors cannot accurately or meaningfully record heart rates during high-intensity exercise, precisely what Fitbit advertised them for.

The consumers also claim that Fitbit fraudulently tried to shield itself from liability for these defective products by tricking consumers into agreeing to an arbitration agreement, which the consumers argue should not be enforced.

If you purchased a Fitbit heart rate monitor (Fitbit Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge), we invite you to visit our Fitbit heart rate monitor lawsuit page to contact a consumer attorney at Lieff Cabraser. We welcome the opportunity to learn of your experiences with your Fitbit heart rate monitor and to answer any questions you may have about your legal rights.

About Lieff Cabraser and Counsel

Recognized as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms” by The American Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, has successfully litigated and settled hundreds of class action lawsuits in federal and state courts, including dozens of cases requiring manufacturers to remedy a defect, extend warranties, and refund to purchasers the cost of repairing the defective product. It has recovered billions of dollars for consumers in such cases. With seventy attorneys in offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville, we are among the largest law firms in the United States that represent only plaintiffs.

The consumer plaintiffs are also represented by Robert Klonoff and Levi & Korsinsky LLP.

Contact for media inquiries:

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Jonathan D. Selbin