Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of Commonwealth’s Consumer Protection Law l Hoverboards, Magnetic Balls, and Pet Food: Products Liability in Online Sales

by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
Contact

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Reach of Commonwealth’s Consumer Protection Law

By Emily Hart

On February 21st, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania’s consumer protection law allows out-of-state consumers to sue Pennsylvania-based businesses based on out-of-state transactions. In a unanimous ruling in Danganan v. Guardian Protection Services, 2018 Pa. LEXIS 9555 (Pa. 2018), the Court decided that Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) is not limited to Pennsylvania residents or to business conduct that occurs in Pennsylvania; rather, the UTPCPL may govern disputes over out-of-state transactions between out-of-state residents and businesses “headquartered in and operating from Pennsylvania.”

Because the UTPCPL allows for awards of triple damages plus attorneys’ fees, the law already is an attractive mechanism for plaintiffs’ lawyers targeting Pennsylvania businesses. This ruling is likely to increase substantially the number of class action lawsuits brought against Pennsylvania businesses because claims now may be brought by out-of-state consumers and on behalf of putative classes that include out-of-state consumers. This decision follows an overall trend across the United States for states to liberally construe the reach of their consumer protection laws.

The case stems from a dispute between Jobe Danganan and Guardian Protection Services (“Guardian”), a home security business headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Danganan signed Guardian’s form contract for home security equipment and services for his Washington, D.C. home. According to the form contract’s choice-of-law provision, Pennsylvania law governed. When Danganan moved to California and attempted to cancel his contract, Guardian ignored his requests and continued to bill Danganan for services, claiming the form contract permitted this practice. Danganan filed a class action on behalf of himself and other plaintiffs who had signed the same form contract.

In its opinion, Supreme Court addressed “[w]hether a non-Pennsylvania resident may bring suit under the [UTPCPL], against a business headquartered in and operating from Pennsylvania, based on transactions which occurred outside of Pennsylvania.” The Court focused on the statutory definitions of “person,” “trade,” and “commerce,” noting there were no geographic or residency restrictions on any of these definitions.

The Court found persuasive a case from Washington State, where the Washington Supreme Court addressed a similar issue regarding the applicability of Washington’s consumer protection law to out-of-state transactions. In addressing legislative intent, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that the UTPCPL’s “prescription against deceptive practices employed by Pennsylvania-based businesses may encompass misconduct that has occurred in other jurisdictions,” rejecting Guardian’s argument that there was no “sufficient nexus” between plaintiffs’ claims and Pennsylvania. Because the Court addressed the first issue in the affirmative, it passed on the second issue regarding the effect of a choice-of-law provision.

While the Court’s opinion is limited to Pennsylvania businesses as defendants, the statute itself is not limited to such defendants and does not foreclose the applicability of the UTPCPL against out-of-state businesses engaged in transactions with Pennsylvania residents. The Court noted that “choice of law rules and jurisdictional principles” reduce the concern that the Court’s decision will result in a flurry of UTPCPL cases filed against Pennsylvania businesses.

It is crucial for Pennsylvania businesses to understand the impact of the UTPCPL and this recent case. While the UTPCPL is enforced by the Attorney General, the statute allows consumers to file lawsuits against businesses. The UTPCPL prohibits twenty “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” and lists a final catch-all prohibition against “any other fraudulent or deceptive conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding.” The statute allows “any person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes” to recover the greater of actual damages or $100.00 and gives a court discretion to award up to three times actual damages as well as costs and attorney fees.


Hoverboards, Magnetic Balls, and Pet Food: Products Liability in Online Sales

By James Franklin, Errin McCaulley*, and Jo-Anne Thompson*

What could hoverboards, magnetic balls, and pet food possibly have in common? Each of these items has recently been at the center of heated legal disputes across the United States. Today’s hoverboards may not be what our generation was promised in Back to the Future, but some may pose a potential fire hazard. The small magnetic balls known as Buckyballs™ were a common gag gift in recent years, but a few have injured several customers. Pet owners normally expect to find grains and meats in pet food, but some owners recently discovered euthanasia drugs instead. In each case, consumers asserted products liability claims, yet many of these items were sold by online retailers, not brick-and-mortar establishments. Although Pennsylvania courts have yet to draw any meaningful distinction between online and brick-and-mortar sales, the increased prevalence of online shopping for everyday needs has created a possible gray area in products liability law. Let’s explore this gray area by discussing products liability in three common online sales structures used today.

