Morris v. Spore Life Sciences US Inc., 5:22-cv-00263, No. 1 (C.D.Cal. Feb. 9, 2022) (2022)

Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 1 of 9 Page ID #:1
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`Rachel Blyumkin (SBN: 326718)
`LAW OFFICES OF RACHEL BLYUMKIN
`Email: rachel@thedebtdefense.com
`1001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2236
`Los Angeles California 90017
`Tel: 833-952-9669
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`Attorneys for Plaintiff,
`Peter Morris
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`UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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`CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
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`PETER MORRIS, individually and on
`behalf of all others similarly situated,
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`Case No.: 5:22-cv-00263
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`CLASS ACTION
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`COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATIONS
`OF:
`1. TELEPHONE CONSUMER
`PROTECTION ACT [47 U.S.C.
`§227(b)]
`2. VIOLATIONS OF THE
`TELEPHONE CONSUMER
`PROTECTION ACT [47 U.S.C.
`§227(c)]
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`JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
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` Plaintiff,
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`v.
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`SPORE LIFE SCIENCES US INC., and
`DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, and each
`of them,
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`Defendant(s).
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`1
`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 2 of 9 Page ID #:2
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`PETER MORRIS (“Plaintiff”), individually and on behalf of all others similarly
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`situated, alleges the following upon information and belief based upon personal
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`knowledge
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`NATURE OF THE CASE
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`1.
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`Plaintiff brings this action individually and on behalf of all others
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`similarly situated seeking damages and any other available legal or equitable remedies
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`resulting from the illegal actions of SPORE LIFE SCIENCES US INC. (“Defendant”),
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`in negligently, knowingly, and/or willfully contacting Plaintiff on Plaintiff’s cellular
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`telephone in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47. U.S.C. § 227 et
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`seq. (“TCPA”) and related regulations, thereby invading Plaintiff’s privacy.
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`JURISDICTION AND VENUE
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`2.
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`Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2) because Plaintiff, a
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`resident of California, seeks relief on behalf of a Class, which will result in at least one
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`class member belonging to a different state than that of Defendant, a company with its
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`principal place of business in the State of Delaware, and incorporated in the state of
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`Delaware. Plaintiff also seeks up to $1,500.00 in damages for each call in violation of
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`the TCPA, which, when aggregated among a proposed class in the thousands, exceeds
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`the $5,000,000.00 threshold for federal court jurisdiction. Therefore, both diversity
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`jurisdiction and the damages threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
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`(“CAFA”) are present, and this Court has jurisdiction. The Court further has
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`jurisdiction as Plaintiff seeks redress under Federal Statutes of the United States of
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`America.
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`3.
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`Venue is proper in the United States District Court for the Central District
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`of California pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1391(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 1441(a) because
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`Defendant does business within the State of California and Plaintiff resides within the
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`County of Riverside.
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`PARTIES
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`4.
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`Plaintiff is a natural person residing in California and is a “person” as
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 3 of 9 Page ID #:3
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`defined by 47 U.S.C. § 153 (39).
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`5.
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`Defendant is an herbal medicine company selling and soliciting herbal
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`medicine aimed at consumers and is a “person” as defined by 47 U.S.C. § 153 (39).
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`6.
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`The named Defendant, and its subsidiaries and agents, are collectively
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`referred to as “Defendants.” The true names and capacities of the Defendants sued
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`herein as DOE DEFENDANTS 1 through 10, inclusive, are currently unknown to
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`Plaintiff, who therefore sues such Defendants by fictitious names. Each of the
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`Defendants designated herein as a DOE is legally responsible for the unlawful acts
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`alleged herein. Plaintiff will seek leave of Court to amend the Complaint to reflect the
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`true names and capacities of the DOE Defendants when such identities become known.
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`7.
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`Plaintiff is informed and believes that at all relevant times, each and every
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`Defendant was acting as an agent and/or employee of each of the other Defendants and
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`was acting within the course and scope of said agency and/or employment with the full
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`knowledge and consent of each of the other Defendants. Plaintiff is informed and
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`believes that each of the acts and/or omissions complained of herein was made known
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`to, and ratified by, each of the other Defendants.
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`FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
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`8.
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`Beginning in or around October 2021, Defendant contacted Plaintiff on
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`Plaintiff’s cellular telephone number ending in 7099, in an attempt to solicit Plaintiff
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`to purchase Defendant’s service.
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`9.
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`Defendant utilized an “artificial or prerecorded voice” as prohibited by 47
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`U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A) during its solicitation calls to Plaintiff.
