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Dash v. Seagate Technology (US) Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 1, 2015

MATT DASH, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY (US) HOLDINGS, INC., Defendant.

LAW OFFICE OF PAUL C. WHALEN, P.C. Paul C. Whalen, Esq. Attorney for Plaintiff Manhasset, New York.

SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP Eamon P. Joyce, Esq. Elizabeth A. Espinosa, Esq. T. Robert Scarborough, Esq. Elizabeth M. Chiarello, Esq. Attorneys for Defendant New York, New York.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

LEONARD D. WEXLER, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant's second motion to dismiss Plaintiffs putative consumer class action, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). By Memorandum and Order dated June 30, 2014, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant's first motion to dismiss and afforded Plaintiff leave to replead the dismissed fraud claim. On July 30, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint. Defendant now moves to dismiss the repleaded fraud claim. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

Familiarity with the underlying facts of this action is presumed and will only be repeated briefly here. Plaintiff, Matt Dash, is an amateur photographer who takes very high definition photographs, resulting in large computer files. (Am. Compl. ¶ 22.) LaCie S.A. ("LaCie") is a manufacturer of computer hard drives and other devices used to transfer and store electronic data. (Am. Compl. ¶ 36.) Defendant Seagate Technology (US) Holdings, Inc. ("Seagate") is a United States corporation, incorporated in Delaware and based in California, that manufactures and markets computer disk drives.[1] (Am. Compl. ¶ 31.) La Cie is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate. (Am. Compl. ¶ 37.)

On August 2, 2013, Plaintiff purchased a LaCie "Rugged Thunderbolt Series" 1 TB Orange External Hard Drive with a Thunderbolt Interface (the "LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Drive" or the "Drive"). (Am. Compl. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff paid approximately $200 for the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Drive, intending to use it to store large files for his laptop computer, including movie and music files, which can be several gigabytes in size. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 20, 23.) Speed in the transfer of data was the crucial feature in Plaintiffs decision to purchase the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Drive. (Am. Compl. ¶ 26.) In purchasing the Drive, Plaintiff believed that as a result of the Defendant's packaging claims regarding the Thunderbolt interface, he was purchasing the fastest possible external hard drive. (Am. Compl. ¶ 27.)

Despite all of the technological jargon in Plaintiffs Complaint, the crux of this action is that Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and a putative class of consumers who also purchased the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Drive, alleges that the Drive did not transfer data at the rate claimed by Defendant and that Defendant engaged in deceptive conduct in the marketing, advertising and sale of the Drive in order to induce consumers to purchase its product. Plaintiffs Amedned Complaint asserts the following claims: (1) violation of Sections 349 and 350 of the New York General Business Law; and (2) common law fraud.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Facial plausibility" is achieved when the "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly. 550 U.S. at 556). As a general rule, the court is required to accept as true all of the allegations contained in the complaint. See Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678; Kassner v. 2nd Ave. Delicatessen. Inc.. 496 F.3d 229, 237 (2d Cir. 2007).

However, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements... are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678-79 (citation omitted); see also Twombly. 555 U.S. at 555 (stating that the Court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation"). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations, " which state a claim for relief. Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 679. A complaint that "tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement'" will not suffice. Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly. 555 U.S. at 557).

II. Common Law Fraud

To state a claim for common law fraud under New York law, a plaintiff must allege facts showing: "(1) a misrepresentation or a material omission of fact which was false and known to be false by defendant, (2) made for the purpose of inducing the other party to rely upon it, (3) justifiable reliance of the other party on the misrepresentation or material omission, and (4) ...


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