Article III Standing

A Pennsylvania federal district court overseeing a multi-district litigation recently dismissed various privacy and wiretapping claims against two online retailers, finding that allegations of interception and disclosure of mere “browsing activity” on those retailers’ websites is not “sufficiently personal or private” to confer Article III standing. 

In In re: BPS Direct, LLC, and Cabela’s, LLC, Wiretapping Litigation, 2:23-cv-04008-MAK (E.D. Pa. Dec. 5, 2023), the district court consolidated six proposed class actions involving eight plaintiffs, with each alleging that BPS Direct, LLC and Cabela’s, LLC, who operate retail stores known as Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, unlawfully intercepted and disclosed their private information through the use of session replay software on their websites.  The district court dismissed most of the plaintiffs’ claims, holding that they failed to adequately allege a concrete harm sufficient to support Article III standing.Continue Reading Pennsylvania Multi-District Wiretapping Litigation Finds Website Users Lack Article III Standing

A judge in the Northern District of California recently held that a purchaser of eye makeup allegedly containing eye irritants lacked standing to pursue her claims—given that the product was not banned by the FDA and did not actually harm her eyes.Continue Reading Presence of Eye Irritants in Eye Makeup Is Not Enough for Article III Injury, N.D. Cal. Judge Rules

We are seeing a growing number of class actions alleging consumer harms from corporate carbon offset policies.  On October 13, a California federal court threw out such a case (albeit with leave to amend) against e-commerce site Etsy.   

The lawsuit, Blackburn v. Etsy, Inc., No. 2:23-cv-05711 (C.D. Cal. 2023), stemmed from a number of carbon offset promises Etsy has made since 2019—that the company engages in “100% offsetting [of] all carbon emissions from shipping[,]” that it was “the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions generated by shipping[,]” and that its “goal [is] to run a carbon neutral business[.]”  Dkt. No. 20 at 1.  Plaintiffs alleged that the carbon offset promises were false “due to endemic methodological errors and fraudulent accounting on behalf of offset vendors.”  Id.  Plaintiffs claimed that Etsy’s false promises caused them harm because they paid more for products on the site than they otherwise would have under the mistaken belief that Etsy’s shipments were carbon neutral. Continue Reading California Federal Court Throws Out Carbon Offset Class Action Against Etsy

A federal district court in the Northern District of California granted in part a motion to dismiss putative class action claims filed against Western Digital, a hard drive manufacturer whose older devices experienced a cyber-attack, where the plaintiffs alleged that their stored data was deleted but not that it was stolen.  While plaintiffs will be permitted to maintain claims related to the data loss, they lack standing to assert claims based on future data misuse.Continue Reading Federal Court Partially Dismisses Hacked Hard Drive Claims Where Plaintiffs Could Only Show Data Deletion, Not Theft

In a recent published decision, the Fifth Circuit declined to articulate a rule for the “order and depth in which” it “grapples with constitutional standing and the Rule 23 inquiry.”  Chavez v. Plan Benefit Services, Inc., __ F.4th __, No. 22-50368, 2023 WL 5160393 (5th Cir. Aug. 11, 2023).  The court concluded that the plaintiffs—three employees who participated in health and retirement plans administered by the defendants—had standing to sue on behalf of absent class members who participated in thousands of different benefits plans administered by the defendants.  The court went on to affirm the district court’s certification of two classes, each under both Rules 23(b)(1)(B) and 23(b)(3).Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Declines to Wade Into Circuit Split on Relationship Between Standing and Class Certification

This blog previously covered the Eleventh Circuit’s July 2022 decision in Drazen v. Pinto, which held that all class members must have Article III standing in order to receive individual damages in a class settlement.  41 F.4th 1354 (11th Cir. 2022).  Because the law in the Eleventh Circuit at the time held that a

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit reversed in part and remanded an order certifying a class in a case arising from a data breach of Chili’s restaurants, Green-Cooper v. Brinker International, Inc., No. 21-13146, 2023 WL 4446420 (11th Cir. July 11, 2023).  The opinion clarifies the Eleventh Circuit’s view of when data breaches give rise to Article III standing.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds Having Payment Information Posted to Dark Web Establishes Standing in Data Breach Case, Remands Class Certification Order

In recent years, sellers of consumer products have faced countless class action lawsuits alleging that their products are misleadingly advertised.  Many motions to dismiss often turn on whether the product’s advertising is misleading to a reasonable consumer.  But in Valiente v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91089 (S.D. Fla. May 24, 2023), the court took a different tack, dismissing a false advertising claim on Article III standing grounds because the defendant’s “money-back guarantee” effectively mooted the plaintiff’s claim for monetary damages.Continue Reading “Money-Back Guarantee” Deprived Plaintiff of Standing to Bring a False Labeling Class Action

The Sixth Circuit recently vacated a class certification order in a decision that may make it easier for defendants to defeat putative class actions where a named plaintiff asserts standing based on the injuries of absent class members.  Under the “juridical link doctrine,” a named plaintiff may bring a class action against defendants who did not injure them so long as the absent members of the proposed class would have standing to sue those defendants.  In vacating a district court order that certified a class based on this doctrine, the Sixth Circuit joined the Second Circuit in rejecting the doctrine and holding that named plaintiffs in a putative class action must have standing to sue every defendant at the time of filing.Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Rejects Juridical Link Exception to Standing in Class Actions

The Eleventh Circuit recently addressed two aspects of Article III standing relevant to class action settlements: the standing of a class member to object, and the standing of class representatives to seek injunctive relief—and thus whether such injunctive relief should be given any weight as part of the approval process.Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Analyzes Article III Standing in Class Action Settlement Context