June 22, 2016
Partner Jeff Jacobson was quoted in the Law360 article, “Symantec Ruling Raises Bar For Consumer Fraud Claims,” regarding a recent ruling from the Ninth Circuit. The court dismissed consumer class action against Symantec that alleged the company committed fraud by hiding an anti-virus software defect. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling demonstrates that plaintiffs who file suits for deceptive advertising must prove that companies made false representations in violation of California’s Business and Professions Code Section 17200 with specific advertisements. Mr. Jacobson pointed out that the ruling has significant implications on the California Tobacco II cases. In a dispute over advertising campaigns targeted to adolescents, the California Supreme Court held a ruling that it is unreasonable to expect plaintiffs to allege individualized reliance on specific misrepresentations when a marketing campaign is particularly extensive and pervasive.
"Any crack in Tobacco II's end-around to specific reliance is welcome," said Mr. Jacobson. "Here, the district court told the plaintiff that if she wanted to rely on the Tobacco II exception, she must explain in detail the 'long-term advertising campaign' supposedly at issue and how she was misled by it. She couldn't do that, and the Ninth Circuit's affirming dismissal on that basis is newsworthy."
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