April 24, 2023 – Newell Brands, Graco Child Car Seats Class Action Dismissed
The lawsuit detailed on this page was dismissed without prejudice by a federal judge on March 28, 2023 due to the plaintiff’s failure to sufficiently allege that the car seat he purchased was misrepresented.
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In a 19-page opinion, United States District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi disputed the plaintiff’s argument that Newell and Graco ripped him off by selling him a car seat advertised as having a 10-year lifespan but was delivered to the man about 15 months after it was manufactured.
According to the judge, the plaintiff “could not have been denied the benefit of any bargain” because his car seat purchase does not appear to have been made pursuant to a contract, and because the plaintiff hasn’t alleged that the product is defective or that it failed to deliver the advertised benefits.
The judge further noted that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently demonstrate that he was induced into purchasing the car seat based on a specific misrepresentation. Although the plaintiff alleged that Graco’s website markets the 4Ever All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat as “giv[ing] you 10 years with one car seat,” he merely claimed that the product he actually bought, the SlimFit™ Platinum 3-in-1 Car Seat, was advertised with “a similar statement, if not the very same statement.”
“Put simply, Plaintiff cannot establish standing based on a solitary alleged misrepresentation by Defendants that concerns an entirely different product than the one he purchased,” Judge Quraishi wrote.
Ultimately, “buyers must appreciate that certain products have a shelf life, and the manufacturing and distribution process of those products is such that some of that shelf life will inevitably be lost prior to receipt by the consumer,” Judge Quraishi wrote, adding that consumers could always try to return “substantially deteriorated” products to Newell and Graco.
On April 19, the plaintiff filed an appeal of the dismissal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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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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Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Women who developed cancer, endometriosis or reproductive problems after using hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and Motions may now have an opportunity to take legal action.