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Storm v. Paytime, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 13, 2015

DANIEL B. STORM, HOLLY P. WHITE, DORIS MCMICHAEL, and KYLE WILKINSON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
PAYTIME, INC., Defendant

For Daniel B. Storm, Holly P. White, Doris McMichael, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Kyle Wilkinson, Plaintiffs: Gary F. Lynch, LEAD ATTORNEY, Carlson Lynch Sweet & Kilpela, LLP, Pittsburgh, PA; Edwin J Kilpela, Carlson Lynch, LTD, Pittsburgh, PA; Eric N Linsk, Karen H Riebel, Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP, Minneapolis, MN.

For Barbara Holt, Linda Redding, Plaintiffs: Joel C. Meredith, LEAD ATTORNEY, Meredith & Narine, Philadelphia, PA; Krishna B. Narine, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Krishna B. Narine, PC, Huntingdon Valley, PA.

For Paytime, Inc., Defendant: Claudia D McCarron, Lewis Brisbois Brisgaard & Smith, LLP, Berwyn, PA; Kathryn C. Mellinger, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Berwyn, PA.

Page 360

MEMORANDUM

Hon. John E. Jones III.

There are only two types of companies left in the United States, according to data security experts: " those that have been hacked and those that don't know they've been hacked." [1] According to a 2014 report conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 43% of companies have experienced a data breach in the past year. Even worse, the

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absolute size of the breaches is increasing exponentially.[2] When our fellow citizens hear statistics such as these, they are understandably worried about the privacy of their most personal information, such as their Social Security numbers and bank account information. Further, when a data breach occurs, especially one intentionally done by a hacker, it is not unreasonable for the victims to feel that a wrong has clearly been committed. But has there been an actionable harm that is cognizable in federal court? This is the question with which we must grapple in the matter sub judice.

Pending before the Court are two putative class actions concerning a security breach of Defendant Paytime, Inc.'s (" Paytime" ) computer systems, in which an unknown third party allegedly accessed Plaintiffs' confidential personal and financial information. These cases have been consolidated. Prior to consolidation, Paytime filed in each case a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), contending that Plaintiffs lack standing, or in the alternative, that they have failed to state claims as a matter of law. Paytime also filed a Motion to Strike Class Allegations Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) in each case. For the reasons that follow, we will dismiss the consolidated case for lack of standing, and accordingly, not address Paytime's other motions.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 18, 2015, Storm, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. and Holt, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. were consolidated into one case for the remainder of the proceedings between the parties. ( Storm, Doc. 46). However, due to the fact that these cases were filed separately and have had filings and motions pending in separate dockets, we will discuss their procedural histories separately.

In Storm, on June 13, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against Paytime, alleging claims of negligence and breach of contract. ( Id., Doc. 1). The Complaint also included class action allegations under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Plaintiffs allege that as many as 233,000 individuals could be members of the class, as that is approximately how many individuals who had their personal and financial information allegedly compromised.

By agreement of the parties, Paytime's response to the Complaint was due August 1, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 7). On that date, Paytime filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and for lack of standing. ( Id., Doc. 12). In response to this motion, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on August 8, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 17). Again by agreement of the parties, Paytime's response to the Amended Complaint was due August 27, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 18).

On August 27, 2014, Paytime filed the instant Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction. ( Id., Doc. 28). On the same date, Paytime filed its brief in support of the Motion. ( Id., Doc. 29). After being granted an extension of time to file its response, Plaintiffs filed their brief in opposition to the Motion on September 24, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 37). Paytime filed a reply brief on October 7, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 41). Thus, having been fully briefed, this Motion is now ripe for our review.[3]

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Turning to the procedural history of Holt et al. v. Paytime, Plaintiffs in that case originally filed their putative class action lawsuit against Paytime in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 27, 2014. ( Holt, Doc. 1). In their Complaint, they alleged causes of action under breach of contract and Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL). On August 4, 2014, Paytime filed a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) & 12(b)(6). ( Id., Doc. 5). A day later, on August 5, 2014, Paytime filed a Motion to Transfer Venue to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. ( Id., Doc. 6). On September 3, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their brief in opposition to the Motion to Dismiss. ( Id., Doc. 12). Paytime filed its reply brief on September 11, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 18).

By court order, on September 26, 2014, Holt was transferred to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. ( Id., Doc. 21). The matter was filed in this Court on October 10, 2014. ( Id., Doc. 22).

Because the Motion to Dismiss pending in Holt has been fully briefed, this matter is also ripe for our review, as part of the consolidated case.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Because we need only address Paytime's jurisdictional arguments, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) ...


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