L.S. v. Webloyalty.Com, Inc., 032020 FED2, 18-3639

Docket Nº:18-3639
Opinion Judge:DENNIS JACOBS, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
Party Name:L.S., Appellant, v. Webloyalty.com, Inc., GameStop Corporation, Defendants-Appellees, Amazon.Com, Inc., Visa Inc., Defendants.
Attorney:DAVID C. KATZ, WeissLaw LLP, New York, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant L.S. MARK C. FLEMING, (John J. Butts, Timothy J. Perla, Jessica R. Lisak, Paloma Naderi, on the brief), Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, for Defendants-Appellees Webloyalty.com, Inc. and GameStop Corporation.
Judge Panel:Before: JACOBS, CARNEY, PARK, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 20, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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L.S., Appellant,

v.

Webloyalty.com, Inc., GameStop Corporation, Defendants-Appellees,

Amazon.Com, Inc., Visa Inc., Defendants.

No. 18-3639

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

March 20, 2020

Argued: December 2, 2019

In this putative consumer class action, plaintiff L.S. appeals from the dismissal on summary judgment of his claim under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act ("EFTA") alleging that defendant Webloyalty.com, Inc. ("Webloyalty") failed to provide L.S. with a copy of the written authorization he gave online for recurring monthly charges to his debit card. We agree with the district court that Webloyalty satisfied its obligation under EFTA by providing L.S. with an email containing the relevant terms and conditions of that authorization. On a separate claim arising under state law, the district court erroneously dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Therefore, we AFFIRM in part and in part VACATE and REMAND.

DAVID C. KATZ, WeissLaw LLP, New York, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant L.S.

MARK C. FLEMING, (John J. Butts, Timothy J. Perla, Jessica R. Lisak, Paloma Naderi, on the brief), Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, for Defendants-Appellees Webloyalty.com, Inc. and GameStop Corporation.

Before: JACOBS, CARNEY, PARK, Circuit Judges.

DENNIS JACOBS, CIRCUIT JUDGE:

In this putative consumer class action, plaintiff L.S. appeals from a grant of summary judgment in the District Court for the District of Connecticut (Haight, J.) dismissing claims against Webloyalty.com, Inc. ("Webloyalty") and Gamestop Corporation ("Gamestop," and together with Webloyalty, "Defendants") under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA") and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act ("EFTA"). The parties agree that the district court improperly dismissed L.S.'s CUTPA claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Therefore, the only contested issue is whether the district court properly granted summary judgment on L.S.'s EFTA claim against Webloyalty.

L.S. contends that Webloyalty failed to provide him with a "copy" of his authorization of recurring monthly charges to his bank account in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1693e(a). Webloyalty argues that it satisfied EFTA's "copy of such authorization" requirement by sending a confirmation email containing the material terms and conditions of the authorized electronic fund transfers. Because we agree with the district court that L.S.'s cramped interpretation of EFTA is inconsistent with the common-sense meaning, context, and statutory purpose of the "copy" requirement, we hold that: (1) EFTA did not require Webloyalty to provide L.S. with a duplicate of the webpage on which he provided authorization for recurring fund transfers; and (2) Webloyalty's email to L.S. was sufficient.

Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Webloyalty on L.S.'s EFTA claim. Because the district court improperly dismissed L.S.'s CUTPA claims against Defendants for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, we VACATE the judgment of dismissal, and REMAND for further proceedings.

BACKGROUND

This is L.S.'s second appeal in this case. See L.S. v. Webloyalty.com, Inc., 673 Fed.Appx. 100 (2d Cir. 2016) ("Webloyalty I"). Our prior summary order included a summary of the essential facts underlying L.S.'s putative consumer class action and we reproduce that text here (lightly revised): The case turns on a single transaction in which L.S., a minor, was allegedly deceived into enrolling in a fee-based monthly discount club operated by Webloyalty. In late 2009, he purchased a video game from the website GameStop.com. In the course of executing his purchase, L.S. alleges that he unwittingly registered for Webloyalty's "Shopper Discounts" program by entering his personal information on a webpage integrated into the GameStop check-out process. The Webloyalty enrollment page (the "Enrollment Page") advertised a $20 GameStop coupon, included references to GameStop throughout its description of Webloyalty's membership program, and required him to enter the last four digits of his debit card number and to enter and verify his email address. He apparently did so, and GameStop thereafter transferred appellant's full billing information on to Webloyalty.

After a thirty-day "free trial" period elapsed, Webloyalty debited the first of what would be several $12 monthly membership fees from appellant's account. "Shopper Discounts" was noted as the payee.

These debits continued through August 2010, when appellant filed this suit.

Webloyalty I, 673 Fed.Appx. at 103. L.S.'s lawsuit alleged: (1) fraud (against Webloyalty and Gamestop); (2) unfair or deceptive trade practices in violation of CUTPA (against Webloyalty, Gamestop and Visa); and (3) violations of EFTA (against Webloyalty and Visa). Id.

Defendants moved to dismiss all claims against them, and the district court granted the motion in full. On appeal, this Court affirmed the dismissal of L.S.'s fraud claims but remanded in part for further proceedings on certain CUTPA and EFTA claims. Id. at 107. L.S.'s complaint had alleged two EFTA claims against Webloyalty, which were treated differently. We ruled that the EFTA claim alleging that Webloyalty received unauthorized electronic fund transfers in violation of 15 U.S.C. §...

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