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Fitbit Faces Lawsuit Over Faulty Heart Rate Data

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Smartwatch brand Fitbit is facing a class-action lawsuit wherein customers said the PurePulse Trackers' heart rate measurements are dangerously inaccurate. One plaintiff said her Fitbit gadget measured her heart rate at 82 beats per minute (bpm). Her personal trainer manually measured her heart rate at the same time and it registered 160 bpm.

Class-action lawyer Jonathan Selbin said he is hoping to get refunds for the unhappy Fitbit customers. Selbin aims to get a partial refund, at the very least, for the customers who purchased the more expensive Fitbit smartwatches with allegedly faulty heart monitors.

Fitbit retaliated by saying the class-action lawsuit doesn't have merit. The smartwatch company is planning a vigorous defense.

Heart-Pumping Lawsuit

Fitbit claims that its smartwatches with heart monitors measures every beat. However, three Fitbit users in Wisconsin, Colorado and California filed a lawsuit saying their Surge and Charge HR smartwatches failed to accurately measure their heart rates during their workouts. They attacked by saying Fitbit falsely advertised the accuracy of its devices. The three customers demanded punitive damages and compensation.

"This failure did not keep Fitbit from heavily promoting the heart rate monitoring feature," said [pdf] the lawsuit.

In a statement, Fitbit denied the accusations and stood firm that its devices provide accurate heart rate measurements. The San Francisco-based company said its team has conducted and continues to conduct several internal experiments to back up its products' performance.

"We do not believe this case has merit. Fitbit stands behind our heart rate technology and strongly disagrees with the statements made in the complaint and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit," said Fitbit.

This isn't Fitbit's first brush with a lawsuit. Its rival Jawbone sued Fitbit for allegedly stealing company employees and trade secrets. In 2014, Fitbit users sued the company by claiming the wearable technology causes skin rashes and promotes misleading advertisements. Regardless of back-to-back legal battles, Fitbit retains its high-profile users and impressive price tags.

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