A California federal judge last week granted preliminary approval to a $1 million class action settlement between Louis Vuitton North America Inc. and a class of consumers who accused the company of secretly recording their personal information from credit card payments at their retail stores, in violation of the law.
U.S. District Court Judge William Q. Hayes approved the class action settlement on August 15, which will divide the $1 million among Class Members who file legitimate claims. They will receive a voucher for use in California Louis Vuitton retail stores. Under the terms of the class action settlement, the representative plaintiffs will receive about $5,000 each.
According to the Louis Vuitton class action settlement, the vouchers “can only be used towards a future purchase of Louis Vuitton goods at a Louis Vuitton retail store.” While Judge Hayes believes that the class action settlement is fair, he has some concerns “regarding the actual value of the merchandise certificates and the impact of the merchandise certificates on the attorneys’ fee award,” he said.
In May 2011, plaintiff Deanna Morey filed the class action lawsuit against Louis Vuitton, claiming that the retail chain violated the California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act when it recorded customer’s personal information when they paid with a credit card. She alleges that the retailer entered customer information at the point-of-sale. This information included phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, and other information that is not needed to complete a credit card transaction.
According to court documents, the potential class included more than 343,000 customers. The Class Members claim that they paid with a credit card at a Louis Vuitton store in California between May 20, 2010 and January 28, 2013.
While Morey initially filed the class action lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court, Louis Vuitton sought to have the case removed to federal court because the lawsuit involved more than $5 million in controversy. According to the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, each violation can result in a $1,000 fine from the court.
Louis Vuitton argued that there were at least 5,000 credit card payments during the proposed class period. U.S. District Judge M. James Lorenz remanded the Louis Vuitton class action lawsuit back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy did not exceed $5 million. Upon appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Louis Vuitton and sent the case to the federal court in December 2011.
The judge has scheduled a fairness hearing on December 12, 2013 to make a final determination about whether the class action settlement will be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate.
Details on how to file a claim for the Louis Vuitton Class Action Lawsuit Settlement were not immediately available. Keep checking Top Class Actions or sign up for our free weekly newsletter below to receive settlement updates.
Morey is represented by the Patterson Law Group and Gene J. Stonebarger of Stonebarger Law.
The case is Deanna Morey v. Louis Vuitton North America, Case No. 3:11-cv-01517, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
UPDATE 1: Details on how to file a claim for the Louis Vuitton Class Action Lawsuit Settlement are up!
UPDATE 2: A federal judge granted final approval to the Louis Vuitton class action settlement on Jan. 9, 2014. A total of 23,876 Merchandise Certificates worth $41 will be mailed to Class Members who filed valid claims sometime in the spring of 2014.
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