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Yeoman v. Ikea USA West, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

December 4, 2014

REID YEOMAN, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
IKEA U.S.A. WEST, INC., Defendant.

ORDER: (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON PARTIAL FINDINGS FOR DEFENDANT PURSUANT TO RULE 52, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO DECERTIFY THE CLASS (ECF NO. 261); AND (2) SETTING HEARING ON DAMAGES PHASE AS TO PLAINTIFF MEDELLIN

CYNTHIA BASHANT, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On March 2, 2011, Plaintiff Reid Yeoman initiated this action by filing a Complaint in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Diego. The Complaint contained one claim for violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971. On April 6, 2011, the matter was removed to this Court by Defendant Ikea U.S. West, Inc. ("Ikea"). On November 8, 2011, Plaintiff Yeoman filed a First Amended Class Action Complaint which added Plaintiff Rita Medellin ("Plaintiff").

On January 13, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification. The motion was granted on May 4, 2012. Ikea subsequently moved to decertify the class. On February 27, 2013, Ikea's motion to decertify was granted in part. The class definition was modified to read:

The Class consists of all persons from whom Ikea requested and recorded a ZIP Code in conjunction with a credit card transaction in California from February 16, 2010 through February 28, 2011 (the "Class"). Excluded from the Class are (i) transactions wherein personal information was required for a special purpose incidental but related to the individual credit card transaction, including, but not limited to, information relating to shipping, delivery, servicing, or installation of the purchased merchandise, or for special orders; (ii) transactions wherein a credit card issued to a business was used; and (iii) transactions executed at self-checkout kiosks. Also excluded from the Class are the officers and directors of Defendant and of its corporate parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, or any entity in which Defendant has a controlling interest, and the legal representatives, successors or assigns of any such excluded persons or entities, and the Court to which the matter is assigned.

The parties agreed to a bench trial before this Court. On August 18, 2014, the Court granted Ikea's motion in limine to bifurcate the liability phase on Plaintiff's class action claim from the damages phase. The proceedings on the liability phase took place on November 12-13, 2014. The Court heard and weighed the testimony and evidence presented by Plaintiff. Following Plaintiff's presentation of evidence in the liability phase of the trial, Ikea moved for judgment on partial findings pursuant to Rule 52(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or, in the alternative, to decertify the Class. The Court grants in part and denies in part Ikea's motion, finding as follows:

II. FINDINGS OF FACT

A. Rita Medellin

1. On August 22, 2010, Plaintiff made two purchases from Ikea in San Diego. She used her personal Visa credit card for both purchases.

2. After Plaintiff presented her credit card for payment, the cashier asked for her ZIP code. Plaintiff believed the cashier needed the ZIP code for security purposes because she was using a credit card. Therefore, she provided her ZIP code. Plaintiff did not provide her ZIP code for purposes of shipping, delivery, special order, or any other reason other than as a condition for using her credit card.

3. The cashier recorded Plaintiff's ZIP code in Ikea's transaction logs.

4. Other than the recorded ZIP code, Plaintiff remembers little else about her visit to Ikea.

B. The Class

5. During the period from February 16, 2010 to February 28, 2011 (the "Class Period"), Ikea operated eight stores in California. At these stores, Ikea accepted credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, cash, and a store-branded credit card for payment.

6. During the Class Period, at the direction of its Marketing Department, Ikea instituted a process to capture customer ZIP codes from customers in California at the time a customer paid for his or her item. These ZIP codes were recorded in transaction logs that noted the date and amount of the transaction. The transaction logs did not otherwise identify the purchaser. Although the method of payment was noted in the transaction logs, the logs did not distinguish between signature debit cards and credit cards. The logs also did not distinguish between corporate credit cards and consumer credit cards. The logs did not identify whether the ZIP code was also needed for another purpose such as arranging delivery of the merchandise.

7. The transaction logs also noted ZIP codes of customers who came through the self-check kiosks. Customers who went through the self-check kiosks were clearly notified that provision of a ZIP code was voluntary and not required to complete a transaction. There was both a big button and a voice prompt that told ...


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