United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
MARY L. JOHNSON, a Washington resident, Plaintiff,
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC., TWENTIETH-CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT LLC., MGM HOLDINGS INC., and TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC., Delaware corporations, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the real ‘James Bond' please stand
up?” This case hinges on which films should and
should not be included in DVD and Blu-ray box-sets of
“all” James Bond films. This matter comes before
the Court on Defendants Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(“MGM”) Studios Inc., Twentieth-Century Fox Home
Entertainment LLC., MGM Holdings Inc. (“MGM
Holdings”), and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.'s
Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. #17. Specifically,
Defendants request dismissal of Plaintiff's three claims:
violation of the Washington State's Consumer Protection
Act (“WCPA”), RCW § 19.86.090, breach of
express warranty, and breach of implied warranty of
merchantability. Dkt. #1-2 at ¶¶ 80, 82, and 88.
Defendants also move to dismiss all claims against corporate
parents MGM Holdings and Twenty-First Century Fox. In the
alternative, Defendants move to strike class allegations.
Plaintiff Mary L. Johnson opposes Defendants' Motion,
arguing that she has alleged facts sufficient for the Court
to find Defendants violated the WCPA, and breached an express
warranty and implied warranty of merchantability. Dkt. #27.
time, the Court will Live and Let Die: For the reasons
set forth below, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART
March 17, 2016, Plaintiff, Mary L. Johnson, filed suit
against Defendants, MGM Studios Inc. and Twentieth-Century
Fox Home Entertainment LLC., and their respective corporate
parents MGM Holdings and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., in
King County Superior Court. Dkt. #1-2. Plaintiff is a
Washington State resident. Id. at ¶ 2. All four
Defendants are incorporated in Delaware with principal places
of business in California. Id. at ¶ 48.
alleges Defendants falsely represent their James Bond DVD and
Blu-ray box-sets, advertising their inclusion of
“all” James Bond movies. Id. at ¶
35. Plaintiff claims two James Bond movies were omitted from
Defendants' box-sets, and brought this class action on
behalf of consumers in multiple states who were similarly
misled. Dkt. #1-2 at 2-3. This case was removed to the United
States District Court for the Western District of Washington
on April 7, 2017. Dkt. #1.
MGM acquired the video rights to all James Bond films
produced by Eon Productions, a company based in the United
Kingdom. Dkt. #1-2 at ¶¶ 14, 19. In 1997, Defendant
MGM acquired the rights to the 1967 film Casino
Royale and 1983 film Never Say Never Again.
Id. at 2. Eon Productions did not produce these two
films. Both Casino Royale and Never Say Never
Again were excluded from the Defendants' box-sets.
Twentieth Century Fox distributes movies in DVD and Blu-ray
formats. Id. at ¶ 16. Since 1999, Defendants
MGM and Twentieth Century Fox have maintained video
distribution agreements. Id. at ¶ 17. Pursuant
to these agreements, Twentieth Century Fox handles all
marketing and distribution of James Bond DVDs and Blu-rays
for MGM. Id.
2012 to 2016, Defendants released three James Bond DVD and
Blu-ray box-sets for sale. Id. at 2. In 2012,
Defendants released a DVD box-set entitled Bond 50,
Celebrating Five Decades of Bond 007, including 22 films
produced by Eon Productions. Id. at ¶ 23. In
2015, Defendants released another DVD box-set, entitled
The Ultimate James Bond Collection, including 23
films. Id. at ¶ 26-27. Finally, in 2016,
Defendants released a Blu-ray box-set, entitled The James
Bond Collection, also including 23 films. Id.
at ¶ 29. The box-sets' packaging include MGM and
Twentieth Century Fox trademarks, and a small-print list of
included films. The box-sets' packaging does not note the
existence or omission of Casino Royale and Never
Say Never Again. Id. at ¶ 34.
maintains video rights to EON Production films, as well as
Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again.
Id. at ¶ 40. However, only the EON films were
included in the box-sets. Id. The Blu-ray
Collector's Edition of Casino Royale contains
both Defendants MGM and Twentieth Century Fox trademarks.
Id. at ¶ 46. The Blu-ray Collector's
Edition of Never Say Never Again only features
Defendant Twentieth Century Fox's trademark. Id.
at ¶ 43.
three box-sets and two Blu-rays are sold individually at
“brick and mortar” stores and on Amazon.com
(“Amazon”). Id. at ¶¶ 50, 52.
Additionally, MGM's website offers sales through Amazon.
Id. at ¶ 57. In February 2016, Plaintiff
purchased one of the box-sets from Amazon for $106.44.
Id. at ¶ 49. Plaintiff claims Amazon
“served as intermediary in the transaction between
Plaintiff and Defendants, ” and Amazon
“reproduce[d] Defendants' false and misleading
representations that the box-sets contain ‘all' of
the James Bond movies.” Id. at ¶ 51. At
the time Plaintiff filed her complaint, Amazon sold
Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again for
$29.99 and $39.38, respectively. Id. at ¶ 58.
contends she purchased a box-set, relying on its claim to
contain “[a]ll the Bond films, ” and she would
not have purchased a box-set if she knew it excluded
Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again.
Id. at ¶ 54. Nor would she have purchased the
box-set at the price she paid. Id. Plaintiff claims
by excluding these two films Defendants misled her and
engaged in “unfair and deceptive business practices,
” resulting in her loss of money. Id. at
¶ 51. To complete her collection of James Bond films,
Plaintiff would need to spend an additional $69.37 plus tax
and shipping. Id. at ¶ 59. Plaintiff claims
Defendants knew or should have known that purchasers would
rely on packaging statements and expect the box-sets included
all the James Bond films. Id. at ¶ 62.
March 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed her Complaint, seeking money
damages from past and future profits obtained from Defendants
alleged deception and unjust enrichment. Id. at
¶ 63-64. Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's
claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
making a Rule 12(b)(6) assessment, the Court accepts all
facts alleged in the complaint as true, and makes all
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Baker v. Riverside County Office of Educ.,
584 F.3d 821, 824 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal citations
omitted). However, the Court is not required to accept as
true a “legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). The Complaint “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id.
at 678. This requirement is met when the plaintiff
“pleads factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. The Complaint must
have “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Absent facial
plausibility, Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed.
Id. at 570.
complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim,
“leave to amend should be granted unless the court
determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with
the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the
deficiency.” Schreiber ...