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Friedman v. Guthy-Renker LLC

United States District Court for the Central District of California

February 27, 2015, Decided; February 27, 2015, Filed

Case No. 2:14-cv-06009-ODW(AGRx)

Opinion

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [36]

I. INTRODUCTION

On November 3, 2014, [*2]  Plaintiffs Amy Friedman, Judi Miller, and Krystal Henry-McArthur filed their First Amended Complaint against Defendant Guthy-Renker LLC ("Guthy-Renker"). (ECF No. 43 ["FAC"].) In their seven-count putative class action complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Guthy-Renker's "WEN Cleansing Conditioner" line of haircare products caused their hair to fall out. Pending before the Court is Guthy-Renker's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 36.) For the reasons discussed below, Guthy-Renker's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.1

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Guthy-Renker is a "direct marketing" corporation with a principal place of business in Santa Monica, California. (FAC ¶¶ 18, 21.) It sells a variety of beauty-related products, to include a line of haircare products called "WEN by Chaz Dean." At issue in this case is the "WEN Cleansing Conditioner" (hereinafter "WEN"). (Id. ¶ 21.) According to Guthy-Renker's website, WEN "is a revolutionary new concept in hair care" and "takes the place of . . . shampoo, conditioner, deep [*3]  conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner." (Id. ¶ 22.) WEN is sold online and over the phone. (Id. ¶ 21.)

Each of the three plaintiffs—Ms. Miller, Ms. Friedman, and Ms. Henry-McArthur—allege that WEN caused their hair to fall out. (Id. ¶¶ 33-38.) Ms. Miller purchased WEN over the phone, while Ms. Friedman and Ms. Henry-McArthur purchased the product through Guthy-Renker's website. (Id.)

Plaintiffs allege that WEN causes significant hair loss as the result of a design and/or manufacturing defect. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint raises seven causes of action: (1) two theories of breach of warranty—implied warranty under Cal. Com. Code § 2314, and express warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ("MMWA"), 15 U.S.C. § 2301; (2) California's Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200; (3) California's False Advertising Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500; (4) common law assumpsit; (5) failure to warn negligence; (6) failure to test negligence; and (7) strict products liability. (Id. ¶¶ 52-108.) Plaintiffs propose a class defined as: "All persons or entities in the United States who purchased WEN Cleansing Conditioner from August 1, 2009 to present." (Id. ¶ 42.)

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2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24307 *; 2015 WL 857800

AMY FRIEDMAN, JUDI MILLER, and KRYSTAL HENRY-MCARTHUR, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. GUTHY-RENKER LLC, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Motion granted by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187572 (C.D. Cal., June 26, 2015)

Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part Friedman v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187555 (C.D. Cal., Aug. 24, 2015)

Motion granted by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63118 (C.D. Cal., May 12, 2016)

Injunction denied by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114934 (C.D. Cal., Aug. 26, 2016)

Motion granted by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131629 (C.D. Cal., Sept. 26, 2016)

Motion granted by, Class certification granted by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149900 (C.D. Cal., Oct. 28, 2016)

Settled by, Costs and fees proceeding at, Motion granted by, Objection overruled by Friedman v. Guthy-Renker, LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220559 (C.D. Cal., Aug. 21, 2017)

CORE TERMS

website, notice, checkbox, arbitration, hyperlink, warranty, consumer, browsewrap, assent, bottom, clicking, screen, card, online, assumpsit, user, clickwrap, placement, customer, prudent, layout, box, advertisements, Conditioner, interactive, labeled, hair