In Pineda's Wake


In the wake of Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc. (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 524 ("Pineda"), Divisions One and Five of California's Second Appellate District have published two opinions that put some constraints on Song-Beverly class action litigation.

The first case is Archer v. United Rentals, Inc. (May 19, 2011, B219089) __ Cal.App.4th ___, [2011 BL 134609, 2011 DJDAR 7158]. In Archer, the trial court (Anthony J. Mohr, J.) awarded summary adjudication to the defendants on plaintiffs' claim under the UCL, finding that plaintiffs' lacked standing to proceed "because they did not lose money or property." After a thorough discussion of the California Supreme Court's recent decision in Kwikset Corp. v. Superior Court (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 310 ("Kwikset"), Division One ruled that plaintiffs "have failed to demonstrate" how the alleged invasion of privacy "translates into a loss of money or property." The trial court's summary adjudication was affirmed. Archer v. United Rentals, Inc. (May 19, 2011, B219089) __ Cal.App.4th ___, [2011 BL 134609, 2011 DJDAR 7158] slip op. at p. 8.

Judge Mohr also denied class certification of Mr. Archer's claims brought under the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act ("SBCCA") and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"). He reasoned that the SBCCA does not apply to business credit cards or personal credit cards used primarily for business purposes. On this basis, he found that determining class membership would be an "intensely fact-driven" and costly process that was not justified. His denial of class certification was based on the ascertainability requirement. See Sevidal v. Target Corp. (2010) 189 Cal App. 4th 905, 919; Sav-On Drug Stores, Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 34 Cal. 4th 319, 326.

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