United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO.
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge.
before this Court is Defendant Essex Property Trust,
Inc.'s motion to dismiss. See Dkt. No. 43. For
the reasons detailed below, the Court GRANTS the motion to
Angele Giroux alleges that Defendant, her current employer,
experienced a large-scale cybersecurity data breach. Dkt. No.
42 ¶¶ 1-2. As a result of the breach,
cybercriminals accessed personal identifying information -
including full names, social security numbers, 2015
compensation information, and payroll deduction information -
for over 1, 500 of Defendant's current and former
employees. Id. ¶¶ 1-2. Defendant notified
Plaintiff and the other putative class members of the breach
in March 2016. Id. ¶ 5. Plaintiff asserts that
the data breach resulted from Defendant's failure to
implement reasonable security measures to detect and prevent
cyber-attacks. Id. ¶¶ 6-7.
basis of these facts, Plaintiff filed this action against
Defendant under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d)(2), in April 2016. Dkt. No. 1. Rather than
oppose Defendant's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff amended
the complaint on October 4, 2016. Dkt. No. 42
(“FAC”). Plaintiff asserts four claims for relief
on behalf of a putative class comprised of Defendant's
current and former employees: (1) negligence; (2) breach of
an implied contract to safeguard personal identifying
information; (3) invasion of privacy; and (4) declaratory
judgment that Defendant's cybersecurity measures were,
and continue to be, inadequate. Plaintiff seeks actual and
statutory damages as well as injunctive and declaratory
relief. Defendant now brings its second motion to dismiss.
See Dkt. No. 43.
defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for failing to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). “Dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) is appropriate only where the complaint lacks a
cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a
cognizable legal theory.” Mendiondo v. Centinela
Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is facially
plausible when a plaintiff pleads “factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
reviewing the plausibility of a complaint, courts
“accept factual allegations in the complaint as true
and construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire &
Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008).
Nonetheless, Courts do not “accept as true allegations
that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact,
or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis.
Secs. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008).
threshold issue, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed
to allege sufficiently concrete and particularized injury
from the data breach to support Article III standing.
III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the
federal courts to actual “cases” and
“controversies.” U.S. Const., Art. III, § 2.
One element of this case-or-controversy requirement is that
the plaintiff must have standing to bring a claim.
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, __U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 1540,
1547, as revised (May 24, 2016). To establish
Article III standing, a plaintiff must show: (1) she
“suffered an injury in fact”; (2) “that is
fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the
defendant”; and (3) “that is likely to be
redressed by a favorable judicial decision.”
Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547 (citations omitted).
“To establish injury in fact, a plaintiff must show
that he or she suffered ‘an invasion of a legally
protected interest' that is ‘concrete and
particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'” Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1548 (quoting Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife,
504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992)). Allegations of future harm can
establish Article III standing if the harm is
“certainly impending, ” whereas
speculative “allegations of possible future
injury are not sufficient.” Clapper v. Amnesty
Int'l USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 1147 (2013) (quotation
bears the burden of proving that she has standing.
Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547. Critically, in the
context of a putative class action, the Court must assess
whether the named Plaintiff has Article III
standing. Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244, 289
(2003) (“[E]ven named plaintiffs who represent a class
must allege and show that they personally have been injured,
not that injury has been suffered by other, ...