Sony Class Action Has A Few Lives Left; Most of Plaintiffs’ Claims Dismissed But Certain Consumer Claims Remain

On January 21, 2014, U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia issued a 97 page orderthat dismissed the majority of the claims in a putative class action against various Sony entities, claims relating to the 2011 hack into the computer network system that Sony used to provide online gaming and Internet connectivity through PSP handhelds and PS3 game consoles.

According to Judge Battaglia, “The fifty-one claims alleged in the FACC can be categorized into nine sub-groups: (1) negligence; (2) negligent misrepresentation; (3) breach of express warranty; (4) breach of implied warranty; (5) unjust enrichment; (6) violation of state consumer protection statutes; (7) violation of the California Database Breach Act; (8) violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act; and (9) partial performance/breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

Interestingly, the judge denied a Clapper motion to dismiss for lack of standing, finding that “Plaintiffs’ allegations that their Personal Information was collected by Sony and then wrongfully disclosed as a result of the intrusion sufficient to establish Article III standing at this stage in the proceedings.”

But the judge also declined to link Sony’s delay in notifying them of the breach to their alleged harm, stating:  “even though the Court finds Plaintiffs may have alleged a brief delay in the time period between the intrusion and when Sony notified consumers of the intrusion, the Court finds Plaintiffs have failed to allege that their injuries—credit monitoring services, loss of use and value of the PSN, loss of use and value of Third Party Services, and/or a diminution in value of their Consoles—were proximately caused by Sony’s alleged untimely delay.”


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