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Tax Law

California’s Ninth Circuit Says Deprivation of $3.76 is Enough for Standing

The Ninth Circuit concluded that a plaintiff had standing to continue her lawsuit against a clothing company alleging that the company wrongly failed to pay interest on refunded Alaska sales taxes. After a related lawsuit was filed alleging that sales taxes were incorrectly collected, LuLaRoe, Inc. refunded the plaintiff $531.25 in sales tax charges. The company did not pay interest on the refunded sales taxes. Plaintiff brought a putative class action in federal district court alleging that the failure to pay interest was unlawful and the district court dismissed the case, concluding that the $3.76 in estimated interest charges was insufficient to establish an injury in fact. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the loss of the $531.25 in sales tax, although temporary, was sufficient to show that the plaintiff suffered a cognizable and concrete injury. The court relied on Habitat Education Center v. U.S. Forest Services,¹ which held that “[e]very day that a sum of money is wrongfully withheld, its rightful owner loses the time value of the money.”

Katie Van v. LLR, Inc., DBA LuLaRoe; LuLaRoe, LLC, Case No. 19-35242 (9th Cir. June 24, 2020).


¹607 F.3d 453, 457 (7th Cir. 2010).