Law School Case Brief
Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc. - No. SACV 12-812-JLS (RNBx), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192636 (C.D. Cal. June 16, 2015)
A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.
Plaintiff Khoa Nguyen saw an internet advertisement for "16 GB HP TouchPad Tablets" being sold for $101.95 on Defendant Barnes & Noble, Inc.'s website. This tablet ordinarily retailed for $399. Nguyen ordered the Tablet from defendant. After 15 hours from ordering the Tablet, plaintiff received an email from defendant informing him that his order was cancelled. Nguyen alleges that because he believed the purchase was complete and Barnes & Noble allowed 15 hours to elapse before cancelling the order, he was "unable to obtain an HP Tablet during the liquidation period for the discounted price." He alleged that had he "known that Barnes & Noble would not honor the purchase he had made, he would have taken steps to purchase his TouchPads from another source during the fire sale period. Nguyan filed several complaints against defendant for (a) breach of contract and (b) false advsertising claims. Defendant moved that the complaint be dismissed for failing to state a claim.
Should plaintiff’s complaint be dismissed for failure to state a claim?
(a) Barnes & Noble's display of "HP TouchPad Tablet with 16GB Memory" for "$101.95 Online Price" was clear and definite as to the item in question and price at which it was to be sold. The formation of a contract is determined by the parties' objective manifestations of intent. The Court finds Barnes & Noble's online display of the tablets constituted an offer Nguyen could and did accept by placing his order; (b) Nguyen alleges that Barnes & Noble: "advertised that it had available HP TouchPad Tablets for sale with no ability to provide the reasonably anticipated demand of units to its customers" "failed to take measures to manage and track its inventory of TouchPads, failed to disclose its limited supply of TouchPads to Class members, and falsely represented having available TouchPads in stock"; "continued to advertise that it had available HP TouchPad Tablets for sale for hours or days after it no longer had any TouchPads Units possession and had no ability or intention to provide additional TouchPads to those it was advertising"; and "collected personal contact and billing information of thousands of consumers through improper means.” These factual allegations do not necessarily sound in fraud; even Nguyen's allegation that Barnes & Noble "falsely represented having available TouchPads in stock" need not carry with it that Barnes & Noble intended to defraud purchasers to be actionable.
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