CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION LAW

Tag: California Consumer Legal Remedies Act

Fourth District Reverses Denial of Class Certification in Mail-In Rebate Case

BUY.COM FAIL
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The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a denial of class certification in Kershenbaum v. Buy.com, Inc.,  No. G042303, 2010 WL 3800339 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist. Sept. 30, 2010).  Plaintiff Richard M. Kershenbaum did not receive an advertised rebate on a product he purchased through Buy.com, Inc.’s Web site. Id. *1. Buy.com contended the rebate was offered by the product manufacturer, and it was therefore not responsible for compensating Kershenbaum. Id.

The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in denying the motion for class certification:

The different definitions of the proposed class contained in the memorandum of points and authorities and the proposed order did not warrant denial of the motion for lack of ascertainability. Any confusion caused by the different definitions could and should have been remedied by the trial court, either by correcting the proposed order, or by independently drafting a new order.

We further conclude the trial court erred in denying the motion on the ground that common questions of law did not predominate. The California choice-of-law provision in Buy.com’s terms of use agreement applies to the claims asserted by the class. Even if the choice-of-law provision did not apply, class certification was still appropriate because significant contacts with California have been shown to exist, and Buy.com cannot demonstrate that any foreign law, rather than California law, should apply to the class claims.

We also conclude the trial court erred in determining the claims asserted by the class were vague.

Finally, Kershenbaum had standing to assert a claim for misleading advertising; the trial court erred in determining otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

Northern District Rejects Collateral Estoppel, Finding Sufficient Difference in Allegedly Misleading Statements

Electrolux washing machine
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The Northern District denied a motion to strike class allegations from a putative class action complaint, finding sufficient difference between the allegedly deceptive statements in the prior case and the present case to reject defendant’s collateral estoppel contentions.  Murray v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. 09-05744 CW, 2010 WL 3490214 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 3, 2010) (slip op.). Read the rest of this entry »