It Takes Three (To Make Things Go Wrong)
Most everyone has probably purchased something online this year. In fact, online shopping is so common that some estimates show that one-half of U.S. households pay for the privilege of being an Amazon Prime member. Whether purchasing gifts or everyday items, most of us are familiar with popular online shopping websites such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and Overstock. As the number of customers relying upon online retailers (or e-retailers) has increased, so too has the number sellers and sales platforms. Online sales today generally fall into one of three different baskets: (1) one party provides every part of the transaction, specifically the product, online listing, payment, and shipping; (2) one party handles the online listing, payment, and shipping, while another party provides the product; and (3) one party handles online listing and payment, while another party provides the product and shipping.

Although Pennsylvania courts have yet to draw a distinction between these three sale structures, a customer bringing the same products liability claim may receive a different result depending upon which of the three structures the e-retailer used. Before discussing products liability under each structure more thoroughly, let’s briefly review Pennsylvania’s products liability law.

Whose Liability Is It Anyway?
Pennsylvania products liability law is unique in that it still follows the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 402a. Although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reexamined § 402a in 2014, the Commonwealth’s products liability law remains tethered to this provision of the Restatement. Generally, a plaintiff injured by a defective product can sue all parties in the chain of distribution of the defective product, such as the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. Products liability under § 402a is strict liability, meaning plaintiffs may hold defendants liable regardless of any precautions the defendant may have taken.

To succeed on a products liability claim, the plaintiff must prove three elements under § 402a: (1) the product was defective; (2) the defect existed when the product left the manufacturer; and (3) the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Normally, a court will hold the seller of the defective product liable for a plaintiff’s injuries if the plaintiff can show that the seller’s business includes regular sales of the type of product that injured the plaintiff and the injury-causing product was not altered before it reached the plaintiff. For example, a plaintiff injured by a defective chainsaw purchased at a hardware store would have a products liability claim against both the hardware store and the manufacturer.

Interestingly, the term “seller” is not defined in the Restatement. Pennsylvania courts, however, have held that all “those engaged in the business of supplying products for use or consumption by the public” are sellers within the meaning of § 402a. For purposes of our discussion, the question then becomes one of identifying whether an e-retailer’s actions meet Pennsylvania’s definition of “seller” under § 402a.

Online Sales Basket No. 1: All-in-One Retailers
The first online sale structure consists of online retailers that list their own products on their own website, process payments made during purchases of those products, and then ship the product to the purchaser. These all-in-one retailers clearly meet the definition of “seller” followed by courts in Pennsylvania as they perform every function of a traditional, brick-and-mortar establishment. Furthermore, Pennsylvania courts have yet to draw any distinction, in the products liability context, between all-in-one retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers. Products liability actions raised against all-in-one retailers, therefore, will likely follow the same products liability analysis employed by Pennsylvania courts when the defendant is a brick-and-mortar retailer. Under this analysis, purchasers injured by defective products purchased from an all-in-one retailer will be able to hold that retailer strictly liable.

Online Sales Basket No. 2: Fulfillment Services Providers
The second online sale structure consists of fulfillment services providers that list another party’s product online, process payments for that product, and ship the product to purchasers. The important distinction between this structure and the previous structure is that the product does not belong to the fulfillment services provider, but to a third party. One common example of this structure is Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” or “FBA” service. Typically, a third party will send its products to the fulfillment services provider. When a sale is made, the fulfillment services provider will then package and ship the product from the storage location to the end user. The fulfillment services provider then takes a fee, either fixed or a percentage of the transaction, as payment for its services.

Whether a fulfillment services provider is liable for injuries caused by defective products has not been addressed by Pennsylvania courts. Where Pennsylvania courts have declined to impose liability on defendants, however, the connection between the defendant and the product was more tenuous than exists under a fulfillment services provider online sale structure. For example, in Musser v. Vilsmeier Auction Co., 562 A.2d 279 (Pa. 1989), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to hold the defendant-auctioneer liable to the plaintiff when the auctioneer had only a “fleeting relationship” with the goods that harmed the plaintiff. Likewise, in Balczon v. Machinery Wholesalers Corp., 993 F. Supp. 900 (W.D. Pa. 1998), the court rejected a plaintiff’s products liability claim where the defendant-broker never took physical possession of the defective goods, nor did the broker store or move the goods. In both cases, the courts’ analyses focused upon physical possession. A court applying the same reasoning in a products liability claim against a fulfillment services provider may find the fulfillment services provider liable. Unlike the defendants in the cases cited above, fulfillment services providers have physical possession of the products, for potentially extended periods of time, before a sale is made.

Perhaps recognizing this potential liability, and to confront the possible imposition of products liability, some fulfillment services providers have required sellers using the service to sign indemnification agreements or carry minimum liability insurance. Amazon, for example, requires its professional sellers to maintain a minimum general liability policy of $1,000,000 with Amazon listed as an additional insured.

