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Falkenberg v. Alere Home Monitoring, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

October 7, 2014

JOHN FALKENBERG, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
ALERE HOME MONITORING, INC., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE; SETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE RE: ECF NOS. 16 & 18

JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

Before the Court are motions by Defendant Alere Home Monitoring, Inc. ("Alere") to dismiss, and to strike portions of, a proposed class action complaint filed by Plaintiffs John Falkenberg and Steven Ingargiola ("Plaintiffs"). ECF Nos. 16 & 18.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The Court accepts the following allegations from the complaint as true for the purpose of resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Cahill v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. , 80 F.3d 336, 337-38 (9th Cir. 1996).

Alere assists physicians in tracking the medical care provided to patients who live at home with medical conditions that require significant home monitoring. Class Action Complaint ("Complaint"), ECF No. 1, at ¶ 2. As a result, Alere collects and stores confidential personal medical information ("CPMI") from those patients. Id . Plaintiffs allege that they provided Alere with their names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and medical conditions. Id., at ¶ 4.

On September 23, 2012, an Alere employee left her company laptop in a vehicle in Fremont, California. The vehicle was broken into and the laptop was stolen. ECF No. 19-3.[1] Plaintiffs allege that the stolen laptop contained the CPMI of 116, 000 patients. Complaint, at ¶ 6. In addition, Plaintiffs allege that the laptop was secured by a login password and the CPMI was not encrypted. Id . On November 20, 2012, Alere informed Plaintiffs that the laptop stolen on September 23, 2012 contained their CPMI. ECF No. 19-1.

B. Procedural History

Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and also propose to represent a class comprising "[a]ll persons whose confidential personal and medical information was contained on the laptop stolen from an Alere employee's vehicle in September, 2012, " although excluding "Defendant, any entity in which any Defendant has a controlling interest, Defendant's officers, directors, agents, employees and legal representatives, the Court and Court personnel." Complaint, at ¶ 31. In the Complaint, Plaintiffs bring six causes of action: violation of the CMIA, negligence, "money had and received & unjust enrichment, " willful violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq, negligent violation of the FCRA, and violation of California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, et seq. Complaint, at ¶¶ 35-84.

After Defendant filed the instant motions to dismiss, Defendant advised the Court that the California Court of Appeal was considering appeals in two very similar CMIA cases. The Court stayed this action until those opinions issued, and the parties have now filed supplemental briefs addressing the effect of those decisions. ECF Nos. 43 & 44.

C. Jurisdiction

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), subject-matter jurisdiction is proper because at least one class member is of diverse citizenship from the Defendant; there are more than 100 proposed class members nationwide; and the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5, 000, 000. The Court also has subject-matter jurisdiction over the FCRA claim because it arises under federal law. 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS

A. Legal Standard

On a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts the material facts alleged in the complaint, together with all reasonable inferences to be drawn from those facts, as true. Navarro v. Block , 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). However, "the tenet that a court must accept a complaint's allegations as true is inapplicable to threadbare recitals of a cause of action's elements, supported by mere conclusory statements." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To be entitled to the presumption of truth, a complaint's allegations "must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to ...


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