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Hudock v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 17, 2019

BREANN HUDOCK, IVAN VILLA LARA, EUGENE MANNACIO, and BRIAN FLEISHMAN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
LG ELECTRONICS U.S.A., INC., BEST BUY CO., INC., BEST BUY STORES, L.P., and BESTBUY.COM, LLC, Defendants.

          Alyssa J. Leary and David M. Cialkowski, ZIMMERMAN REED LLP, Hart L. Robinovitch, ZIMMERMAN REED LLP, Daniel C. Hedlund, Raina C. Borrelli, and Brittany N. Resch, GUSTAFSON GLUEK PLLC, and Luke P. Hudock, HUDOCK LAW GROUP, S.C., and Samuel J. Strauss, TURKE & STRAUSS LLP, for plaintiffs.

          Phoebe A. Wilkinson, HOGAN LOVELLS U.S. LLP, Alicia J. Paller and Peter H. Walsh, HOGAN LOVELLS U.S. LLP, and Robert B. Wolinsky, HOGAN LOVELLS U.S. LLP, for defendants.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS CONSOLIDATED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE

         This case arises from Plaintiffs' purchases of LG-brand televisions advertised to have higher refresh rates than they actually did. The present case is a consolidation of two purported class action cases: the Hudock Case (Civil No. 16-1220) and the Villa Lara Case (Civil No. 17-5222). Plaintiffs filed these purported class actions against LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. (“LG”) and Best Buy Co., Inc., Best Buy Stores, L.P., and BestBuy.com, LLC (collectively “Best Buy”).

         The Court has before it Defendants' fourth motion to dismiss filed in these two cases (the “Motion”). The Motion consists mainly of arguments that the Court ruled on in deciding the earlier motions to dismiss. Consistent with the Court's prior opinions, the Court will grant the Motion in part and deny it in part.

         BACKGROUND

         I. THE HUDOCK CASE

         The Court described the relevant factual background of the Hudock Case in its March 2017 Order. See Hudock v. LG Elecs. U.S.A., Inc. (“Hudock I”), No. CV 16-1220 (JRT/FLN), 2017 WL 1157098, at *1 (D. Minn. Mar. 27, 2017). In sum, Breann and Benjamin Hudock (Wisconsin residents) alleged that they purchased an LG television advertised to have a refresh rate of 120Hz when its actual refresh rate was 60Hz. Id.

         On May 9, 2016, the Hudocks filed a purported class action against LG and Best Buy. Id. They alleged eight claims: (1) violation of Minnesota's Consumer Fraud Act (“MCFA”), Minn. Stat. § 325F.68, et seq.; (2) violation of Minnesota's Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“MDTPA”), Minn. Stat. § 325D.43, et seq.; (3) violation of Minnesota's Unlawful Trade Practices Act (“MUTPA”), Minn. Stat. § 325D.13; (4) violation of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 54:8-1, et seq.; (5) unjust enrichment; (6) breach of express warranty; (7) breach of implied warranty; and (8) breach of contract. Id.

         Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Id. The Court dismissed the breach of contract claim against LG with prejudice. Id. at *10. It also found that Plaintiffs were limited to injunctive relief under the MDTPA. Id. at * 7. Finally, the Court dismissed the NJCFA claim without prejudice. Id.

         The Hudocks-attempting to cure the NJCFA deficiencies-filed an amended complaint and added a new plaintiff, Gerold DeLoss. Hudock v. LG Elecs. U.S.A., Inc. (“Hudock II”), No. CV 16-1220 (JRT/FLN), 2018 WL 626527, at *1-*2 (D. Minn. Jan. 30, 2018). Defendants brought a renewed motion to dismiss the amended complaint, which the Court ultimately denied. Id.

         II. THE VILLA LARA CASE

         The Court described the relevant factual background of the Villa Lara Case in its August 2018 Order. Villa Lara v. LG Elecs. U.S.A., Inc., No. CV 17-5222 (JRT/KMM), 2018 WL 3748177, at *1 (D. Minn. Aug. 7, 2018). In sum, Villa Lara (a California resident) purchased an LG television advertised as having a 120Hz refresh rate when its actual refresh rate was 60Hz. Id.

         Villa Lara filed a putative class action, asserting ten claims: (1) violation of the MCFA; (2) violation of the MDTPA; (3) violation of the MUTPA; (4) violation of the NJCFA; (5) violation of the California Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”); (6) violation of the California Unfair Competition Law (“CUCL”); (7) breach of express warranty; (8) breach of implied warranty; (9) breach of contract; and (10) unjust enrichment. Id.

         Defendants moved to dismiss. Id. at *2. The Court granted the motion as to Villa Lara's fraud-based claims and as to the MDTPA claim except to the extent it sought injunctive relief. Id. at *7.

         III. THE CONSOLIDATED CASE

         In February of this year, Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint, which consolidated the Hudock Case and the Villa Lara Case. (Consolidated Compl., Feb. 7, 2019, Docket No. 148.) The Consolidated Complaint also added two class representatives: Scott Poppen (an Illinois resident) and Eugene Mannacio (a California resident), and new claims under the Illinois ...


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