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Hiam v., Inc.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

July 27, 2017, Decided; July 27, 2017, Filed





Peter Hiam ("Hiam") and Brooke Hutchens ("Hutchens") (collectively, the "Plaintiffs") sued, Inc. ("HomeAway") under Massachusetts and Colorado consumer protection laws, as well as common law aiding and abetting fraud, in connection with vacation rentals posted on HomeAway's website. HomeAway moved for summary judgment, asserting protections for "interactive computer service" providers under the Communications Decency Act ("CDA"). For the reasons stated below, this Court GRANTS HomeAway's motion for summary judgment.

A. Procedural History

On February 19, 2016, Hiam sued HomeAway. Compl., ECF No. 1. Hiam amended his complaint twice. Second Am. Compl. ("SAC"), ECF No. 31. On December 14, 2016, the Court added Hutchens as a party to the action. HomeAway answered, asserting the affirmative defense that the CDA bars the Plaintiffs' claims. Answer Second Am. Compl. 20, ECF No. 33. On February 1, 2017, [**2]  HomeAway moved for summary judgment, Def., Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 38, and the parties submitted briefs and supporting statements of facts. Mem. Law Supp., Inc.'s Mot. Summ. J. ("Def.'s Mem."), ECF No. 39;, Inc.'s Statement Undisputed Material Facts Supp. Mot. Summ. J. ("Def.'s Facts"), ECF No. 40; Pls.' Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ("Pls.' Opp'n"), ECF No. 45; Pls.' Statement Undisputed Facts Opp'n Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ("Pls.' Facts"), ECF No. 46; Reply Mem. Law Supp. HomeAway's Mot. Summ. J. ("Def.'s Reply"), ECF No. 56; Pls.' Surreply Def.'s Reply Mem. Re Summ. J. ("Pls.' Surreply"),  [*343]  ECF No. 60. After an oral hearing, the Court took the motion under advisement, Electronic Clerk's Notes, ECF No. 64, and the parties filed post-argument briefs, Pls.' Post-Arg. Mem. Re Summ. J., ECF No. 66; Reply Mem. Law Supp. HomeAway's Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 69.

B. Facts Alleged

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267 F. Supp. 3d 338 *; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117850 **


Subsequent History: Affirmed by Hiam v., Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9161 (1st Cir. Mass., Apr. 12, 2018)


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Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Legal Entitlement, Burdens of Proof, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Business & Corporate Compliance, Computer & Internet Law, Content Regulation, Communications Decency Act, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Federal Preemption, Computer & Internet Law, Internet Business, Internet & Online Services, Service Providers, Judgments, Partial Summary Judgment, Motions for Summary Judgment, Written Motions, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, State Regulation, Evidentiary Considerations, Absence of Essential Element, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Evidentiary Considerations, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Express Warranties, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Contracts Law, Contract Interpretation, Torts, Procedural Matters, Multiple Defendants, Concerted Action, Fraud & Misrepresentation, Actual Fraud, Elements, Business Torts, Unfair Business Practices, Procedural Matters, Preliminary Considerations, Equity, Adequate Remedy at Law, Remedies, Equitable Relief, Quantum Meruit