Judge Young denies motion to dismiss Redbox class action

Amelia Flood Jun. 9, 2010, 10:19am



A nationwide class action suit over late fees charged by DVD rental kiosk operator Redbox will continue.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young denied a motion by Redbox to dismiss the suit filed by lead plaintiff Laurie Piechur last year.

The class has yet to be certified and could include claims from class members in states from California to Wisconsin.

Piechur claims the company is guilty of unjust enrichment and violates state consumer fraud statutes by charging a $1 late fee for every day a DVD is not returned to its kiosks.

The charge kicks in after a set time a day after a DVD is rented.

Piechur's suit seeks damages in excess of $350,000 and attorney's fees.

Young also denied a summary judgment move filed by Piechur that would have applied Illinois law to the case, calling it premature as discovery has just begun in the suit.

Young signed the order May 27.

He gave both parties until July 16 to respond to certain discovery requests.

The order also gave Redbox until the same date to answer the plaintiff's current complaint.

Redbox had moved to dismiss the suit in March, arguing that its fees were spelled out for potential renters and that Piechur and others could not claim to have been unaware of them.

In the motion for partial summary judgment, the plaintiff contended that Illinois law should apply to the suit because it is spelled out in Redbox's own terms of use.

In its response, Redbox contended the partial summary judgment could not be heard until discovery had commenced in the case.

Redbox had previously taken the case to federal court.

The federal court remanded it back to St. Clair County in February.

Eric Brandfonbrener, Jonathan Buck and Robert Sprague represent

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

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

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