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Baby Monitor Makers Face Class Claims over High-Tech Product

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

baby-1867222_960_720On April 12, 2019, two concerned mothers filed class claims in federal court in Utah against Owlet Baby Care Inc. the makers of the popular Smart Sock baby monitor, alleging that the company intentionally misled and deceived consumers as to the true nature of its product.The Smart Sock is marketed to parents as a high-tech alternative to traditional baby monitors by providing continuous monitoring of a baby’s vital signs, oxygen saturation and heart rate via a sensor embedded sock that the baby wears while sleeping. The Smart Sock sends information via Bluetooth to a Base Station, which alerts parents to the baby’s status with colored lights and audible notifications. The product is particularly promoted to tech savvy new Millennial parents who are looking for peace of mind.

In the complaint, named plaintiffs Amanda Ruiz and Marisela Arreola alleged that not only does the Smart Sock fail to properly detect abnormal oxygen levels and heart rates—the express purpose for which it was designed—it also suffers from what the defendant calls “false alarm fatigue.” According to the complaint, the Smart Sock frequently will incorrectly report to parents that their baby’s oxygen level is dangerously low causing the parents to panic and take the child to the hospital. Plaintiffs also allege that the product causes burns to babies’ feet. Plaintiffs claim that had they been aware of the many defects of the product they would not have purchased it or would not have paid the premium list price of $299.

The suit brings causes of action for violation of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, violation of California Business and Professions Code, breach of implied warranty pursuant to Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, breach of implied warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and unjust enrichment.

The case is: Ruiz et al. v. Owlet Baby Care Inc., Case No.: 2:19-cv-00252, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

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