Decoded: Technology Law Insights, Volume 2, Issue 13

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

Court Redirects Most Ring LLC Privacy Litigation Plaintiffs to Arbitration

"In the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Ring’s security systems were defectively designed without sufficient security protocols, leaving users open to cyberattack, identity theft, and physical harm."

Why this is important: A group of purchasers of Ring security systems and non-purchasers who used the systems are plaintiffs in a consolidated class action against Ring that alleges the security systems were defectively designed. Ring moved to compel arbitration of all claims. The article reports on the court's recent decision, which addresses the law related to arbitration more so than technology law. The court granted the motion as to the group of purchasers and sent their claims to arbitration. Arbitration is a matter of contract, and parties are only compelled to arbitrate those claims that they agreed to arbitrate. The court found that the purchasers were on notice of Ring's terms of service, which included an arbitration clause. Their actions in maintaining Ring accounts amounted to an agreement to arbitrate their claims. Authority exists that permits a party to an arbitration clause to compel non-signatories to that clause to arbitrate their claims if certain conditions are met. The court in the Ring case apparently didn't find that law applicable. It refused Ring's motion to compel those non-signatories (the non-purchaser users of Ring's security systems) to arbitration. The result is a bifurcation of the claims and piecemeal litigation where some claims will be litigated in court and some will be arbitrated.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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