Judge Dismisses Multiple Claims in Sony PSN Class Action Lawsuit

A federal judge has dealt a class action lawsuit filed in early 2012 against Sony several blows that have seriously hindered their plans to take Sony to task for the 2011 security breach on the PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment.

The class action lawsuit filed on behalf of PlayStation Network users sought to punish the company financially for failing to protect the personal data of millions of users that were compromised by hackers in April of 2011 and for the month of downtime the company took to deal with the security issues within its systems. The January 2012 federal class action filed in San Diego claimed that Sony knew or should have known that its system was vulnerable to hackers and that the company did nothing to beef up its safeguards prior to that attack.

Sony moved to dismiss the class action.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia obliged them somewhat last week in a 36-page order that dismissed several claims such as negligence, unjust enrichment, bailment and violations of California consumer protection statutes. First the judge said that Sony did not violate consumer-protection laws "because none of the named plaintiffs subscribed to premium PSN services, and thus received the PSN services free of cost." The judge also ruled that Sony did not misrepresent the quality of its protections on its services because all PSN users signed a Sony Privacy Policy that included "clear admonitory language that Sony's security was not 'perfect,'" therefore "no reasonable consumer could have been deceived."

The claim for restitution was also dismissed with prejudice because Battaglia said that the plaintiffs had already purchased their PS3 consoles when they signed the privacy policy and therefore "reliance on such statements in purchasing their consoles is impossible."

He also tossed out the ailment charge with prejudice because "plaintiffs freely admit, plaintiffs' personal information was stolen as a result of a criminal intrusion of Sony's Network. Plaintiffs do not allege that Sony was in any way involved with the Data Breach." Finally the judge dismissed the unjust enrichment charge.

Judge Battaglia gave the class an option to amend its claims for injunctive relief and violation of consumer protection law.

You can read the order here (Doc).

Source: Courthouse News


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