Online Sales Basket No. 3: Payment Processors
In the third sale structure, payment processors list another party’s product online and process payments during purchases. Under this setup, both the product and shipping are provided by the third party. The payment processor only receives a fixed fee or percentage of the transaction’s value. Unlike the previous two sale structures, Pennsylvania courts have addressed payment processors in the products liability context. In Inman v. Technicolor USA, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133220 (W.D. Pa. 2011), a plaintiff sued multiple parties when he suffered mercury poisoning caused by vacuum tubes. One of the defendants, eBay, successfully argued that it was not a “seller” within the meaning of § 402(a) of the Restatement. The court agreed, noting that eBay acts as an “online forum where sellers . . . peddle their wares.” Specifically, eBay never “had anything more than a fleeting connection to the” vacuum tubes. The court granted eBay’s motion to dismiss. Similarly, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania found that Amazon was not a “seller” under § 402(a) of the Restatement. In Oberdorf v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209899 (M.D. Pa. 2017), the plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries to her eye when a retractable leash she was using malfunctioned and hit her in the face. Plaintiff claimed that Amazon was strictly liable for the damage she suffered due to the company’s failure to provide adequate warnings, and the action of selling a defectively designed leash. The court relied on Musser, and stated that much like an auctioneer, “Amazon is merely a third-party vendor’s ‘means of marketing.’” Further, Amazon is “‘not equipped to pass upon the quality of the myriad of products’ available on its Marketplace.” Since Amazon has no role in selecting the goods to be sold, it cannot have an impact on how the third parties manufacture the goods. In this way, Amazon’s Marketplace feature “serves as a sort of newspaper classified ad section, connecting potential consumers with eager sellers in an efficient, modern, streamlined manner.”

The Oberdorf court also recognized that payment processors may have another defense to products liability claims. Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), 47 U.S.C. § 230, protects “interactive computer services” (“ICSs”) from some products liability claims. Specifically, the § 230 immunity shields an ICS, such as Amazon, from claims that seek to hold the ICS liable “as a publisher or speaker of third party content.” The court noted that the strict products liability claim was already disposed of, so there was no need to decide whether Amazon was shielded under § 230 of the CDA. With respect to the negligence claims, however, the court held that the plaintiff attempted to hold Amazon liable for publishing the third-party seller’s product. Amazon was therefore being treated as “the publisher or speaker of . . . information provided by” the third party. The claims of negligence were therefore barred by § 230 of the CDA.

At least one Maryland Court has also ruled on this issue. In McDonald v. LG Electronics USA, Inc., 219 F. Supp. 3d 533 (D. Md. 2016), the court held that a plaintiff’s failure to warn claim sought to hold Amazon liable as a “speaker of third party content.” The plaintiff in McDonald had purchased a battery from a third-party seller who listed the product on Amazon’s website. The plaintiff sued Amazon, among others, when the batteries malfunctioned and injured the plaintiff. The court found the § 230 immunity applied because the third-party seller, not Amazon, posted the description of the batteries on Amazon’s website. The plaintiff’s failure to warn claim, therefore, sought to hold Amazon liable for third-party content, and the court granted Amazon’s motion to dismiss on that issue.

What’s the Bottom Line Here?
As more companies move away from the brick-and-mortar establishment to a greater online sales presence, they should remain mindful that products liability entanglements will follow. Companies with both brick-and-mortar and all-in-one online sales should continue to expect each sale structure to be treated the same from a products liability perspective.

Although payment processors are protected, at least in some instances, from products liability arising from a third party’s conduct, a split exists among the federal courts concerning the application of § 230 immunity to products liability claims. Pennsylvania courts, at least for the time being, do not consider payment processors “sellers” for products liability purposes.

Companies with large logistical networks may consider opening those networks to third-party sellers to increase profits. Although such opportunities may be lucrative, the potential liability for defective products can be significant. One way for expanding logistics companies to mitigate potential products liability risk is to adopt a minimum insurance coverage requirement for third-party sellers. The Litigation, Corporate & Tax, and Intellectual Property attorneys at McNees Wallace & Nurick regularly monitor updates regarding Pennsylvania corporate liability issues and regularly assist companies with identifying potential liabilities.

James J. Franklin is a member in the Litigation, Personal Injury, and Transportation, Distribution & Logistics practice groups at McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC.

* Errin McCaulley was a 2017 summer associate at McNees, and Jo-Anne Thompson is the 2018 winter clerk.


 

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.

© McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
Contact
more
less

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.