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Ellen Choi

Ellen Choi is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Investigations Practice Group. She represents clients in complex commercial disputes involving a range of issues such as business torts, consumer protection, and insurance recovery. Ellen also has experience in a range of internal investigations, including workplace culture investigations. Ellen maintains an active pro bono practice.

Ellen is fluent in Korean and has experience advising Korean companies in litigation and investigation matters.

Prior to joining Covington, Ellen clerked for Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Ellen was a management consultant in the pharmaceutical and biotech space before practicing law.

Another federal district court has dismissed a putative class action complaint asserting that an online retailer’s chat feature violated the users’ privacy under the California Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”), Cal. Penal Code §§ 630 et seqSee Garcia v. Build.com, Inc., Case No. 22-cv-1985-DMS-KSC (S.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2024), ECF 37. Continue Reading Federal Court Dismisses Class Action Asserting California Wiretapping Claim Based on Website Chat Feature

Only one claim survived dismissal in a recent putative class action lawsuit alleging that a pathology laboratory failed to safeguard patient data in a cyberattack.  See Order Granting Motion to Dismiss in Part, Thai v. Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc., No. 3:22-CV-315-KAC-DCP (E.D. Tenn. Sep. 29, 2023), ECF 38.Continue Reading All but One Claim in Pathology Lab Data Breach Class Action Tossed on Motion to Dismiss

A federal district court recently denied remand of a proposed class action against Twitter, Inc., rejecting plaintiff’s arguments, including that the removal was improper because his claim was limited to a “statutory damages remedy” that does not confer Article III standing under TransUnion LLC v. RamirezSee Order Denying Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand, Morgan v. Twitter, Inc., No. 2:22-cv-00122-MKD (E.D. Wash. May 5, 2023).Continue Reading Court Denies Remand of Privacy Suit, Finding Article III Standing Under TransUnion

Defendants often consider whether weak class allegations can be stricken at the pleading stage, leaving just a low-exposure individual claim to defend.  That tactic may have a great chance of success—especially when a complaint asserts state-law claims on behalf of a nationwide class or challenges multiple misrepresentations—in light of a recent Fifth Circuit decision approving that strategy.

In Elson v. Black, __ F.4th __, 2023 WL 111317 (5th Cir. Jan. 5, 2023), plaintiffs brought a putative class action alleging that the defendants made various misrepresentations about a massager.  Plaintiffs sought a nationwide class and, in the alternative, seven subclasses representing the seven states where they reside.  The district court granted the defendants’ motion to strike the class allegation, a decision the Fifth Circuit upheld on several grounds.Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Upholds Early Dismissal of Class Allegations at Pleading Stage

The Northern District of California denied class certification in a data breach suit against Zoosk, an online dating service, concluding that the lead plaintiff had waived any right to represent a class by agreeing to a class-action waiver.  See Order Denying Class Certification, Flores-Mendez v. Zoosk, Inc., No. 3:20-04929-WHA (N.D. Cal. July 27, 2022).Continue Reading Class Certification Denied in Data Breach Class Action Based on Class-Action Waiver in Terms of Service

On July 21, the federal district court denied remand of a proposed class action against Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., rejecting the plaintiff’s attempt to remand based merely on Build-A-Bear raising lack of standing as an affirmative defense in its answer.  See Order Denying Motion to Remand, Ruby v. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., No. 4:21-cv-01152-JAR (E.D. Mo. July 21, 2022).Continue Reading Court Denies Motion to Remand Build-A-Bear TCPA Suit When Standing Raised as an Affirmative Defense

A recent class action filed in federal court against YouTube is the latest in a growing list of class actions against companies regarding their automatic renewal practices.

The suit alleges that YouTube and its parent company Google (together, “YouTube”) failed to provide the requisite disclosures and authorizations in connection with their subscription services, including YouTube TV, YouTube Music, and YouTube Premium, as required by Oregon’s Automatic Renewal Law (“ARL”) and in violation of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (“UTPA”).  See Walkingeagle, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3:22-cv-763 (D. Or.).  According to the complaint, YouTube enjoyed rapid growth in their user-base by employing “dark patterns” in their user interfaces to “trick” users into doing things they might not otherwise do, including signing up for recurring services (and bills).Continue Reading YouTube Hit with Auto-Renewal Suit Over Its Online Subscriptions Services

Last week, a federal court in Illinois dismissed a putative class action complaint alleging violations of the Illinois Biometrics Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) for engaging in “impermissible group pleading.”  The ruling serves as a reminder that a complaint that fails to plead specific facts as to each defendant does not meet the Rule 8 pleading