PITTSBURGH — Online clothing company LuLaRoe has submitted a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against it after successfully preventing the case from being certified as a class action.
LuLaRoe customer Rachael Webster filed a lawsuit against the clothing company in February, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, accusing the company of knowingly overcharging consumers by charging sales tax even when customers lived in states that did not charge sales tax on clothing.
In an order filed April 18, Judge David Stewart Cercone of the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted LuLaRoe’s motion to deny the plaintiff’s motion for class certification.
On May 1, the company then submitted two further motions, one to dismiss, and the other to strike. The latter concerns the plaintiff’s allegedly vague statement that she “brings this claim under the laws of Pennsylvania, and all similar state laws.”
The motion to strike points out that this wording “renders her claims so vague and ambiguous that LuLaRoe cannot reasonably respond. Indeed, it is unclear under which states and which laws Plaintiff is bringing her claims and LuLaRoe is not required to guess.”
The defendant therefore seeks to have any references to “all similar state laws” stricken or have the plaintiff ordered to clarify the statement by laying out which laws she is alleging the company violated.
LuLaRoe’s primary focus in its filing was its motion to dismiss. The company points out that under Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), “a private plaintiff must allege that he or she justifiably relied on the defendant’s allegedly deceptive or fraudulent conduct, which then caused the plaintiff harm. This reliance requires more than a mere causal connection between the defendant’s conduct and the alleged harm. It requires that the plaintiff purchased the product or services because of the defendant’s allegedly deceptive conduct.”
However the motion continues: “The only alleged deceptive conduct in the Complaint is the act of charging sales tax. Because that is the only purportedly deceptive conduct complained of, the only way in which Plaintiff can adequately allege justifiable reliance is to allege that she purchased the products because LuLaRoe charged sales tax. That is nonsensical.”
LuLaRoe’s motion to dismiss concludes with the assertion that because it would not be possible for the plaintiff to amend her complaint to show the justifiable reliance needed for a UTPCPL claim, the court should dismiss the case without leave to amend.
The class action was filed after LuLaRoe began issuing refunds to those affected.