LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A San Diego man's putative class action lawsuit against an outlet store is in a lull with a six-month-old motion to dismiss still on the table and the defendant's attorneys having changed law firms.
There have been few developments in Timur Safransky's case filed last September in U.S. District Court for California's Southern District against Fossil Group Inc. and Fossil Stores since February. Safransky alleges in his California False Advertising Law case that Fossil uses fraudulent false reference pricing, a scheme to fool consumers into thinking they are getting a discount.
The case stems from Safransky's purchase of bag at a Fossil outlet store for 40 percent off with an additional 20 percent off the listed price. He alleges the bag never sold at the referenced prices.
"Although he paid far less than the listed price, he now claims to be injured because the bag allegedly never sold for that 'Reference Price,' either at Fossil’s outlet or at its mainline retail (non-outlet) stores," the memorandum in support of Fossil's motion to dismiss said. "He claims that the reference price is a fictitious 'original' or 'former' price, which Fossil lists in order to create a false impression of large savings."
Safransky is seeking restitution and disgorgement, an order that would force Fossil to engage in a corrective advertising, legal fees, interest and any other relief as the court deems just. Safransky is being represented by Encino attorney Zev B. Zysman.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Anello.
The support for the October defendant's motion to dismiss was filed Nov. 6 by Fossil attorneys Stephanie Sheridan, Anthony Anscombe and Meegan Brooks, then with Sedgwick in San Francisco. It is not clear what bearing the 85-year-old law firm's dissolution, announced a few weeks after the motion was filed and finalized in January, is having on the case. Sedgwick Chair Michael Healy, Partner Wayne Wolff and Associate Emily Weissenberger joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon in San Francisco.
Sheridan and Anscombe are now partners and Brooks is an associate with Steptoe & Johnson in San Francisco. Sheridan filed a change of address notice with the court on Jan. 5.
In the 33-page memorandum in support for the October motion to dismiss, Fossil said Safransky's first amended complaint "makes much ado about nothing" and that he "does not, and cannot, plausibly allege that he or reasonable consumers interpreted the phrase 'Like Style' to mean a former price, or that Fossil has said or done anything to cause customers to draw such an inference."
A hearing on Fossil's motion to dismiss had been scheduled for Jan. 22 but the court announced on Jan. 8 that, after Fossil withdrew its request for oral argument, that the matter was suitable for determination on the papers and removed the hearing from its calendar.
On Feb. 14, Safransky's counsel filed notice of supplemental authority in opposition to Fossil's motion to dismiss and 12 days later Fossil filed a notice of recent authority in reference to its motion.