Gregory Ingalls et al v. Spotify USA Inc.

Filing 102

ORDER DENYING CLASS CERTIFICATION AND VACATING EVIDENTIARY HEARING by Hon. William Alsup denying 76 Motion to Certify Class.(whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/27/2017)

Download PDF
Case 3:16-cv-03533-WHA Document 102 Filed 07/27/17 Page 1 of 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 GREGORY INGALLS and TONY HONG, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, 13 14 15 16 17 No. C 16-03533 WHA Plaintiffs, v. ORDER DENYING CLASS CERTIFICATION AND VACATING EVIDENTIARY HEARING SPOTIFY USA, INC., a Delaware corporation, and DOES 1–10, inclusive, Defendants. / 18 19 Following a July 13 hearing on plaintiff Gregory Ingalls’ motion to certify a class, the 20 undersigned judge ordered defendant Spotify USA, Inc. to provide the number of people who 21 signed up for Spotify’s free or reduced-price trial and were later charged for the paid service 22 even though they never used it (Dkt. No. 91). Spotify complied and provided a declaration 23 indicating that approximately 116,650 California users were charged at least one time for 24 Spotify’s paid service even though they had not used it (Dkt. No. 93 ¶ 9). 25 Spotify’s response also revealed, however, that Ingalls did not fall within this group. 26 Rather, he used Spotify Premium on 52 separate days and streamed over 1,000 songs during the 27 three months he paid for it (id. ¶ 4). This was contrary to Ingalls’ prior representations to the 28 Court that he did not use Spotify Premium after his free trial ended but was charged for it nonetheless (Dkt. No. 84 at 9). Ingalls had an opportunity to reply, but in his reply did not cleanly disclaim that he used the paid service, instead equivocating that he streamed songs Case 3:16-cv-03533-WHA Document 102 Filed 07/27/17 Page 2 of 2 1 during the paid period either “on Spotify’s free service or with the [mistaken] understanding that 2 [he] was streaming them on Spotify’s free service” (Dkt. No. 98 ¶ 8). Evidence submitted by 3 Spotify shows that this explanation is implausible given the differences between Spotify 4 Premium and Spotify’s free service, which would be evident to a regular user like Ingalls (see 5 Dkt. No. 101). 6 In the event that we had a problem-free plaintiff, the undersigned judge would be 7 inclined to certify a class of California residents who subscribed to a free trial, thereafter did not 8 use the service, but were nevertheless charged for it. This is the clearest-cut group that was 9 likely misled to their detriment due to alleged violations of the Automatic Renewal Law. The proposed class representative, however, is not problem-free. Contrary to 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 representations made to the Court (Dkt. No. 84 at 9), it is now evident that Ingalls not only used 12 Spotify Premium during the free trial, but also continued to use it thereafter. It is highly likely 13 that he is not a member of the class the Court would be inclined to certify, and he is unable to 14 contend cleanly that he is. 15 16 Ingalls’ motion for class certification is DENIED. The evidentiary hearing set for August 1 is hereby VACATED. 17 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 22 23 Dated: July 27, 2017. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 24 25 26 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?