Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Legal Insight for the Retail and Consumer Products Industry

Jennifer S. Romano

Jennifer S. Romano

Jennifer S. Romano has a national litigation practice representing big box and specialty retailers against consumer class actions and in disputes with landlords relating to co-tenancy provisions, CAM charges, maintenance obligations and property damage. Jennifer is a frequent contributor to National Retail Tenants Association publications and presenter at NRTA conferences. She is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Los Angeles office.

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Data Breach Class Action Against Barnes & Noble Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Posted in Consumer Class Action, Privacy & Data Protection
On September 3, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a class action complaint against Barnes & Noble seeking damages based on a data security incident, finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the claims. This decision reaffirms that retailers may be able to avoid damages for data breaches… Continue Reading

Allegation of Data Breach Alone Insufficient to Sustain Claims Based on Inadequate Cybersecurity Under California Law

Posted in Consumer Class Action, Privacy & Data Protection
On March 6, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that a putative class of LinkedIn premium users lacked standing to pursue state law unfair competition, breach of contract, and negligence claims resulting from a hacking incident. The court dismissed the complaint, concluding that the plaintiffs failed to establish… Continue Reading

Federal Court Rules Printing Only a Credit Card’s Expiration Month on a Receipt Violates Federal Law

Posted in Consumer Class Action, Privacy & Data Protection
On January 24, 2012, the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit ruled that printing just the month of a credit card’s expiration date on a customer receipt violates the federal Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). This is the first federal appeals court to address this issue and confirms that retailers… Continue Reading

Recovery Opportunities for Retailers

Posted in Antitrust & Claims Recovery
On May 5th, Crowell & Moring’s Retail Law partnered with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) to host the first webcast of a 3-part retail law series: “Recovery Opportunities for Retailers: Turning A Retail Law Department Into A Profit Center in Retail Leasing, Global Sourcing and Antitrust Litigation.” The webcast was moderated by the chair… Continue Reading

Retailers May Be Overcharged for Electricity in Violation of Their Leases

Posted in Real Estate
Under many retail leases, the tenant is required to pay the landlord for electricity used to operate the retail store. Lease provisions regarding electricity charges are often complex or unclear, and provisions regarding how to allocate electricity use to each tenant and what rates to charge vary substantially. Often, retailers are charged for more electricity… Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Retailers Can Require Individual Arbitration of Customer Claims

Posted in Consumer Class Action
This year, the United States Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a retailer can protect itself against class action lawsuits by including a single claim arbitration provision in its contracts with customers. At issue before the United States Supreme Court is the case of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The question to be decided is… Continue Reading

Co-Tenancy Disputes With Landlords Are Decided Based on the Plain Language of the Lease

Posted in Real Estate
As shopping center occupancy rates have decreased, enforcing co-tenancy rights has taken center stage for retailers. The key to enforcing rights under a co-tenancy provision is to rely on the plain language of the lease. For example, in the past year, courts in Michigan and Georgia have ruled in favor of Rainbow, USA in co-tenancy… Continue Reading

CO-TENANCY RIGHTS CAN SHAVE COSTS

Posted in Real Estate
In this troubled economy, co-tenancy provisions are playing a critical role in retail leases. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that retail tenants with co-tenancy rights in their leases are “eking out critical savings” to counter the drop in sales.[1] Vendors are offering services that track store closings at shopping centers for purposes of co-tenancy… Continue Reading

Tenant Entitled to Claim Constructive Eviction Despite No Breach Statement in Estoppel Certificate and “Hell or High Water” Clause

Posted in Real Estate
Case: Reliastar Life Insurance Co. of NY v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., 570 F.3d 513 (7th Cir. 2009) (applying New York law) The One Sentence Summary: A federal court applying New York law holds that a tenant’s execution of an estoppel certificate creates no warranties about present or future conditions not known by the tenant… Continue Reading

The Center is Failing: What Are Your Rights?

Posted in Real Estate
The Summary: In today’s financial climate, it is hard to keep up with the changes happening in shopping centers across the country. Retail space in shopping centers is staying vacant for several months or longer. Landlords are converting retail space to non-retail use or closing entire wings or floors of shopping centers. Landlords are even… Continue Reading

Compliance With State Regulations Provides Protection Against Consumer Claim

Posted in Consumer Class Action
Case: Yabsley v. Cingular Wireless, LLC, Case No. B198827 (Cal. Ct. App. 8/18/2008) The One Sentence Summary: California Court of Appeal holds that compliance with California Regulations relating to retailer’s tax obligations provides safe harbor against claims by consumer for unfair business practices and false advertising under Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500.… Continue Reading

Retail Lease Tying Rental Rate To Rent Of Competing Tenant Or Its Successor Held Inapplicable Where Competing Tenant Is Defunct

Posted in Real Estate
Case: California National Bank v. Woodbridge Plaza LLC, Case No. 05CC03999 (Cal. Ct. App. 6/20/08) The One Sentence Summary: California Court of Appeal held that a bank’s retail lease providing for an extended lease term at the lesser of the then prevailing rental rate or the latest square foot rental rate of a competing bank… Continue Reading

Protection of Consumer Payment Information Remains an Imperative for California Retailers

Posted in Consumer Class Action, Privacy & Data Protection
The One Sentence Summary: While Governor Schwarzenegger recently vetoed a Bill that would have imposed greater obligations on retailers with respect to protection of consumer payment information, continued legislative efforts are likely and retailers remain subject to data security standards set by the Payment Card Industry. Full Posting: On October 17, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB… Continue Reading

Consumer Lacks Standing to Bring Claim Under California Consumer Protection Laws Where Product Was Purchased for Litigation Purpose Only

Posted in Consumer Class Action
Case: Buckland v. Threshold Enterprises, Ltd., Case No. B192832 (Cal. Ct. App. 9/25/2007) The One Sentence Summary: A consumer who buys a product through her attorney for the sole purpose of litigation arising out of deceptive packaging or advertising lacks standing to bring a claim under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, unfair competition law or… Continue Reading