District Court denies class status in lawsuit against Best Buy

By Charmaine Little | May 7, 2018

SACRAMENTO — A California man failed to show the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of California that his lawsuit against Best Buy met the requirements for a class certification, according to an April 26 opinion.

The court denied Chad Herron’s amended motion for class certification and Best Buy’s motion to exclude or strike as debatable.

Herron filed a fifth amended complaint (FAC) with claims that Best Buy violated California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (on behalf of a Toshiba product subclass) and that Best Buy violated California’s Unfair Competition law for the class. 

Herron filed the complaint after he purchased a Toshiba laptop at the electronics franchise that promised “up to 3.32” hours of battery life. He said in his complaint that his laptop has not been able to maintain that much power close to the 3.32 hours.

Herron and others in the class alleged they paid more for new laptops than they should have due to the advertised battery life.

The court ruled that the plaintiff proved the rights to a class action lawsuit through one part of a rule but did not meet the requirements of another part of it. The District Court wrote that Herron and his fellow class action members only asked for damages related to the “overstated” life of the battery. The plaintiff had the responsibility to prove the price premium in relation to Best Buy’s “use of the allegedly misleading battery-life representations on laptop fact tags,” according to the lawsuit.

An expert in the lawsuit argued that if the battery life of the laptop were to increase, the price of the laptop should increase. Still, the court stated the plaintiff couldn’t clarify the relative price increase argument.

The District Court also pointed out using a different tag for the laptop would cause a decline in the market price. The court denied the plaintiff’s request as he could not provide a damages model that is directly connected to liability, which did not meet the requirements the rule.

As a result, the court found it didn’t need to address Best Buy’s motion to strike and denied it.

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