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Bruce v. Teleflora, LLC

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 19, 2013

MONICA BRUCE and DONNA STUBBS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
TELEFLORA, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING TELEFLORA'S MOTION TO DISMISS [25] AND DENYING MOTION TO STRIKE [25]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant Teleflora, LLC moves to dismiss claims one and two of Plaintiffs' First Amended Class-Action Complaint ("FAC") under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) because Plaintiffs Monica Bruce and Donna Stubbs, out-of-state residents, cannot extraterritorially apply California's consumer-protection laws. (ECF No. 25.) Teleflora also moves to strike portions of the FAC pertaining to California's consumer-protection laws; products not purchased by Plaintiffs; advertisements not seen or relied upon by Plaintiffs; and late delivery. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Teleflora's Motion to Dismiss and DENIES Teleflora's Motion to Strike.[1]

II. BACKGROUND

Monica Bruce and Donna Stubbs, residents of Texas and Kansas respectively, purchased floral arrangements from Teleflora. (FAC ¶¶ 13, 14, 44-45, 51-52.) Teleflora is not a florist, nor does it hold any flowers in inventory. (FAC ¶ 21.) Instead, Teleflora maintains a network of more than 18, 000 local florists to fill customers' orders. (FAC ¶¶ 21, 26.) Customers purchase floral arrangements through Teleflora by visiting www.Teleflora.com, selecting products for purchase, inputting specific delivery dates, and paying Teleflora with their credit cards. (FAC ¶¶ 22-23.) Teleflora's website provides an extensive photo gallery of all the floral arrangements for sale. (FAC ¶ 22.) Alongside each color photo, Teleflora describes the specific flowers, vase, and other items used in the arrangement. ( See Walker-Roletter Decl. Ex. A.)

Although Teleflora is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, it markets and sells floral products to consumers throughout the United States via its member-florist network, various websites, advertisements, and toll-free phone numbers. (FAC ¶¶ 15-16, 21.) Plaintiffs state that Teleflora's marketing and sales decisions regarding its floral arrangements are made, managed, and emanate from its California headquarters. (FAC ¶ 16.)

Bruce purchased two floral arrangements after relying on corresponding photographs and descriptions on Teleflora's website. (FAC ¶¶ 44-45.) On December 21, 2012 she bought a Sunny Smiles arrangement, which was delivered to her cousin in Virginia. (FAC ¶ 44.) On December 26, 2012, Bruce purchased a Jumping for Joy arrangement for her mother. (FAC ¶ 45.) Bruce's mother received this arrangement in Florida. ( Id. ) Shortly thereafter, Bruce's cousin sent her a card thanking her for the flowers and a picture of the actual arrangement she received. (FAC ¶ 46, Ex. 4.) Bruce's mother also showed Bruce pictures of the Jumping for Joy arrangement. (FAC ¶ 47, Ex. 6.) Upon viewing these photographs, Bruce was "extremely disappointed" that both arrangements were "far different from and inferior to" the representative photographs and descriptions on Teleflora's website. (FAC ¶¶ 46, 47.) When Bruce complained to Teleflora about the inferior arrangements, she received a 30%-off coupon that she deemed worthless. (FAC ¶¶ 48-49.) Teleflora did not refund her purchases. (FAC ¶ 49.)

In August 2011, Stubbs ordered two Rosy Birthday Presents, with balloons and chocolates, from Teleflora's website. (FAC ¶ 51.) On her purchase order, Stubbs requested that the arrangements be delivered to her relatives on their birthdays, September 1, 2011, and September 8, 2011. ( Id. ) In May 2012, Stubbs ordered an Always a Lady arrangement, with a balloon and chocolates, to be delivered to her sister on May 13, 2012. (FAC ¶ 52.) None of the three arrangements were delivered. (FAC ¶¶ 51, 52.) Stubbs complained about the non-delivery of her orders but never received a refund from Teleflora. (FAC ¶ 53.)

Plaintiffs' FAC seeks damages on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, who have purchased Teleflora's floral arrangements from May 8, 2009, to the present, and (1) received inferior or different floral arrangements than what they ordered, or (2) did not receive floral arrangements on the scheduled delivery dates or at all. (FAC ¶ 55.)

The FAC raises five claims, each centered on Teleflora's marketing and sales conduct, or its failure to timely deliver floral arrangements. These claims are as follows:

• violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code sections 1770(a)(5), (7), (9) ("CLRA") (Claim 1);
• violation of California Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions Code section 17200 ("UCL") (Claim 2);
• breach of express contract (Claims 3, 4);
• breach of express warranty ...

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