This case was last updated from PACER on 10/22/2021 at 09:38:56 (UTC).

Williams v. Udemy, Inc.

Case Summary

On August 23, 2021, Marion Williams (“Plaintiff”), on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, represented by Scott Gregory Braden and Todd David Carpenter Carlson Lynch Sweet LLP, filed a personal property fraud lawsuit against Udemy, Inc. (“Defendant” or “Udemy”), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, along with restitution and disgorgement of profits, for allegedly engaging in a false and misleading reference price scheme in the marketing and selling of its products on the Udemy e-commerce website. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California with Judge Donna M. Ryu presiding. 

 

In his complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “Defendant engages in a false and misleading reference price scheme in the marketing and selling of the products offered on its e-commerce website. Defendant advertises instructional video courses for sale by listing them with a fictitious original price and a corresponding sale price. The original price communicates “the product’s worth and the prestige that ownership of the product conveys.” Hinojos, 718 F.3d at 1106 (citing Dhruv Grewal & Larry D. Compeau, Comparative Price Advertising: Informative or Deceptive?, 11 J. Pub. Pol’y & Mktg. 52, 55 (Spring 1992) (“By creating an impression of savings, the presence of a higher reference price enhances subjects’ perceived value and willingness to buy the product.”). “Misinformation about a product’s ‘normal’ price is . . . significant to many consumers in the same way as a false product label would be.” Hinojos, 718 F.3d at 1106.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “Defendant consistently advertises its products alongside an original price, a calculation of the discount percentage, and the corresponding sale price. The original price, or false reference price, is printed with a “strikethrough,” which operates as a baseline that consumers rely on to assess a product’s value. The discount percentage is shown alongside the original price to communicate to the consumer that the product is being sold at a substantial discount. The sale price is displayed directly next to the false reference price and discount percentage, thus conveying the “deep discount” at which the product is presently being offered, ostensibly for a limited time.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that, “However, the products sold on Defendant’s e-commerce website are never sold at the full original price. The original price merely serves as a false reference price utilized by Defendant as part of a larger scheme to deceptively manufacture deep discounts in an effort to incentivize consumers to make purchases.”

 

The Plaintiff lists out three claims for relief. The first claim is for alleged violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE §§ 17200, et seq. The second claim is for alleged violation of California’s False Advertising Law (“FAL”) CAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE §§ 17500, et seq. The third claim is for alleged violation of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), CAL. CIV. CODE § 1750, et seq. 

 

In his prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the Court for an order certifying the class and awarding restitution and disgorgement of all profits and unjust enrichment that Defendant obtained from Plaintiff and the Class members. The Plaintiff further requested the Court for an order enjoining the Defendant from continuing the unlawful practices as set forth herein, and directing Defendant to identify, with Court supervision, victims of its misconduct and pay them all money they are required to pay, and engage in a corrective advertising campaign, and award attorneys’ fees and costs.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    3:21-CV-06489

  • Filing Date:

    08/23/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Personal Property Fraud

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

Donna M. Ryu

Edward M. Chen

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Marion Williams

Defendant

Udemy, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Scott Gregory Braden

Attorney at Carlson Lynch Sweet LLP

1350 Columbia Street, Suite 603

San Diego, CA 92101

Todd David Carpenter

Attorney at Carlson Lynch Sweet LLP

1350 Columbia Street, Suite 603

San Diego, CA 92101

Defendant Attorneys

David Waller Bertoni

Attorney at Brann and Isaacson

184 Main Street, 4Th Floor, P.O. Box 3070

Lewiston, ME 04243-3070

David Asher Swetnam-Burland

Attorney at Brann and Isaacson

Po Box 3070, 184 Main St

Lewiston, ME 04243-3070

Eamonn Hart

Attorney at Brann and Isaacson

184 Main St, 4Th Floor, Po Box 3070

Lewiston, ME 04243

Richard Pachter

Attorney at Law Offices of Richard Pachter

555 University Avenue, Suite 200

Sacramento, CA 95825

 

