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Baird v. Sabre Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 28, 2014

SHAYA BAIRD, Plaintiff,
SABRE INC., et al., Defendants

For Shaya Baird, on behalf of herself and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Brian S Kabateck, Evan M Zucker, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Kenneth K King, Kurt E Kananen, Ronald Allen Hartmann, Hartmann and Kananen, Woodland Hills, CA.

For Sabre Inc, Sabre Holdings Corp, Sabre Travel Information Nework Inc, Sabre Virtually There, Sabremark Limited Partnership, Defendants: Anahit Tagvoryan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Esteban Morales Fabila, DLA Piper LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Joshua M Briones, LEAD ATTORNEY, DLA Piper US, Los Angeles, CA.


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STEPHEN V. WILSON, United States District Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Shaya Baird booked flights online for herself and her family on the Hawaiian Airlines website. A section of the website entitled " Contact Information," provided spaces to enter a number for a mobile phone, home phone, or work phone, stating, " At least one phone number is required." Baird entered her cellphone number. Three weeks later, and about a month before her scheduled departure, defendant Sabre sent a text message to Baird's cellphone. Sabre contracts with Hawaiian Airlines to provide traveler notification services to passengers. The text message invited Baird to reply " yes" to receive flight notification services. Baird did not respond and Sabre sent her no more messages.

Baird then brought this action, alleging that Sabre violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq., (" TCPA" ) by sending her the unsolicited text message. She seeks to represent a class of people who received similar text messages from Sabre.

The TCPA was enacted in 1991 in order to " 'protect the privacy interests of residential telephone subscribers by placing restrictions on unsolicited, automated telephone calls . . . by restricting certain uses of facsimile machines and automatic dialers.'" Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 569 F.3d 946, 954 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting legislative history). Among other things, the TCPA made it unlawful for any person " to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system . . . to any [cellular] telephone number." 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A). A text message is a call within the meaning of the act. Satterfield, 569 F.3d at 952.

Sabre moves for summary judgment on the ground that Baird consented to receive its text message when she made her flight reservation on the Hawaiian Airlines website. Baird's voluntary act of giving Hawaiian Airlines her cellphone number allegedly constitutes the " express consent" required by the TCPA. Baird objects that she did not voluntarily provide her cellphone number. Instead, the Hawaiian Airlines website told her she had to provide a telephone number in order to book her flight. She was not informed or aware that Hawaiian Airlines would consider her act of supplying her cellphone number to constitute consent to receive text messages.[1]

II. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 requires summary judgment for the moving party when the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Tarin v. County of Los Angeles, 123 F.3d 1259, 1263 (9th Cir. 1997).

The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine

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issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). The moving party may satisfy this burden by " 'showing'-- that is, pointing out to the district court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. Once the moving party has met its initial burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and identify specific facts that show a genuine issue for trial. See id. at 323-24; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A scintilla of evidence or evidence that is merely colorable or not significantly probative does not present a genuine issue of material fact. Addisu v. Fred Meyer, 198 F.3d 1130, 1134 (9th Cir. 2000). Only genuine disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under ...

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