"Baby Brezza Formula Pro" and "Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced," touted as employing "patented mixing technology [that] automatically mixes formula and water to perfect consistency," produce overly watery formula lacking sufficient nutrients to allow infants to thrive
Lieff Cabraser and Carella Byrne announce the filing of a class action lawsuit in the District of New Jersey against Baby Brezza Enterprises and The Betesh Group on behalf of Ashley Nahai and Michael Soter, California residents and the parents of an infant girl whose survival was threatened by an allegedly defective liquid baby formula mixing machine manufactured and sold by Baby Brezza and The Betesh Group.
Baby Brezza markets the Formula Makers like the "Baby Brezza Formula Pro" and "Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced" as employing "patented mixing technology [that] automatically mixes formula and water to perfect consistency." As alleged in the Complaint, the problem is that the Formula Makers do not perform as advertised, and when operated correctly, produce formula that is too watery. Watery formula is dangerous because it lacks enough nutrients to allow infants to thrive. And improperly concentrated formula (either too watery or too dense) is dangerous because infants’ digestive systems are not sufficiently developed to process formula that is too watery or too concentrated. As the Complaint further alleges, Baby Brezza knew or should have known that the Formula Makers contain a dangerous design defect, and the sale of defective makers and Baby Brezza’s failure to disclose their propensity to make dangerous insufficiently nutritive watery formula constitute unfair and deceptive business practices and breach of express and implied warranties.
"Infants are the most vulnerable but most important population we have," notes Lieff Cabraser partner Jason Lichtman, who represents the plaintiffs in the case. "Claiming you provide them with ‘perfect’ nutrition when that food is actually watery and therefore dangerous is unconscionable, and has to stop."
As the Complaint details, the plaintiffs first noticed something amiss in the appearance of the liquid formula produced by the Baby Brezza Formula Maker. They had been mixing bottles by hand before purchasing the Formula Maker and therefore had a sense of what the formula should look like, and the mixes produced by the machine appeared more watery than the ones mixed by hand. However, because Nahai and Soter were new parents and believed that Baby Brezza was a reputable company that manufactured a quality product, they assumed their perception was incorrect and that the liquid formula produced by the Formula Maker was properly concentrated. Plaintiffs checked the Baby Brezza website again to be sure the setting was correct and verified that the machine was on the proper setting.
Before purchasing the machine and when plaintiffs were mixing bottles by hand, their infant daughter was eating every three hours, standard for most infants. However, shortly after they began using the Formula Maker, plaintiffs noticed their infant daughter began to scream and cry approximately every hour to hour-and-a-half due to hunger. Plaintiffs were confused and became concerned about their daughter’s health. When Plaintiffs took their daughter to the pediatrician for her two-month checkup, they were informed that their daughter was in the 12th percentile for weight and that she was below the standard for daily weight gain (that is, she was gaining less than one ounce per day).
"Ms. Nahai and Mr. Soter repeatedly verified their Baby Brezza machine was set properly, but it became increasingly apparent that their Formula Maker was producing bottles with insufficient powder," notes Mr. Lichtman. "And once they resumed mixing their baby’s formula by hand, her normal eating schedule resumed and her health began to significantly recover."
The lawsuit states claims for violation of state consumer protection laws, violation of express and implied warranties, affirmative misrepresentation, negligence, concealment, and unjust enrichment, and seeks declaratory and injunctive relief including corrective action, a nationwide recall of the defective Formula Maker machines, discontinuation of the sale and marketing of the machines, and restitutionary and punitive damages.
The case is Ashley Nahai and Michael Soter v. Baby Brezza Enterprises and The Betesh Group, No. 2:20-cv-03712-CCC-MF in the District of New Jersey.
Jason L. Lichtman
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
250 Hudson Street, 8th fl.
New York, NY 10013-1413
Phone: (212) 355-9500
Andrew R. Kaufman
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
222 Second Avenue South, Suite 1640
Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: (615) 313-9000
Donald A. Ecklund
Carella Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello, P.C.
5 Becker Farm Road
Roseland, NJ 07068
Phone: (973) 994-1700