Redbox moves to dismiss class action suit

Amelia Flood Mar. 30, 2010, 9:19am


The owner of DVD rental kiosks commonly found in supermarkets is moving to dismiss a woman's class action suit.

Redbox filed its move to dismiss the St. Clair county class action suit March 18.

A response from lead plaintiff Laurie Piechur does not appear in the case file.

Piechur proposes to lead a nationwide class against Redbox, alleging the company charges inappropriate late fees.

Redbox had taken the case to federal court just a month after the suit's October 2009 filing.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois remanded the case to St. Clair County Feb. 24.

A move to have that decision overturned failed, according to the company's March 18 motion to dismiss.

Piechur filed suit against Redbox on claims that the company breached a contract with her, that it violates the state's Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and it is guilty of unjust enrichment and other claims.

Piechur alleges that the $1 charge per day after a DVD is not returned to a Redbox kiosk is unfair. That charge tops out at $25 per DVD.

The suit is seeking a judgment of more than $350,000 and attorney's fees.

In the March 18 filing, Redbox dismisses the suit for allegedly failing to state a claim.

The motion argues that Piechur and class members knew exactly what terms they were agreeing to when they rented DVDs from the company.

"Thus, according to her own factual allegations, Plaintiff rented DVDs from Redbox, either chose to keep them or failed to return them within 25 days, and was charged according to the terms of the agreement she entered into with Redbox at the time of the rental," the motion reads.

The company argues that Piechur does not expressly say how she would have acted differently and that she does not establish any of the causes that would carry the other claims in her suit.

"The Complaint does not allege that Plaintiff did not know the rental terms at the time she rented DVDs from Redbox," the motion reads. "The Complaint does not establish in what ways the fees are oppressive, against public policy, or subsequently injurious to consumers."

There is no indication as yet in the case file as to when Redbox's motion to dismiss will be heard by presiding judge Patrick Young.

Redbox withdrew a move to stay proceedings in the case March 18 as well. Young granted that request.

The suit finds Robert Sprague – generally a plaintiff's attorney – at the defense table with Eric Brandfonbrener of Chicago.

Piechur and the proposed class are represented by Thomas Maag,
Thomas Keefe Jr., Jeffrey Millar and others.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-562.

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