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Gragg v. Orange Cab Co. Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

February 27, 2014

TORREY GRAGG, Plaintiff,
v.
ORANGE CAB COMPANY, INC., and RIDECHARGE, INC., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

ROBERT S. LASNIK, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on "Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification." Dkt. #59. Plaintiff alleges that he and the other members of the proposed class received a "Dispatch Notification" from defendant Ridecharge, Inc., that violated Washington's Commercial Electronic Mail Act ("CEMA"), RCW § 19.190.010 et seq. [1] The "Dispatch Notifications" were sent whenever a cell phone user attempted to book a cab directly with Orange Cab rather than through RideCharge's booking services. The message plaintiff received, in its entirety, read:

Taxi #850 dispatched @ 05:20. Smart phone? Book our cabs with Taxi Magic-#1 FREE taxi booking app http://cabs.io/29e1b7d

Dkt. #34 at ¶ 6. Plaintiff asserts that the "Dispatch Notifications" were expressly and intentionally targeted at individuals who were not using RideCharge products in order to convert them into RideCharge users. Plaintiff alleges that the notifications are "electronic commercial text messages" prohibited by CEMA (RCW 19.190.060) and seeks to litigate his CEMA claim on behalf of the following class:

All customers of defendant Orange Cab who were sent at least one text message to their cellular telephone number from defendant RideCharge without prior express consent.

Dkt. #59 at 2.

Defendants oppose the request for class certification. Having reviewed the memoranda, declarations, and exhibits submitted by the parties, [2] the Court finds as follows:

PREREQUISITES OF A CLASS

Plaintiff seeks class certification under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. Pursuant to Rule 23(a), members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties if:

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Before certifying a class, the Court must conduct a "rigorous analysis" to determine whether the prerequisites of Rule 23(a) have been satisfied. See General Telephone Co. v. Falcon , 457 U.S. 147, 161 (1982); Wang v. Chinese Daily News, Inc. , 737 F.3d 538, 542-43 (9th Cir. 2013). The touchstones of the analysis are whether the named plaintiff is an appropriate representative of the absent class members whose claims he seeks to litigate and whether the claims of the disparate class members ...


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