Newell Brands and Graco Children’s Products have deceptively sold online child safety seats represented as new when the products had, in truth, already experienced “a significant portion of their limited useful life,” a proposed class action lawsuit claims.
The plaintiff alleges in the 23-page fraud complaint that the defendants failed to disclose prior to his receipt of two child car seats, one as a gift and one as an online purchase, that the products were already well into their limited useful lifetimes, which Newell and Graco represent as at most 10 years from the date of manufacture. Per the case, the plaintiff’s car seats were approximately one year and “very nearly one-and-a-half years old,” respectively, when he acquired them.
“Had Plaintiff known that the Car Seat he had purchased was substantially expired, he would not have purchased the product,” the lawsuit, filed in New Jersey federal court, says. “Plaintiff accordingly paid money for a product manufactured and sold by Defendants that, under applicable law, was worth substantially less or nothing.”
According to the suit, the car seats made by Newell Brands and Graco have a “limited useful life” from their date of manufacture. In one car seat’s product manual, for instance, the companies order a consumer to “STOP using this car seat and throw it away 10 years after the date of manufacture,” the case says. Online on GracoBaby.com, the defendants state that the car seats “can be used safely only for a defined period of time, typically 7 to 10 years,” the lawsuit relays.
The plaintiff alleges, however, that the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat he received as a gift in January 2019 was manufactured on January 16, 2018, making the product roughly a year old by the time it landed with the consumer. The plaintiff later bought from the defendants a second product, a SlimFit Platinum 3-in-1 Car Seat, that, upon its arrival, displayed a sticker stating the seat had been made on March 7, 2019, nearly one-and-a-half years earlier, according to the suit.
The lawsuit centers on the claim that the amount of time that had passed since the dates the products were manufactured was not disclosed to the plaintiff, in particular upon his purchase of the second car seat he received in August 2020.
“This fact was not disclosed to Plaintiff prior to purchasing the seat and Plaintiff was unaware that the Car Seat he had purchased was so far into its useful life period until after he had actually received it,” the complaint reads, contending that it’s “impossible for online consumers to know that they are buying partially expired car seats” from Newell and Graco.
“Indeed, Defendants admit that there is no way for consumers shopping online to protect themselves against receiving these devalued car seats,” the suit says.
As the case tells it, a reasonable consumer would have been misled by the defendants’ conduct, and the plaintiff is among “thousands of other consumers in New Jersey and throughout the United States” who bought from Newell and Graco car seats that “were held out as new, but were in fact expired in substantial part.”
In all, consumers paid money for car seats that “were of lesser value and quality than represented” by the defendants, the lawsuit argues.
The suit looks to represent anyone in New Jersey who bought a new Graco car seat online within the last six years.
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