Every beat counts, according to Fitbit's advertising for its heart rate monitors. But consumers in California, Colorado, and Wisconsin today filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against the company, alleging that the monitors do not and cannot accurately measure heart rates during intensive exercise, according to a press release.
The plaintiffs argue that Fitbit advertising claims are unsupported and dangerous, putting in peril those who must maintain a certain heart rate for health purposes. According to them, the monitors consistently incorrectly record heart rates and the margin of error is significant.
Not Quite Right
The Fitbit advertisements allegedly target fitness enthusiasts in particular, the kind of people who want to measure physical activity precisely. Instead of accomplishing this goal, however, the monitors provide data that do not accurately reflect the user's actual rate, defeating the purpose of purchasing such a monitor.
Kate McLellan, the plaintiff who brought the suit on behalf of a class of disappointed Fitbit heart rate monitor users, said, "I am a serious fitness enthusiast, and I wanted to track my heart rate accurately and consistently while I exercised to help me exercise safely and meet my fitness goals. Fitbit's ads made it clear that that is precisely what the Heart Rate Monitors are supposed to do."
"But in my experience," she continued, "they do not, and when I complained to Fitbit, they refused to refund my money. I brought this case because the Fitbit Charge HR that I bought does not [work] accurately ... and because Fitbit refused to stand behind its promise. And I brought it as a class action because I am not alone-I have learned that many others have experienced exactly the same failures because the Heart Rate Monitors do not perform as promised."
Plaintiffs Seek Punishment
The plaintiff class is seeking injunctive relief compelling Fitbit to cease its allegedly deceptive marketing, as well as monetary damages for "economic injuries from Fitbit's fraudulent conduct." The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages based on Fitbit's "knowing, intentional, and malicious" lack of care for the plaintiffs and putative class members.