Stearns v. Ticketmaster Corp.

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-22-2011
  • Case #: 08-56065
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fernandez for the Court, Circuit Judges Rymer and Tallman
  • Full Text Opinion

When money is withdrawn from a person’s account every month without ever getting notice, they have suffered an injury in fact and may be certified as a class. To be a class representative, you must have actually suffered an actual injury by the unlawful practice.

The Entertainment Rewards program, an online coupon program, is linked to the Ticketmaster website. Entertainment Publications LLC (EPI) runs this program. Once customers click on the advertisement for the program, they enter their email address and confirm their enrollment. This enrollment includes credit or debit card information stored on the Tickemaster website transferring to EPI automatically, without any communication between EPI or Ticketmaster or the customer. Once a thirty-day trial period passes, the customer is billed automatically each month. A group of persons sought class certification for action against Ticketmaster and EPI. The Court affirmed that John Mancini and Duke Sanders should not be class representatives because they either did not accidentally click “Yes,” which is typical of the proposed class or had not seen the site, program or signed up for it, respectively. The Court further found that each alleged class individual did suffer injury in fact because they were relieved of money and it can be directly traced to EPI and Ticketmaster. The Court remanded to have the class certification question re-examined under an accurate reading of the California Unfair Competition Law. Consumer Legal Remedies Actions are different than an Unfair Competition claims and require each class member to have an actual injury caused by the unlawful practice. The Court affirmed the Stearns, Mancini and EFTA actual damage claims by Mancini. The dismissal of the Johnson action is reversed. Myers was found to have given sufficient notice because all the required steps were expressed to inform and put EPI and Ticketmaster on notice. The denial for class certification is reversed. AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED

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