Arroyo v. TP-Link USA Corporation (N.D. Cal.) presents a varied opinion on the viability of class claims under California law, particularly as brought by a non-California class representative. Plaintiff, a Florida resident, alleged that defendants made false and misleading statements about the speed and capabilities of their network adapters. Plaintiff brought claims on behalf of a putative class under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq.), Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. Code § 17200 et seq.), and False Advertising Law (Cal. Bus. Code § 17500 et seq.), and alleged fraudulent inducement, breach of express warranties (Cal. Comm. Code § 2313 et seq.), and unjust enrichment. In granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss, the court first discussed whether plaintiff could assert California’s consumer protection laws even though he was a Florida resident and purchased the network adapters in Florida. The court found that California’s laws could apply owing to sufficient contacts with California: defendants’ principal place of business was California, the false advertising emanated from California, and a “large portion of the class members are expected to reside in California due to California’s large population and Defendants’ business presence in that state.” Once plaintiff met his burden of proof that application of California law would not offend due process, the burden shifted to defendant to show that the court should apply the consumer protection laws of Florida. The court thus acknowledged defendants’ argument that the consumer protection laws of Florida should apply in place of California’s, but found that defendants had failed to prove this argument by engaging in the requisite three-part conflict of laws analysis under the governmental interest test.

The court did, however, grant defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s allegations as to products he did not purchase and plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief. Plaintiff only had standing to assert claims as to non-purchased products, the court reasoned, if he detailed why the products were substantially similar to those actually purchased. This he failed to do, providing only a cursory footnote on the similarities. Plaintiff’s claim for injunctive relief also failed because he was unable to credibly state he would purchase the product in future – such a statement being at odds with his theory of liability.

Arroyo v. TP-Link USA Corporation, No. 5:14-cv-04999, 2015 WL 5698752  (N.D. Cal. Sep. 29, 2015).