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Haley v. Macy's, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 7, 2017

KRISTIN HALEY, et al., Plaintiffs,
MACY'S, INC., et al., Defendants.


          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is a motion to dismiss the complaint and a motion to strike filed by Defendants Macy's, Inc., Macy's West Stores, Inc., and Bloomingdale's, Inc. Dkt. No. 41. The Court finds this matter appropriate for disposition without oral argument and the matter is deemed submitted. See Civil L.R. 7-1(b). For the reasons detailed below, the Court GRANTS the motion to dismiss in part and DENIES the motion to strike.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This putative class action arises out of an alleged pricing scheme by Defendants to mislabel their merchandise with false or inflated original or “regular” prices. See Dkt. No. 37 ¶¶ 3-4, 8-11. (“Compl.”). According to Plaintiffs, these original or regular prices did not reflect the price at which Defendants “routinely, if ever” sold their products. Id. ¶ 12. These prices deceive consumers into believing that the listed sale or discount price is more advantageous, causing consumers to purchase merchandise that they otherwise would not purchase. Id. ¶¶ 3, 10- 11.

         Plaintiffs Kristin Haley, Todd Benson, Zoreh Farhang, Job Carder, and Erica Vinci allege that they each purchased at least one item from a Macy's store on or after January 1, 2012. See Compl. ¶¶ 27-33, 38. On the basis of these purchases, they filed a complaint on behalf of a putative class of California consumers against Defendants Macy's Inc. and Bloomingdale's, Inc. alleging violations of the California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), the California False Advertising Law (“FAL”), and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”).


         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must demonstrate “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 plaintiff must provide more than conclusory statements or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” for the court to find a facially plausible claim. Id. at 555. Rather, the complaint must present facts which allow “the reasonable inference” of a defendant's liability for the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court construes factual inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Rule 9(b) imposes a heightened pleading standard for claims that “sound in fraud.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b) (“In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake.”). A plaintiff must identify “the who, what, when, where, and how” of the alleged conduct, so as to provide defendants with sufficient information to defend against the charge. Cooper v. Pickett, 137 F.3d 616, 627 (9th Cir. 1997).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Dismiss

         Plaintiffs' complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to support its three causes of action against Defendants.[1] However, the Court finds it premature to evaluate Plaintiffs' request for restitution.

         1. Bloomingdales and Macy's Inc.

         Plaintiffs do not allege any facts to support a claim against Defendants Bloomingdales or Macy's Inc. Although Plaintiffs point out that Bloomingdales is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Macy's, Inc., see Compl. ¶ 22, there are no allegations that a named Plaintiff purchased anything from a Bloomingdales store. Nor do Plaintiffs allege that Bloomingdales was otherwise responsible for Macy's pricing scheme. See Lowden v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 512 F.3d 1213, 1221 n.1 (9th Cir. 2008) (“In a class action, standing is satisfied if at least one named plaintiff meets the requirements.”). Defendants further state that Macy's, Inc. is merely a holding company that does not sell merchandise or operate any stores. See Dkt. No. 41 at 8 n.6. Plaintiffs do not address these arguments, but concede that they will dismiss their claims against both Bloomingdales and Macy's, Inc. See Dkt. No. 47 at 7 n.7.

         2. Macy's ...

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