FEB. 15, 2023 – An order granting summary judgment to Davis Wright Tremaine client Park Assist LLC and other defendants, and dismissing all claims in a privacy class action seeking more than $1 billion in damages, has been named one of the Top Verdicts of 2022 by the Daily Journal.
The Davis Wright team of Jacob Harper, Spencer Persson, Kaley Fendall, and Sancho Accorsi led the successful defense on behalf of Park Assist, which developed much of the technology at issue in the case and was one of the main defendants.
Plaintiffs alleged that the parking camera reader systems at several high-end California malls improperly captured license plate information, in violation of California's unique Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) statute. The putative class comprised all individuals who entered the parking lots at the various malls (including Beverly Center, Westfield Century City, Brookfield, and Glendale Galleria) over a 4-year period. The suit carried enormous potential liability, given the ALPR's imposition of $2,500 per infraction and plaintiffs' claim that there were millions of infractions.
Park Assist led the large defendant group, which included the owners of the malls, through a successful removal and defeat of plaintiffs' motion to remand. Park Assist and the other defendants then prevailed in an initial successful motion to dismiss, and ultimately summary judgment, after Judge Stephen V. Wilson of C.D. Cal. ordered limited discovery to test plaintiffs' theories.
In the December 7 order dismissing all claims, Judge Wilson agreed that Park Assist is not an "operator" subject to the ALPR and that, even if it were, plaintiffs were unable to establish harm.
The lawsuit's assertions about how defendants were collecting drivers' personally identifiable information to sell targeted advertising or sell on the dark web were "purely the plaintiffs' lawyers vivid imagination," Harper told the Daily Journal.
"This case hung on a first-of-its-kind interpretation and application of the ALPR and we are delighted to see Jacob's team deliver such a favorable result for our client," said Rob Maguire, co-chair of the litigation practice at Davis Wright. "It was a great example of our firm's strength in steering highly complex, high-stakes litigation arising from the laws governing new and developing technology."
Other defense firms involved in achieving the successful outcome included Venable LLP; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; Loeb & Loeb LLP, and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
Park Assist has filed a request for fees and costs as well as a motion for sanctions.
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