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Arabian v. Sony Electronics Inc.

September 13, 2007

THEODORE ARABIAN, MARTIN SAUER, EKREM SARAC, STEVE VARADI, AND DAVID JOHNSON, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES INDIVIDUALLY AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, (DOC. # 92 & 101) PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SONY ELECTRONICS INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matters before the Court are the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant in its "Brief Concerning Proceedings after Denial of Plaintiffs' Class Certification Motion" (Doc. # 92), and Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendant's Reply (Doc. # 101).

I. Background

On September 8, 2005, Plaintiffs*fn1 filed this action for monetary damages and injunctive relief against Defendant Sony Electronics, Inc. ("Sony") on behalf of (1) "[a] nationwide Class of all persons in the United States who purchased Sony Vaio GRX laptops"; and (2) "[a] Class of all persons in the United States and Canada who purchased Sony Vaio FX laptops."

(Compl. ¶ 18.)

Plaintiffs' Complaint alleges that "Sony has marketed, advertised, sold, and serviced its Sony Vaio GRX and FX series laptop/notebook computers . . . through the use of misleading information concerning the memory capacity of the machines." (Id. ¶ 2.) Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the Sony Vaio GRX and FX series computers are normally sold with either 128 or 256 megabytes ("MB") but include the specific feature that the memory is expandable to 512 MB of RAM, configured over two memory slots. (Id. ¶ 29.) Plaintiffs allege that the second memory slot of these computers contain a manufacturing defect which can result in the computer being unable to read the second slot's available memory, thus making half of the advertised memory capacity of 512 MB of RAM unavailable to the user. (Id. ¶¶ 29-33.) Based upon these allegations, Plaintiffs make a number of claims against Sony pursuant to California statutes. (Id. ¶ 7.)

On July 3, 2006, this Court stayed the portion of the action dealing with the GRX series of laptop computers because of the pendency of a state court proceeding, Hapner v. Sony Electronics, Inc., Cause No. GIC839244 (Superior Court of San Diego County, California), where a class had been certified with respect to the alleged GRX series memory-slot defect.*fn2 (Doc. # 38.) As the Hapner action did not involve the FX series computers, this action was not stayed as to the FX series.

On July 31, 2006, Plaintiffs David Johnson and Ekrem Sarac filed a Motion for Certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, asking this Court to certify this action to proceed as a class action on behalf of all persons in the United States and Canada who purchased Sony Vaio FX series laptop computers.*fn3 On February 22, 2007, the Court issued an Order denying the Motion for Class Certification. (Doc. # 86.) The Court concluded that Plaintiffs Johnson and Sarac each failed to satisfy the typicality requirement of Rule 23(a) because they were each subject to unique defenses. (Doc. # 86 at 7-9.) The Court also concluded that Plaintiffs failed to satisfy the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b) with respect to the proposed class of FX purchasers. (Doc. # 86 at 12-19.) No appeal was filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f).

On March 23, 2007, the Court conducted a status conference, and ordered the parties to file briefs regarding how this case should proceed in light of the Court's February 22, 2007 Order denying the Motion for Class Certification. (Doc. # 90.)

On May 11, 2007, Plaintiffs filed a brief stating in part:

Plaintiff Johnson has determined to proceed with the litigation on an individual basis (reserving his rights to appeal the decision on class certification with respect to himself at the end of the litigation). The parties have tentatively resolved the claims of plaintiff Ekrem Sarac and, upon such final resolution, Mr. Sarac will be dismissing his individual claims and will not be appealing from the ruling of the Court denying his motion to certify him as class representative. (Doc. # 91 at 1.)

On May 11, 2007, Sony filed a brief confirming that the parties had "tentatively agreed on a settlement which would include a dismissal of Mr. Sarac's claims." (Doc. # 92 at 3.) Sony moved for an order dismissing Johnson's claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. (Doc. # 92 at 3-4.)

On May 14, 2007, this Court set a briefing schedule on Sony's motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 94.) After Plaintiffs filed an opposition brief (Doc. # 95), and Sony filed a reply brief (Doc. # 96), Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Strike Sony's reply brief on the grounds that Sony included arguments and authority not included in Sony's motion to dismiss (Doc. # 101). In the Motion to ...


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