Anderson v. Logitech Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: Signed by the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber on 3/7/2018. mailed notice(ks, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JAMES ANDERSON, Individually
and on Behalf of all Others
Case No. 17 C 6104
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The Plaintiff, James Anderson (hereinafter, “Anderson” or
“Plaintiff”), has filed this nationwide class action (excluding
California) with an Illinois subclass, alleging consumer fraud,
Plaintiff’s purchase of a digital home video surveillance system
known as the “Alert” system manufactured and sold by Defendant,
Logitech (hereinafter, “Logitech” or “Defendant”).
California with its principal place of business in California
According to the declaration of Eric Marvin (“Marvin”,
Head of Workplace Services for Logitech, the Defendant is not
incorporated in Illinois, is not headquartered in Illinois, is
not registered to do business in Illinois, has no facility in
Illinois, and neither owns nor leases real estate in Illinois.
Defendant’s Motion to Stay
Apparently there is another lawsuit currently pending in
the District Court for the District of New Jersey, which was
filed prior to this case.
Defendant attempts to invoke the
first filing rule and asks this Court to stay this proceeding
until the District Court of New Jersey has a chance to rule on a
pending Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff, as expected, strongly
opposes a stay.
In considering whether to stay a suit, three factors are
tactically disadvantage the non-moving party, (2) whether the
stay will simplify the issues in question, and (3) whether a
stay will reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and the
Pfizer Inc. v. Apotex, Inc., 640 F. Supp.2d 1006, 1007
(N.D. Ill. 2009).
The Court denies the stay for the reason that
will become more apparent later in this opinion when the Court
dismissing the nationwide class allegations.
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Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Nationwide Class
class action aspect of this case on the basis of Bristol-Myers
disputes the applicability of Bristol-Myers because that case
was not a class action but a series of individual claims filed
district court cases in which his argument prevailed.
this Court is not writing on a clean slate.
This Court has
already applied Bristol-Myers to a nationwide class action in
DeBernardis v. NBTY, Inc., No. 17 CV 6125, 2018 WL 461228 (N.D.
Ill. Jan. 18, 2018), which followed
McDonnell v. Nature’s Way
Products, No. 16 C 5011, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177892, at *10
(N.D. Ill. Oct. 26, 2017), which also applied Bristol-Myers to a
nationwide class action.
In sum it still appears to the Court
that a nationwide class action is not significantly different
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the Illinois Sub-class
The Defendant also seeks dismissal of the Illinois subclass based on an unpublished decision of a California State
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Defendant has not supplied the Court with any of
the documentation as to the why and wherefore that moved that
court to deny class status.
It seems to the Court that it is
too premature for the Court to decide class status based on such
Dismiss the claim of the Plaintiff and that of the Illinois subclass.
Defendant also argues that California law applies to this
case rather than Illinois.
However, the fact that his case will
proceed on the allegations of an Illinois only sub-class, it
decision as to what law applies to this case.
The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act
Next Defendant takes aim at the claim under the Illinois
standard of specificity.
To state an ICFA claim, a plaintiff
must allege (1) a deceptive act or unfair practice, (2) the
defendant intended that the plaintiff rely on the deception, (3)
the deception occurred in the course of conduct involving trade
or commerce, (4) the plaintiff sustained damages, and (5) the
damages were caused by the deception.
Blakenship v. Pushpin
Holdings, 157 F. Supp.3d 788, 792 (N.D. Ill. 2016).
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by the parties the deceptive act or unfair practice must be pled
with the specificity required by Rule 9(b), the who, what, when,
where, and how of the fraudulent action.
practice, starts out with allegations of Logitech’s marketing
materials which emphasized reliable, continuous, home security
invasions and robberies.
The marketing materials also claimed
that Logitech’s system was simple to use and easy to install and
cheaper than subscription based home security systems.
also provided a one year warranty promising that its hardware
promised to repair, replace or refund.
announcements, equipment updates, etc.
The Complaint alleges
functionality and efficacy of Logitech products.
reported problems that included (1) difficulty in installation;
(2) system would not turn on, stay powered up, or record and
download video; (3) failures of the micro SD cards installed in
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components; (6) inoperable or faulty motion sensors; (7) delayed
and failed alerts; and (8) software glitches and bugs making the
system unreliable and inoperable.
The Complaint further alleges that because of the equipment
requests for warranty repairs and refunds.
