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Desoer v. Capital One Financial Corp.

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

August 29, 2019


          Jeffrey A. Ware, FENWICK & WEST LLP Attorneys for Amazon Web Services, Inc.

          Steven A. Miller, Daniel J. Oates, Kellen A. Hade, MILLER NASH GRAHAM & DUNN LLP Attorneys for Capital One Financial Corporation.

          Amanda M. Steiner, TERRELL MARSHALL LAW GROUP PLLC, Laurence D. King, (admitted pro hac vice) Matthew George, (admitted pro hac vice) Mario M. Choi, (admitted pro hac vice) KAPLAN FOX & KILSHEIMER LLP Marc A. Wites, (admitted pro hac vice) WITES LAW FIRM Attorneys for Plaintiff and the proposed Class and Subclass.


          Michelle L. Peterson United States Magistrate Judge.


         Pursuant to LCR 7(d)(1) and LCR 10(g), the parties hereby request that the Court stay all proceedings and deadlines in this action pending resolution of the motions for transfer and consolidation under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 that are currently pending before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”). The JPML will hear oral argument on the Section 1407 motions on September 26, 2019, and Defendants Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“Amazon”) and Capital One Financial Corporation (“Capital One”) anticipate an order regarding transfer and consolidation of this case and other related cases to be issued shortly thereafter. Counsel for Plaintiff has advised that Plaintiff agrees to the requested stay.

         This case is one of over 50 putative class actions filed in connection with the cyber incident that Capital One announced on July 29, 2019. Plaintiff filed the Complaint in this case on August 5, 2019; Amazon was served on August 7, 2019; and Amazon's deadline to answer or respond to the Complaint is currently August 28, 2019.

         On July 31, 2019, plaintiffs in a related case pending in this District, Fadullon v. Capital One Financial Corporation, et al., No. 2:19-cv-01189 (W.D. Wash., filed July 30, 2019), filed a motion for consolidation and transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 with the JPML in In re Capital One Consumer Data Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2915 (J.P.M.L. July 31, 2019) (“In re Capital One”). See In re Capital One, Dkt. No. 1. That motion seeks to have related actions arising out of the Capital One cyber incident, including this case, consolidated with the Fadullon case and transferred to this District for pretrial proceedings. Subsequently, plaintiffs in other related cases have filed briefs in the In re Capital One matter that support transfer and consolidation, but seek other transferee courts, including the Eastern District of Virginia, the District for the District of Columbia, and the Northern District of California. Numerous notices of related actions have also been filed in In re Capital One, and additional related cases continue to be filed and are in the process of being noticed to the JPML as potential tag-along actions.

         Given that over 50 putative class actions have been filed, all related to the same underlying event and asserting the same or substantially similar factual allegations, the JPML is highly likely to grant the motions for transfer and consolidation. If it does, to conserve the parties' resources and promote judicial economy, this case will be consolidated with the other putative class actions for centralized pretrial proceedings in a single transferee court. Under these circumstances, “[c]ourts frequently grant stays pending a decision by the MDL Panel regarding whether to transfer a case.” Good v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 5 F.Supp.2d 804, 809 (N.D. Cal. 1998); see Short v. Hyundai Motor Am. Inc., No. C19-0318JLR, 2019 WL 3067251 (W.D. Wash. July 12, 2019) (granting stay pending JPML's resolution of Section 1407 motion); Gonzalez v. Merck & Co., No. CV-07-3034-LRS, 2007 WL 2220286, at *2 (E.D. Wash. Aug. 2, 2007) (granting defendant's motion to stay pending transfer decision and noting that “well settled case law . . . dictates a stay should be granted to promote judicial economy”); Rivers v. Walt Disney Co., 980 F.Supp. 1358, 1362 (C.D. Cal. 1997) (granting stay pending JPML's ruling because “a majority of courts have concluded that it is often appropriate to stay preliminary pretrial proceedings while a motion to transfer and consolidate is pending with the MDL Panel”); Bonefant v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 07-60301-CIV, 2007 WL 2409980, at * 1 (S.D. Fla. July 31, 2007) (“[I]t is common practice for courts to stay an action pending a transfer decision by the JPML.”). In fact, Capital One has already successfully moved to stay over 20 cases related to the cyber incident. See, e.g., Heath, et al. v. Capital One Financial Corp., et al., 3:19-cv-555-JAG, Dkt. No. 14 (E.D. Va. Aug. 16, 2019) (order staying nine related cases pending decision from the JPML); Hilker v. Capital One Financial Corp., et al., No. 1:19-cv-995-RDA-JFA Dkt. No. 15 (E.D. Va. Aug. 16, 2019) (order staying related case pending decision from the JPML); Francis v. Capital One Financial Corp., No. 8:19-cv-1898 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 21, 2019), ECF No. 11 (same); Berger v. Capital One Financial Corp., No. 1:19-cv-2298 (D.D.C. Aug. 22, 2019) (same). Motions to stay are currently pending in other cases, and Capital One-along with AWS in the cases where it is named as a defendant- will continue to seek stays in additional related cases.

         Here, too, a short stay of proceedings until the JPML resolves the pending Section 1407 motions will promote judicial economy and sound judicial administration, avoid duplicative pretrial proceedings and potentially inconsistent pretrial rulings, and prevent prejudice to all parties. The stipulated stay is not intended to prevent this District Court from relating or coordinating this action with other related matters filed in this District of its own volition during the pendency of the JPML proceedings.


         ORDER GRANTING ...

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