Lilly et al v. Jamba Juice Company et al

Filing 25


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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 ALETA LILLY, et al., 7 Case No. 13-cv-02998-JST Plaintiffs, 8 v. 9 JAMBA JUICE COMPANY, et al., 10 Defendants. Re: ECF No. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS; VACATING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; SETTING DEADLINE FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION MOTION I. INTRODUCTION 13 Defendants Jamba Juice Company and Inventure Foods, Inc. (“Defendants”) have moved 14 to dismiss the complaint in this action. ECF No. 11. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 78(b) and Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds that the parties’ briefs have thoroughly 16 addressed the issues, rendering the matter suitable for disposition without oral argument. The 17 hearing on this matter, currently scheduled for November 21, 2013, is hereby VACATED. 18 II. BACKGROUND Factual Background1 19 A. 20 Defendants produce frozen smoothie kits, which are labeled as “all natural” and are 21 available in five flavors: Mango-A-Go-Go, Strawberries Wild, Caribbean Passion, Orange Dream 22 Machine and Razzmatazz. ¶¶ 2-3. Plaintiff Aleta Lilly purchased Strawberries Wild smoothie 23 kits from approximately March 2010 to approximately November 2012, and purchased Caribbean 24 Passion smoothie kits from approximately July 2011 to approximately November 2012. ¶ 12. 25 Plaintiff David Cox purchased Caribbean Passion smoothie kits “within the last three years.” ¶ 13. 26 Both plaintiffs allege that they relied on Defendants’ representations that the products were “all 27 28 1 On a motion to dismiss, the Court takes the facts in this paragraph from Plaintiffs’ complaint. 1 natural,” but that the products did not contain only “all natural” ingredients, and that they would 2 not have been purchased the products, or paid less for them, if they had known that fact. ¶¶ 12-13. 3 B. Procedural History 4 Plaintiffs Lilly and Cox filed a proposed class action complaint in this action in June 2013. 5 The complaint brings causes of action under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act 6 (“CLRA”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750 et seq., the California False Advertising Law, Cal. Bus. & 7 Prof. Code §§ 17500 et seq., the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 8 17200, et seq., and for breach of warranty pursuant to Cal. Comm. Code § 2313. ¶¶ 42-70. The 9 complaint indicates that Plaintiffs will seek certification of a class comprised all persons who 10 purchased any one or more of the five smoothie kit products. ¶ 33. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 C. Jurisdiction 12 Plaintiffs assert, and Defendants do not dispute, that Plaintiffs and class members are of 13 diverse citizenship from Defendants, there are more than 100 class members nationwide, and the 14 aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000. Therefore, the Court has jurisdiction over 15 this action pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). 16 III. ANALYSIS 17 Defendants have moved to dismiss certain claims in the complaint on two grounds. First, 18 Defendants argue that the named plaintiffs lack Article III standing to assert claims related to the 19 Orange Dream Machine smoothie kit because they did not purchase it and it is not substantially 20 similar to the products they did purchase. Second, Defendants argue that the Plaintiffs lack 21 statutory standing under the CLRA to bring actions related to the Orange Dream Machine 22 smoothie kit, for similar reasons. 23 For reasons more fully explained in the undersigned’s order in Clancy v. Bromley Tea Co., 24 the Court does not lack subject-matter jurisdiction over this action because the named plaintiffs 25 did not purchase all of the same products as members of the class they propose to represent. No. 26 12-cv-03003-JST, 2013 WL 4081632, at *3-6 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2013); see also Greenwood v. 27 Compucredit Corp., No. 08-cv-04878 CW, 2010 WL 4807095, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 19, 2010) 28 (“‘Representative parties who have a direct and substantial interest have standing; the question 2 1 whether they may be allowed to present claims on behalf of others who have similar, but not 2 identical, interests depends not on standing, but on an assessment of typicality and adequacy of 3 representation.’”) (quoting 7AA Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure (3d.2005) § 1758.1 4 pp. 388–89). 5 The Ninth Circuit’s “[standing] law keys on the representative party, not all of the class 6 members, and has done so for many years.” Stearns v. Ticketmaster Corp., 655 F.3d 1013, 1021 7 (9th Cir. 2011) cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 1970 (U.S. 2012); see also Bates v. United Parcel Serv., 8 Inc., 511 F.3d 974, 985 (9th Cir. 2007) (en banc) (“[i]n a class action, standing is satisfied if at 9 least one named plaintiff meets the requirements”). This is true whether or not the products are “substantially similar.” “Whether products are ‘sufficiently similar’ is an appropriate inquiry, but 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 it does not relate to standing: a plaintiff has no more standing to assert claims relating to a 12 ‘similar’ product he did not buy than he does to assert claims relating to a ‘dissimilar’ product he 13 did not buy.” Clancy, 2013 WL 40816323, at * 5. (Moreover, even if this Court were to apply the 14 “substantial similarity” test, Plaintiffs would pass, since the products are similar varieties of the 15 same basic consumer offering, and the presence of a single additional ingredient at issue does not 16 render the products significantly dissimilar.) 17 Plaintiffs do not have standing to assert claims related to products they did not buy. But 18 they may seek to represent a class of people who purchased those products, as long as all 19 plaintiffs, named and absent, have standing in their own right, and as long as the prerequisites to 20 class certification are satisfied. Defendant does not dispute that Plaintiffs have standing to bring 21 claims related to the products they did purchase. 22 As for standing under the CLRA, while the cases cited by Defendants involved class 23 actions, the passages cited by Defendants in their motion were discussing whether a named 24 plaintiff had alleged reliance and materiality as to his or her own claims. Motion 4:25-5:14 (citing 25 Marolda v. Symantec Corp., 672 F. Supp. 2d 992, 1002 (N.D. Cal. 2009); Cattie v. Wal-Mart 26 Stores, Inc., 504 F. Supp. 2d 939, 946 (S.D. Cal. 2007); Caro v. Procter & Gamble Co., 18 27 Cal.App.4th 644, 668 (Cal. Ct. App. 1993)). Defendants do not dispute that Plaintiffs have CLRA 28 standing in their own right as to the products they purchased. Defendants have therefore failed to 3 1 meet their burden of showing that the CLRA’s standing requirements compel dismissal of the 2 CLRA claim asserted in the complaint. The question of whether Plaintiffs may represent the proposed class will be addressed at 3 4 class certification. 5 IV. CONCLUSION 6 Defendant’s motion to dismiss is DENIED. 7 The Court agrees with the parties that it would be appropriate to set deadlines in this case 8 after the Court rules on any motion for class certification. See Joint Case Management Statement 9 7:3-6, ECF No. 21. Accordingly, the case management conference currently scheduled for November 21, 2013, is hereby VACATED. The Court hereby SETS February 3, 2014 as the 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 deadline for Plaintiffs to file a motion for class certification. See id. at 5:18-21. The parties are 12 ORDERED to move the Court to schedule a case management conference in this case not more 13 than 30 days after the Court issues a class certification order. 14 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 18, 2013 ______________________________________ JON S. TIGAR United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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