In response Logitech
requiring the customer to go through repetitive, cumbersome, and
purchases, (5) replacing defective parts with defective parts,
(6) misleading customers with promises of hardware and software
fixes that did not materialize or work, (7) failing to implement
upgrades that worked, and (8) failing to provide refunds.
The Complaint further alleges that Logitech made a decision
in the last quarter of 2012 to discontinue the manufacture and
sale of its Alert System by 2014.
It concealed this decision
from purchasers who invested money in defective systems that
would soon be obsolete.
On July 14, 2017, Logitech announced
publicly its intent to discontinue its system.
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knew its design was defective, especially after it was hit with
a deluge of complaints after its product hit the market and that
discontinue the product.
With respect to the plaintiff’s experience with Logitech,
the Complaint alleges that he purchased the Logitech system with
four cameras through its website.
that he would receive a warranty.
Prior to purchasing, he read
Soon after purchase he began
connectivity, rebooting when it was supposed to be operating,
unanticipated shutdowns, gaps in recording and assorted other
When he notified Logitech of equipment failures, he
was told that the product was no longer available.
equipment failed to alert him of or capture on video an animal’s
destruction of some of his property.
Logitech cites Munch v. Sears Roebuck & Co., No. 06 C 7023,
2007 WL 2461660 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 27, 2009), for authority that
the Complaint here lacks Rule 9(b) specificity.
In that case,
the plaintiff, like Plaintiff here, alleged that Sears received
a “high number” of complaints concerning certain of its washers,
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including repeated mechanical failures, electronic control panel
clothes not being cleaned properly, including stains, mold, and
mildew growing in the machines, and otherwise not performing as
durable and dependable
that the high number of complaints put Sears on notice that its
washing machines were defective and obligated it to disclose
problems by blaming the failures on owners’ conduct.
granted the motion to dismiss the fraud and unjust enrichment
allegation of a “high” incident of failure was insufficiently
specific to withstand a motion to dismiss.
The court stated
that plaintiff failed to give any meaning to the term “high.”
What was important was that the rate of failure be material,
i.e., whether the machine typically failed during or after the
warranty period, whether they could be repaired, repair costs
and whether the machines repeatedly failed.
plaintiff’s in the Sears case.
While the Plaintiff here does
not present a failure rate, he does allege the high cost of
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decision to discontinue the specific alert system due to product
The one problem Plaintiff presents is that he does
significant failure when considering Rule 9(b).
If he purchased
decision itself could not be an act of fraud.
The Court will
dismiss the ICFA claim with leave to amend.
Breach of Warranty Claims
saddled with the Rule 9(b) specificity requirement.
has clearly alleged that the system he purchased from defendant
did not perform as it was supposed to.
He also alleges that he
repeatedly consulted Logitech on the defects without any help
and was told that it could not replace the defective equipment
because it was no longer available.
He therefore has alleged
that the product was not merchantable at the time of sale, he
suffered damages, and he gave Logitech notice.
This is enough
as it was in the Sears case to withstand a motion to dismiss.
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Express Warranty Claim
Defendant also seeks to dismiss the Express Warranty claim.
difficult for the Court to determine the extent of its coverage.
because the product was so problem ridden and defective that the
motion to dismiss at this stage of the litigation.
G. Unjust Enrichment Claim and
Claim for Declaratoy Judgment
enrichment claim and the claim for declaratory judgment.
unjust enrichment claim, says Defendant, is duplicative of the
Therefore disposition of the fraud claim
Benefits Services v. Caremark Rx, Inc., 493 F.3d 841, 855 (7th
This count is dismissed without prejudice.
The claim for declaratory judgment is likewise duplicative.
Paragraph 78 of the Complaint merely alleges that the Plaintiff
advertising and marketing and that it complied with its warranty
The paragraph alleges that Logitech claims that it
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complied with its warranty obligations.
While the Declaratory
Judgment Act can be read to allow such a claim, the courts
retain discretion to dismiss such claims when they are clearly
Frazier v. U.S. Bank, 2013 WL 1337263 (N.D. Ill.
Mar. 29, 2013).
This count is dismissed without prejudice.
For the reasons stated herein, the Court rules as follows:
claim is dismissed with prejudice;
under California law is dismissed without prejudice;
the Breach of Express Warranty claim is denied;
the Breach of Implied Warranty claim is denied;
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge
United States District Court
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