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`10. When Plaintiff answered the call, or if Plaintiff did not answer the call and
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`it went to voicemail, Defendant had various male and female voices, all prerecorded,
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`say the same exact sales script nearly verbatim, if not verbatim.
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`11. Defendant contacted or attempted to contact Plaintiff from telephone
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`number (916)-701-2206, and others.
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`12. Defendant’s calls constituted calls that were not for emergency purposes
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 4 of 9 Page ID #:4
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`as defined by 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A).
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`13. Defendant’s calls were placed to telephone number assigned to a cellular
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`telephone service for which Plaintiff incurs a charge for incoming calls pursuant to 47
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`U.S.C. § 227(b)(1).
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`14. During all relevant times, Defendant did not possess Plaintiff’s “prior
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`express consent” nor had a prior established business relationship with Plaintiff to
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`receive calls using an artificial or prerecorded voice on her cellular telephone pursuant
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`to 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A).
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`15. Defendant placed multiple calls soliciting its marketing business to
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`Plaintiff on her cellular telephone ending in 4541, at least fifteen (15) to twenty (20) in
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`sum.
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`16. Such calls constitute solicitation calls pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §
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`64.1200(c)(2) as they were attempts to promote or sell Defendant’s services.
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`17. Plaintiff received numerous solicitation calls from Defendant within a 12-
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`month period.
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`18. During the calls Defendant placed to Plaintiff’s cellular phone,
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`Defendant’s agents identified themselves as calling from Defendant’s business.
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`19. Plaintiff alleges on information and belief that Defendant employs
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`scraping technology to collect phone numbers off of publicly listed websites, in an
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`effort to generate sales leads. However, Defendant uses automated prerecorded voice
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`technology to place these calls, without obtaining the prior express consent of the
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`recipient of the call.
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`20. Defendant’s automated calls are a widespread public nuisance, and have
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`been the subject of various complaints on online forums.
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`21. Plaintiff, like the other putative class members whom she seeks to
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`represent, has no prior established business relationship with Defendant, and has never
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`provided Defendant with his phone number.
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 5 of 9 Page ID #:5
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`CLASS ALLEGATIONS
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`22. Plaintiff brings this action individually and on behalf of all others
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`similarly situated, as a member the two proposed classes (hereafter, jointly, “The
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`Classes”). The class concerning the Prerecorded Voice claims for no prior express
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`consent (hereafter “The PRV Class”) is defined as follows:
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`All persons within the United States who received any
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`solicitation/telemarketing telephone calls from Defendant to said
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`person’s cellular telephone made through the use of any
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`prerecorded voice and such person had not previously consented
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`to receiving such calls within the four years prior to the filing of
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`this Complaint
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`23. Plaintiff represents, and is a member of, The PRV Class, consisting of all
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`persons within the United States who received any collection telephone calls from
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`Defendant to said person’s cellular telephone made through the use of any artificial or
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`prerecorded voice and such person had not previously provided their cellular telephone
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`number to Defendant within the four years prior to the filing of this Complaint.
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`24. Defendant, its employees and agents are excluded from The Classes.
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`Plaintiff does not know the number of members in The Classes, but believes the Classes
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`members number in the thousands, if not more. Thus, this matter should be certified as
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`a Class Action to assist in the expeditious litigation of the matter.
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`25. The Classes are so numerous that the individual joinder of all of its
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`members is impractical. While the exact number and identities of The Classes members
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`are unknown to Plaintiff at this time and can only be ascertained through appropriate
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`discovery, Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that The Classes
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`includes thousands of members. Plaintiff alleges that The Classes members may be
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`ascertained by the records maintained by Defendant.
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`26. Plaintiff and members of The PRV Class were harmed by the acts of
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`Defendant in at least the following ways: Defendant illegally contacted Plaintiff and
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 6 of 9 Page ID #:6
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`PRV Class members via their cellular telephones thereby causing Plaintiff and PRV
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`Class members to incur certain charges or reduced telephone time for which Plaintiff
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`and PRV Class members had previously paid by having to retrieve or administer
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`messages left by Defendant during those illegal calls, and invading the privacy of said
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`Plaintiff and PRV Class
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`27. Common questions of fact and law exist as to all members of The PRV
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`Class which predominate over any questions affecting only individual members of The
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`PRV Class. These common legal and factual questions, which do not vary between
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`PRV Class members, and which may be determined without reference to the individual
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`circumstances of any PRV Class members, include, but are not limited to, the
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`following:
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`a. Whether, within the four years prior to the filing of this Complaint,
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`Defendant made any telemarketing/solicitation call (other than a call
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`made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent
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`of the called party) to a PRV Class member using any automatic
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`telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice to any
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`telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service
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`b. Whether Plaintiff and the PRV Class members were damaged thereby,
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`and the extent of damages for such violation; and
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`c. Whether Defendant should be enjoined from engaging in such conduct
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`in the future.
