In a favorable decision for retailers, a California federal court judge scaled back a proposed class action seeking to bring nationwide class claims. Plaintiff Todd Carpenter alleged that he bought a rodent habitat at a California PetSmart and that the habitat was defective in such a way that his rodents were able to chew through and escape. He filed a class action in the US District Court for the Southern District of California for violations of California consumer protection laws, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and common law fraud. The plaintiff sought to represent a nationwide class consisting of all purchasers of the rodent habitat along with a California subclass. PetSmart moved to strike the nationwide class on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over PetSmart with respect to the nationwide class.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Scales Back Nationwide Class Claims in Case of Escaping Gerbils

Innovation and developments in technology bring both opportunities and challenges for retailers, and Hunton Andrews Kurth has a sophisticated understanding of these issues and how they affect retailers. On January 23, 2020, our cross-disciplinary retail team, composed of over 200 lawyers, released our annual Retail Industry Year in Review.
Continue Reading 2019 Retail Industry Year in Review

For the past few years, retailers have been confronted with a tidal wave of litigation alleging that their websites are inaccessible in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Indeed, in 2018 alone, one analysis determined that there were at least 2,258 web accessibility cases filed in federal court, a 177 percent increase from the previous year. Of these cases, a total of 1,564—over 69 percent—were filed in New York federal courts by just a handful of lawyers, including Jeffrey Gottlieb, Bradley Marks, C.K. Lee, Joseph Mizrahi, Jonathan Shalom and Doug Lipsky, with a surge following two unsuccessful motions to dismiss in cases involving Five Guys and Blick Art.
Continue Reading The Next Wave of Accessibility Litigation in the Retail Industry: Braille Gift Cards

The Federal Trade Commission has stepped up enforcement of the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (CRFA) which prohibits companies from barring honest consumer reviews of their products and services. While enforcement of the CRFA was initially slow, that changed this year.
Continue Reading Thinking About Restricting Online Reviews? FTC: Think Again

As reported on Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Privacy & Information Security Law Blog on January 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that an allegation of “actual injury or adverse effect” is not required to establish standing to sue under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Says Biometric-Data Protection Law Does Not Require Allegation of Actual Injury

On January 17, 2019, Hunton Andrews Kurth’s retail industry team, composed of more than 200 lawyers across practices, released their annual Retail Industry Year in Review publication.
Continue Reading Hunton Andrews Kurth Publishes 2018 Retail Industry Year in Review

The D.C. Circuit’s much-awaited decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission earlier this year set aside much of the FCC’s prior interpretation of what qualifies as an “automatic telephone dialing system.” ACA International was widely seen as a win for businesses and advertisers, but the decision has done little thus far to stem the tide of TCPA lawsuits, especially as the scope of the decision continues to play out.
Continue Reading Businesses Yet to See Major Relief from TCPA Lawsuits Following ACA International Decision

On June 11, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled that American Pipe tolling does not extend to follow-on class actions brought after the statute of limitations period has run. This decision resolves a split between circuit courts over the question of whether a putative class member can rely on American Pipe to toll applicable statute of limitations to file a new class action in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or filing an individual action.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Limits American Pipe Tolling for Consecutive Class Actions