Legal Newsline

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Saks wants proposed class action over return policy dismissed

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Feb 26, 2015


LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - Saks Fifth Avenue wants a proposed class action filed over its return policy tossed, arguing that the named plaintiff has failed to show she’s sustained any damages.

The upmarket department store chain filed its motion to dismiss in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Feb. 6.


In December, Jennifer Shaouli filed a proposed class action against Saks over allegations that the retailer violated the state’s False Advertising Act and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, or CLRA.


Shaouli said she bought a pair of shoes at the Saks store at 9600 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 18, 2014.


The next month, Shaouli allegedly received a letter from Saks stating that any purchases she made after Feb. 25, 2014 at the store would not be accepted for returns, exchanges, credits or refunds. She also was allegedly told she could no longer shop at, and future transactions in Saks stores also could be restricted.


She claims no signs or language were posted in the store making her aware of Saks return policy, which states it can decline requests to return, exchange, credit or refund merchandise if the customer had a high return rate or unreasonable return pattern.


The store policy also states it can suspend a customer’s ability to make purchases online, as well as refuse future transactions in stores.


Shaouli sued, seeking full restitution.


But lawyers for the retailer argue that Shaouli hasn’t established she’s sustained any damages and that she’s failed to allege Saks refused any attempt by her to return merchandise.


In addition, the retailer contends the plaintiff has failed to mitigate her damages.


“Plaintiff acknowledges that when she violated Defendant’s existing return policy by returning $149,245 of merchandise purchased from Defendant over a 12-month period, Defendant sent her letters explaining that she had violated Defendant’s established return policy and gave her two-weeks advance notice that it would restrict her ability to return merchandise purchased in the future,” lawyers for Saks wrote in the 15-page motion. “At no time before, during or after that two-week warning period did Plaintiff ever attempt to return any outstanding unreturned merchandise, and Defendant never refused to accept any returns from Plaintiff.


“Her failure to mitigate bars any damages she seeks on her Unfair Competition Law, CLRA and negligent misrepresentation claims.”


Shaouli’s complaint also fails to allege that Saks violated any of the CLRA provisions at issue, based on their plain meaning, Saks argues.


“There is no violation unless Defendant made representations or advertisements regarding goods and services themselves (not regarding any transaction for the goods or services),” lawyers for the retailer wrote.


Saks argues that Shaouli lacks standing because she has been “fully aware” of the retailer’s return policy for nearly a year.


Saks is represented by David E. Fink and Ken D. Kronstadt of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s Los Angeles office. Shaouli is represented by Beverly Hills attorney Paul L. Mankin IV.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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