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Czuchaj v. Conair Corporation

United States District Court, S.D. California

April 17, 2014

CYNTHIA L. CZUCHAJ, an individual, on behalf of herself and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CONAIR CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.


ROGER T. BENITEZ, District Judge.

Before this Court is a Motion to Dismiss Cynthia L. Czuchaj as a Plaintiff Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 12(b)(1), filed by Defendant Conair Corporation (Conair). (Docket No. 12). Conair asserts that Czuchaj lacks standing to sue under Article III of the United States Constitution.

For the reasons stated below, this Court GRANTS Plaintiff leave to amend, DENIES AS MOOT the Motion to Dismiss on the basis of lack of injury, and DENIES the Motion to Dismiss on the basis of lack of redressibility.


The instant lawsuit was commenced on August 15, 2013. A First Amended Complaint (FAC) was filed on December 17, 2013. (Docket No. 9). The FAC lists four Plaintiffs, or "consumer representatives": Cynthia L. Czuchaj, Angelique Mundy, Barbara McConnell, Patricia Carter (collectively "Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, seek damages and equitable relief for causes of action arising out of alleged defects with Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 Watt hair dryers ("Hair Dryers"). Each Plaintiff alleges that she purchased a Hair Dryer which malfunctioned by emanating flames or ejecting hot coils while being used for the intended purpose of drying hair. Plaintiffs allege that Conair was aware of the defect, but failed to protect consumers by recalling the product or warning consumers of the danger.

Czuhaj is a California resident who purchased her Hair Dryer from a Sam's Club in California in October 2011. (FAC ¶¶ 4, 5). She claims that she recognized Conair as a nationally known brand with a reputation for quality, and purchased this particular model of hair dryer because of Conair's representation that the AC motor is more powerful, provides faster airflow, and lasts up to three times longer than typical DC motor hair dryers. ( Id. ¶ 5). She alleges that she used the Hair Dryer to dry her hair every day, or every other day, for approximately ten months. ( Id. ) On August 14, 2012, while using the Hair Dryer to dry her hair, Plaintiff "was suddenly made aware that flames were emanating from the Hair Dryer." ( Id. ) The FAC states that Czuchaj

has been damaged in that she purchased the Hair Dryer and has lost money she spent purchasing the product while being misled about its stated performance on which she relied and while Conair withheld information solely in its possession regarding the potentially dangerous defect in the product.

( Id. )

The named Plaintiffs seeks to represent a "Nationwide Class" consisting of consumers residing in the United States who purchased a Hair Dryer in the four, six and ten years preceding the filing of the Complaint. ( Id. ¶ 45). In addition and in the alternative, Czuchaj seeks to bring claims on behalf of a class of California consumers, McConnell seeks to assert claims on behalf of a class of Michigan consumers and a class of Ohio consumers, Mundy seeks to assert claims on behalf of Pennsylvania consumers, and Carter seeks to assert claims on behalf of New York consumers. ( Id. ¶¶ 46-50).

Plaintiffs assert fourteen causes of action on behalf of the classes: (1) violations of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq. ; (2) violations of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and/or the substantively identical consumer protection statutes of other states; (3) strict products liability - defective design or manufacture; (4) strict products liability - failure to warn; (5) breach of implied warranty; (6) violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301, et seq. ; (7) violations of the Song-Beverly-Warranty Act, California Civil Code §§ 1792, et seq.; (8) violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law; (9) violations of Michigan's strict products liability law; (10) violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act; (11) breach of implied warranty in tort; (12) violations of the Ohio Product Liability Act; (13) statutory inadequate warning under Ohio law; and (14) violations of New York General Business Law § 349, Deceptive Acts and Practices.

Conair has filed three Rule 12 Motions in response to the FAC. In addition to the instant Rule 12(b)(1) motion, Conair seeks to dismiss certain claims under Rule 12(b)(6) and to strike certain claims pursuant to Rule 12(f). (Docket Nos. 13, 14). These motions will be addressed by separate orders.


A defendant can move a court to dismiss a plaintiff for lack of constitutional standing pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), which authorizes motions for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000).

Rule 12(b)(1) attacks on jurisdiction can be either facial, confining the inquiry to allegations in the complaint, or factual, permitting the court to look beyond the complaint. Savage v. Glendale Union High Sch., Dist. No. 205, Maricopa Cnty., 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing White, 227 F.3d at 1242). Where the moving party brings a factual challenge by presenting affidavits or other evidence properly brought before the court, the party opposing the motion must furnish affidavits or other evidence necessary to ...

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