Fitbit Slammed for Arbitration “Gamesmanship” by Federal Judge

Fitbit Slammed for Arbitration “Gamesmanship” by Federal Judge

Court finds bad faith by Fitbit and its counsel in class action over allegedly malfunctioning heart rate monitors; notes Fitbit’s conduct bolsters the perception that “arbitration is where consumer lawsuits go to die”

A San Francisco federal judge has ruled that Fitbit Inc. and its lawyers acted in bad faith reflecting an “absolutely unacceptable level of gamemanship” in machinations over arbitration and arbitration fees after a plaintiff declined a settlement offer over allegations of defects in its heart rate monitors. As reported by Law360 (subscription), the judge sanctioned Fitbit for acting in bad faith, saying it owes attorneys’ fees “after getting a proposed consumer class action removed to arbitration only to reveal they had no intention of arbitrating the claims.” [Read more…]

Fitbit Gets Extreme Exercise Backpedaling on Its Own Statements on “Irrationality” of Consumer Arbitration

Fitbit Gets Extreme Exercise Backpedaling on Its Own Statements on ‘Irrationality’ of Consumer Arbitration

After effectively undermining its own case by forcing disgruntled consumers into arbitration it then tried to escape because such proceedings would be “irrational,” digital fitness tracker manufacturer Fitbit found itself having to do some serious explaining in federal court last month. As reported by Reuters, at a May 2018 hearing before U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco, Fitbit’s lawyers stated that “no rational party would pay hundreds of dollars in fees to initiate arbitration over a $162 fitness tracker.” They made this claim after a plaintiff rejected the fitness product company’s settlement offer of more than $2,800 to drop the arbitration case, Fitbit decided that the customer’s American Arbitration Association proceeding was therefore officially “concluded.” [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

Court Says Fitbit Gameplaying Around Arbitration Efforts Could Lead to Contempt

Court Says Fitbit Gameplaying Around Arbitration Efforts Could Lead to Contempt

Fitbit may be facing civil contempt charges for what U.S. District Judge James Donato says is “gamesmanship” after the company leveraged an arbitration agreement to shrink the class action lawsuit over alleged deficiencies in its heart rate monitors then quit the arbitration when the plaintiff didn’t like its settlement offer (hearing transcript). As reported by Law360, Judge Donato had directed Fitbit and the arbitrator to determine whether 12 plaintiffs’ claims about the Fitbit devices, which consistently mis-record heart rates, particularly during the vigorous exercise for which many consumers purchase the devices, should be heard in open and fair court or just in closed arbitration. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM (UPDATED)

Lieff Cabraser Announces That New University Study Finds Fitbit Charge 2 Can Underestimate Heart Rates by As Much As 30 BPM

New Independent Study Confirms That Fitbit’s Heart Rate Monitors Are Highly Inaccurate

SAN FRANCISCO−A team of researchers from the University of Leeds (UK) and TSW xp LAB in Italy have published a new peer-reviewed study on the Fitbit Charge 2 fitness tracker that confirms findings in previous studies that the “PurePulse™” technology used in Fitbit’s popular fitness trackers can be extremely inaccurate during moderate and high-intensity exercise. [Read more…]

Independent Study Confirms Inaccuracy of Fitbit Heart Monitors

Independent Study Confirms Inaccuracy of Fitbit Heart Monitors

Is your fitness tracker really giving you accurate data – or just telling you what you want to hear? An independent news station WTHR in Indiana decided to test for itself. And the results confirm allegations from the recent Fitbit heart rate monitor fraud lawsuit. As WTHR puts it, “While the devices are sometimes on target, our test results show all of the activity trackers reported questionable calculations that are vastly inaccurate and, in some cases, even potentially dangerous to your health.”

[Read more…]