Court Documents

#21

#20

19 #1

Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - Maine

#19

#18

#17

#16

15 #1

Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing

#15

#14

#13

#10

9 #1

Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording

#9

#7

#6

#5

#4

18 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 09/24/2021
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  • Docket(#21) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Marion Williams re #10 Case Management Scheduling Order, (Carpenter, Todd) (Filed on 9/24/2021) (Entered: 09/24/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#20) ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen granting #19 Motion for Pro Hac Vice. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#19) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16422614.) filed by Udemy, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - Maine)(Bertoni, David) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#18) ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen granting #16 Stipulation to Enlarge time to Answer or Otherwise Plead and to Set Motion Briefing Schedule. Defendant's response due 11/12/2021; opposition due 12/13/2021; reply due 1/3/2022; hearing to be set on motion 1/20/2022. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#17) ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen granting #15 Motion for Pro Hac Vice. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#16) STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER to Enlarge time to Answer or Otherwise Plead and to Set Motion Briefing Schedule filed by Udemy, Inc.. (Swetnam-Burland, David) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/23/2021
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  • Docket(#15) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice by Eamonn Hart ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number 0971-16421739.) filed by Udemy, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing)(Hart, Eamonn) (Filed on 9/23/2021) (Entered: 09/23/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#14) NOTICE of Appearance by Richard Pachter (Pachter, Richard) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#13) Certificate of Interested Entities by Udemy, Inc. and Corporate Disclosure (Swetnam-Burland, David) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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  • 09/22/2021
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  • Docket(#12) NOTICE of Appearance by David Asher Swetnam-Burland for Defendant Udemy, Inc. (Swetnam-Burland, David) (Filed on 9/22/2021) (Entered: 09/22/2021)

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1 More Docket Entries
  • 09/20/2021
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  • Docket(#10) CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE ORDER IN REASSIGNED CASE: Initial Case Management Conference set for 12/7/2021 01:30 PM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. Joint Case Management Statement due by 11/30/2021. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 9/20/2021. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/20/2021) (Entered: 09/20/2021)

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  • 09/15/2021
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  • Docket(#9) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Edward M. Chen for all further proceedings. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu no longer assigned to case, Notice: The assigned judge participates in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Project. See General Order No. 65 and http://cand.uscourts.gov/cameras. Signed by the Clerk on 9/15/2021. (Attachments: #1 Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording)(anjS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/15/2021) (Entered: 09/15/2021)

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  • 09/14/2021
  • Docket(#8) CLERK'S NOTICE OF IMPENDING REASSIGNMENT TO A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Clerk of this Court will now randomly reassign this case to a District Judge because either (1) a party has not consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge, or (2) time is of the essence in deciding a pending judicial action for which the necessary consents to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction have not been secured. You will be informed by separate notice of the district judge to whom this case is reassigned. ALL HEARING DATES PRESENTLY SCHEDULED BEFORE THE CURRENT MAGISTRATE JUDGE ARE VACATED AND SHOULD BE RE-NOTICED FOR HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE TO WHOM THIS CASE IS REASSIGNED. This is a text only docket entry; there is no document associated with this notice. (ig, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/14/2021) (Entered: 09/14/2021)

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  • 09/14/2021
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  • Docket(#7) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Marion Williams.. (Carpenter, Todd) (Filed on 9/14/2021) (Entered: 09/14/2021)

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  • 09/08/2021
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  • Docket(#6) CLERK'S NOTICE TO PLAINTIFF Re: Consent or Declination: Plaintiff shall file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: http://cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. Consent/Declination due by 9/22/2021. (ig, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/8/2021) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

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  • 08/23/2021
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  • Docket(#5) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 11/24/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 12/1/2021 01:30 PM in Oakland, Courtroom 4, 3rd Floor. (cjlS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/23/2021) (Entered: 08/23/2021)

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  • 08/23/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Summons Issued as to Udemy, Inc. (cjlS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/23/2021) (Entered: 08/23/2021)

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  • 08/23/2021
  • Docket(#3) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 9/7/2021. (asS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/23/2021) (Entered: 08/23/2021)

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  • 08/23/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Proposed Summons. (Carpenter, Todd) (Filed on 8/23/2021) (Entered: 08/23/2021)

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  • 08/23/2021
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  • Docket(#1) Class Action COMPLAINT (with jury demand) against Udemy, Inc. (Filing fee $ 402, receipt number 0971-16311195). Filed by Marion Williams. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A, #2 Exhibit B, #3 Exhibit C, #4 Civil Cover Sheet)(Carpenter, Todd) (Filed on 8/23/2021) Modified on 8/23/2021 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 08/23/2021)

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