MDL Panel Centralizes Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation
Plaintiffs in the Northern District of California moved to centralize litigation consisting of eleven actions pending in ten districts in the Northern District of California. In Re Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2012 WL 432607 (U.S. Jud. Pan. Mult. Lit. Feb. 8, 2012). The MDL Panel transferred ten actions to the Northern District of California and, assigned to the Judge Edward J. Davila for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Id.
No party opposed centralization. Id. The Panel found that six actions shared factual allegations that “Facebook improperly tracked users’ internet activity after users had logged out of their Facebook accounts.” Id. Plaintiffs in all actions brought claims under the federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2511. Additional claims include violation of the Stored Electronic Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2701, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. section 1030, as well as common law claims for intrusion upon seclusion/invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment, and trespass to chattels. Id.
The Panel concluded that “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.” Id.
Before John G. Heyburn II, Chairman, Kathryn H. Vratil, Barbara S. Jones, Paul J. Barbadoro, Marjorie O. Rendell, and Charles R. Breyer.
By CHARLES JUNG