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`28. As a person that received numerous telemarketing/solicitation calls from
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`Defendant using an artificial or prerecorded voice, without Plaintiff’s prior express
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`consent, Plaintiff is asserting claims that are typical of The PRV Class.
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`29. Plaintiff will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the members of
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`The Classes. Plaintiff has retained attorneys experienced in the prosecution of class
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`actions.
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`30. A class action is superior to other available methods of fair and efficient
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 7 of 9 Page ID #:7
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`adjudication of this controversy, since individual litigation of the claims of all Classes
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`members is impracticable. Even if every Classes member could afford individual
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`litigation, the court system could not. It would be unduly burdensome to the courts in
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`which individual litigation of numerous issues would proceed. Individualized litigation
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`would also present the potential for varying, inconsistent, or contradictory judgments
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`and would magnify the delay and expense to all parties and to the court system resulting
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`from multiple trials of the same complex factual issues. By contrast, the conduct of this
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`action as a class action presents fewer management difficulties, conserves the resources
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`of the parties and of the court system, and protects the rights of each Classes member.
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`31. The prosecution of separate actions by individual Classes members would
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`create a risk of adjudications with respect to them that would, as a practical matter, be
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`dispositive of the interests of the other Classes members not parties to such
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`adjudications or that would substantially impair or impede the ability of such non-party
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`Class members to protect their interests.
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`32. Defendant has acted or refused to act in respects generally applicable to
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`The Classes, thereby making appropriate final and injunctive relief with regard to the
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`members of the Classes as a whole.
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`FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
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`Negligent Violations of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
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`47 U.S.C. §227(b).
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`On Behalf of the PRV Class
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`33. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates by reference into this cause of action the
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`allegations set forth above at Paragraphs 1-32.
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`34. The foregoing acts and omissions of Defendant constitute numerous and
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`multiple negligent violations of the TCPA, including but not limited to each and every
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`one of the above cited provisions of 47 U.S.C. § 227(b), and in particular 47 U.S.C. §
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`227 (b)(1)(A).
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`35. As a result of Defendant’s negligent violations of 47 U.S.C. § 227(b),
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 8 of 9 Page ID #:8
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`Plaintiff and the Class Members are entitled an award of $500.00 in statutory damages,
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`for each and every violation, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3)(B).
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`36. Plaintiff and the PRV Class members are also entitled to and seek
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`injunctive relief prohibiting such conduct in the future.
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`SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
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`Knowing and/or Willful Violations of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
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`47 U.S.C. §227(b).
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`On Behalf of the PRV Class
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`37. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates by reference into this cause of action the
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`allegations set forth above at Paragraphs 1-36.
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`38. The foregoing acts and omissions of Defendant constitute numerous and
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`multiple knowing and/or willful violations of the TCPA, including but not limited to
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`each and every one of the above cited provisions of 47 U.S.C. § 227(b), and in
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`particular 47 U.S.C. § 227 (b)(1)(A).
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`39. As a result of Defendant’s knowing and/or willful violations of 47 U.S.C.
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`§ 227(b), Plaintiff and the PRV Class members are entitled an award of $1,500.00 in
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`statutory damages, for each and every violation, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3)(B)
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`and 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3)(C).
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`40. Plaintiff and the Class members are also entitled to and seek injunctive
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`relief prohibiting such conduct in the future.
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`PRAYER FOR RELIEF
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`WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant for:
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`FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
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`1.
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`As a result of Defendant’s negligent violations of 47 U.S.C. §227(b)(1),
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`Plaintiff and the PRV Class members are entitled to and request $500 in statutory
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`damages, for each and every violation, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(3)(B).
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`Any and all other relief that the Court deems just and proper.
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`2.
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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`Case 5:22-cv-00263 Document 1 Filed 02/09/22 Page 9 of 9 Page ID #:9
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`SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
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`3.
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`As a result of Defendant’s willful and/or knowing violations of 47 U.S.C.
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`§227(b)(1), Plaintiff and the PRV Class members are entitled to and request treble
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`damages, as provided by statute, up to $1,500, for each and every violation, pursuant
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`to 47 U.S.C. §227(b)(3)(B) and 47 U.S.C. §227(b)(3)(C).
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`4.
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`Any and all other relief that the Court deems just and proper.
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`DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
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`Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all issues triable by a jury.
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`DATED: February 9, 2022
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`By:
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`/s/ Rachel Blyumkin
`Rachel Blyumkin
`Attorney for Plaintiff
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`CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
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