Davidson et al v. Apple, Inc.

Filing 333

Order Reaffirming the Denial of Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act Claim. Signed by Judge Lucy H. Koh on 3/1/19. (lhklc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/1/2019)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 THOMAS DAVIDSON, et al., Plaintiffs, 15 16 ORDER REAFFIRMING THE DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' FLORIDA DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT CLAIM Defendant. 13 14 Case No. 16-CV-04942-LHK Re: Dkt. No. 291 v. APPLE, INC., 17 18 On December 21, 2018, Defendant Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) filed a motion for summary 19 judgment as to, inter alia, Plaintiffs’ Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act 20 (“FDUTPA”) claim relating to an alleged touchscreen defect in Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 21 Plus. Plaintiffs filed their opposition to summary judgment on January 17, 2019. ECF No. 302 22 (“Opp.”). Apple filed its reply on February 1, 2019. ECF No. 306 (“Reply”). 23 On February 25, 2019, the Court issued an order granting in part and denying in part 24 Apple’s motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 324. The facts, procedural history, and legal 25 standard are laid out in detail in the Court’s order, so the Court need not rehash them here. In the 26 Court’s February 25, 2019 order, the Court denied summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ FDUTPA 27 28 1 Case No. 16-CV-04942-LHK ORDER REAFFIRMING THE DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' FLORIDA DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT CLAIM 1 2 claim. Here, the Court takes the opportunity to clarify its February 25, 2019 order granting in part 3 and denying in part Apple’s motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the Court addresses an 4 argument raised in Apple’s motion for summary judgment regarding Plaintiffs’ claim under the 5 FDUTPA relating to Florida Plaintiff John Borzymowski that was not explicitly addressed in the 6 Court’s February 25, 2019 order. 7 To state a claim under the FDUTPA, there are three elements: “(1) a deceptive act or unfair 8 practice; (2) causation; and (3) actual damages.” Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. v. Better Business 9 Bureau of Palm Beach Cty., Inc., 169 So.3d 164, 167 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015) (quoting Kertesz 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 v. Net Transactions, Ltd., 635 F. Supp. 2d 1339, 1348 (S.D. Fla. 2009)). Apple argues that Borzymowski suffered no actual damages because he sold his defective 12 iPhone 6 Plus to third-party purchaser Gazelle.com. Mot. at 22. Apple argues that through 13 Borzymowski’s sale, Borzymowski received “full value” for his iPhone 6 Plus. Id. Plaintiffs argue 14 that the sale of the iPhone to Gazelle.com is “irrelevant to the damage Mr. Borzymowski suffered 15 when he paid full price for his iPhone containing an undisclosed defect at the point of sale.” Opp. 16 at 24. The Court agrees with Plaintiffs. 17 Under Florida law, a FDUTPA claim accrues “on the date of sale.” S. Motor Co. of Date 18 Cty. v. Doktorczyk, 957 So. 2d 1215, 1218 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007). Here, Borzymowski 19 purchased his iPhone 6 Plus on September 19, 2014. ECF No. 172 at ¶ 12. Thus, Borzymowski’s 20 FDUTPA cause of action accrued on September 19, 2014. 21 Apple argues that Borzymowski suffered no actual damages. However, a FDUTPA cause 22 of action’s damages “is the difference in the market value of the product or service in the 23 condition in which it was delivered and its market value in the condition in which it should have 24 been delivered.” Rollins, Inc. v. Heller, 454 So.2d 580, 585 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1984) (emphasis 25 added); see also Carriuolo v. General Motors Co., 823 F.3d 977, 986 (11th Cir. 2016) (“The 26 FDUTPA damages formula calculates ‘the value of the product as promised minus the value of the 27 28 2 Case No. 16-CV-04942-LHK ORDER REAFFIRMING THE DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' FLORIDA DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT CLAIM 1 product delivered.’”); Coghlan v. Wellcraft Marine Corp., 240 F.3d 449, 453 (5th Cir. 2001) 2 (same). Therefore, here, damages are calculated by subtracting the value of the iPhone 6 Plus as 3 promised (i.e., without the alleged touchscreen defect) minus the value of the iPhone 6 Plus as 4 delivered (i.e., with the alleged touchscreen defect). Thus, the calculation of damages takes place 5 at the point of sale. 6 Apple has put forth no evidence showing that Borzymowski suffered no damages on 7 September 19, 2014, when Borzymowski purchased his iPhone 6 Plus. Tellingly, Apple cites to no 8 evidence in support of its blanket assertion that Borzymowski received “full value” for his iPhone 9 6 Plus from Gazelle.com. Mot. at 22. To the contrary, the Court found in the order granting in part and denying in part Apple’s motion for summary judgment that there was a genuine issue of 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 material fact as to “whether the alleged touchscreen defect exists, whether Apple had knowledge 12 of its existence, and whether Apple engaged in a deceptive act or unfair practice by failing to 13 disclose it.” ECF No. 324 at 14. Thus, there may have been a diminution in value of the iPhone 6 14 Plus as a result of the alleged touchscreen defect. 15 In sum, Apple’s argument that Borzymowski suffered no actual damages because he sold 16 his iPhone 6 Plus to third-party Gazelle.com is unfounded in the law and facts. The Court 17 reaffirms its decision denying summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ FDUTPA claim. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 21 22 Dated: March 1, 2019 ______________________________________ LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Case No. 16-CV-04942-LHK ORDER REAFFIRMING THE DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' FLORIDA DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT CLAIM

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