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Buckley v. Align Technology, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

July 31, 2014

SUSAN BUCKLEY, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,


EDWARD J. DAVILA, District Judge.

Plaintiff Susan Buckley ("Plaintiff"), an individual, brings this class action against Defendant Align Technology Inc. ("Align") alleging that Align has engaged in fraudulent misrepresentation regarding the Invisalign system, deceiving customers into believing that it can treat malocclusions. Plaintiff's alleged basis for federal jurisdiction is 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Dkt. No. 15. The Court found this matter suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and previously vacated the hearing. Having fully reviewed the parties' papers, and for the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.


a. Parties and Factual Background

Align is a Delaware corporation that "designs, manufactures, markets and sells the Invisalign system... as well as 3D digital scanning products and services for orthodontic and restorative dentistry worldwide." First Am. Compl. ("FAC") ¶ 7, Docket Item No. 14. Align's Invisalign system "consists of a series of doctor-prescribed, custom manufactured, thin, clear plastic removable orthodontic appliances (aligners) that move that patient's teeth in small increments from their original state to a more optimal treated state." Id . Ex. A. Since 1999, more than 1.5 million patients in over forty-five countries have used the Invisalign system. Id . ¶ 7.

Plaintiff asserts that on December 28, 2008, she began using Invisalign aligners to treat her malocclusions.[1] Id . ¶ 6. Plaintiff purchased the Invisalign product after her dentist took dental impressions of her teeth pursuant to Align's instructions and sent them to be evaluated by Invisalign employees. Id . ¶ 20. She wore the aligners as directed through November 2010, at which point she discovered that the Invisalign product was not treating her malocclusions. Id . ¶ 6. In October 2011, Plaintiff underwent dental treatment to correct dental issues that the Invisalign system failed to treat. Id.

Plaintiff alleges that Align misled her and other consumers similarly situated to believe that the Invisalign aligners could improve malocclusions. Id . Plaintiff claims that Align's misrepresentations are publicized in advertising and product packaging. Id . ¶ 14. As an example, Plaintiff points to Align's website, which claims:

From mild cases of crooked teeth and protruding teeth, to much more difficult dental problems involving serious malocclusion, overbite, or underbite, Invisalign[] effectively corrects a wide variety of dental problems. Whether your teeth are widely gapped, overly crowded or somewhere in between, Invisalign has an affordable teeth straightening option for you.

Id. ¶ 15 (citing Invisalign's Treatable Cases, (last visited July 31, 2014)). Plaintiff alleges that class members later learn, after relying on false advertising by Align, that they need other dentistry procedures to treat their malocclusions. Id . ¶ 22. Accordingly, Plaintiff alleges that she and class members would not have purchased Align's Invisalign system had they known the aligners were not capable of treating their malocclusions. Id . ¶ 23.

b. Procedural Background

On June 19, 2013, Plaintiff filed a class action complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. See Compl., Docket Item No. 1. Plaintiff then amended the Complaint as of right, filing the FAC on September 18, 2013. In the FAC, Plaintiff modified the date on which she began the Invisalign treatment, from October 2011 to December 2008. See Dkt. No. 14. Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of herself and a class of similarly situated individuals defined in the FAC as "all persons in California, who within the relevant statute of limitation period, purchased the Invisalign[] system... to treat malocclusions." Id . ¶ 25. Plaintiff's claims are as follows: (1) violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; (2) unjust enrichment; (3) money had and received; (4) breach of express warranty; (5) breach of implied warranty of merchantability; (6) breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; (7) violation of California's unfair competition law; (8) violation of California's False Advertising Law; (9) violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act; and (10) negligent misrepresentation. See Dkt. No. 14. Align filed the instant Motion to Dismiss on October 4, 2013. See Dkt. No. 15.


Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint may be dismissed if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Navarro v. Block , 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). Dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) may be based on either (1) the "lack of a cognizable legal theory, " or (2) "the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory." Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't , 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires a plaintiff to plead each claim in the complaint with sufficient specificity to "give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson , 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). In considering whether the complaint is sufficient to state a claim, the court must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The court must also construe the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Love v. United States , 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1990). While intricate detailed factual allegation are not ...

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