HSN asks why it's being sued if woman bought My Little Steamer at Bed, Bath and Beyond

By Charmaine Little | May 22, 2018

SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – Companies associated with the My Little Steamer product allege an amended complaint over the product's alleged defects is “fatally defective” and requested the court reject it with prejudice.

HSN Inc. and Ingenious Designs LLC (IDL) filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff Barbara Seldin’s first amended class action complaint (FAC) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Feb. 26.

As Legal Newsline previously reported, Sedin filed a class action lawsuit in October over claims the My Little Steamer product she purchased gushed out hot water and steam when she plugged it in. She alleged the product did not work as advertised.

The defendants stated the FAC is not sufficient to meet regulations in Rules 9(b) and 12(b)(6) as the plaintiff bought the My Little Steamer item she alleges is unsafe from Bed, Bath and Beyond, not the defendants.

"It is equally important to recognize that Plaintiff fails to allege that she saw or heard any advertisement or representation Defendants may have made regarding the product in question," the motion says.

"Accordingly, Plaintiff cannot allege she relied on Defendants’ representations, let alone any purported omission in such representations. This is critical in that Plaintiff cannot credibly argue that had additional information been provided, she would have acted differently."

Considering this, the defendants point out the plaintiff does not make a viable claim through the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The regulation states one cannot use the act to prove their case unless the defendant was the seller or the manufacturer of the item in question.

They also stated Seldin’s lawsuit does not meet the requirement to provide “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,’” when it comes to Rule 12(b)(6).

As for the Rule 9(b), the defendants stated the plaintiff’s claim concerning fraud allegations is not specific enough, as the regulation says the plaintiff should provide, “the time, place and specific content of the false representations as well as the identities of the parties to the misrepresentation,” the motion states.

They also point out Seldin never mentioned she saw the product being advertised on either of the defendants’ platforms, so she cannot depend on their representation concerning the product. The defendants add the plaintiff failed to prove it was their responsibility to warn her about the possible defects of the steamer.

The defendants state the plaintiff does not provide practical claims via the California Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL).

Under the CLRA and the UCL, the plaintiff has the responsibility to state she depended on the defendants’ alleged misrepresentation when she purchased the product. She is also obliged to provide evidence the defendants had the responsibility to disclose the notion she claims they did not provide concerning the product being unsafe.

The motion states, “A plaintiff must allege the existence of a design defect, the existence of an unreasonable safety hazard, a causal connection between the alleged defect and the alleged safety hazard, and the manufacturer knew of the defect at the time the sale was made.”

The defendants point out the plaintiff failed to provide evidence the product was not safe.

They add the plaintiff’s FAC is unreliable as she does not state the part each defendant had in the alleged fraudulent act. The plaintiff instead allegedly made a blanket distinction that said both defendants were aware the My Little Steamer product was not safe.

When it comes to the FAL regulations, the defendants state in California, an FAL claim cannot stand on the ground of an alleged omission.

Lastly, the defendants stated the plaintiff lacks standing and the court lacks personal jurisdiction on the matter, and requested it be dismissed with prejudice.

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Organizations in this Story

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc HSN Inc U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

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