Class Action Lawsuit Loan Modification Proposed
According to the plaintiffs in the Ulta Class Action lawsuit, millions of customers were injured by the supposed practice of buying low quality products at discount prices. In particular, the plaintiffs wish to represent those who bought items from Ulta stores in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The claim is that the company was negligent in its actions and in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A few of the class members are individuals who paid for items but then received damaged goods. Other class members are the financial institution or bank account holders who were cheated by the lending parties.
Ulta Class Action Lawsuit
The plaintiff has the advantage in this lawsuit if it can establish two fact common law issues: first, that the discount pricing was wrongful; and second, that the lending parties violated the FDCPA. According to the District Court ruling, the plaintiff was able to establish both issues as fact common law. In fact common law, an act can be regarded as wrongful even though it may not fall within the purview of any specifically established federal law. Therefore, if the Court chooses to apply the fact common law principle, then the outcome of the Ulta Class Action lawsuit will determine the outcome of other class action lawsuits against similar conduct. Additionally, this decision could also impact other actions in the derivative lawsuit process.
The Ulta Class Action lawsuit revolves around a serious issue of fraud and anti-trust. The plaintiffs argue that the discounting of certain merchandise by Ulta violates the anti-trust laws of the United States and the state of California. They further assert that the discounting of the merchandise and the blocking of distribution channels on the basis of gender, race, or origin violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the United States Constitution and the statutes that are relevant to the case at issue. Further, the District Court found that the denial of membership to certain classes of plaintiffs who are not members of the groups the lenders classify violates the requirement of a meaningful association with the lenders. Accordingly, class members cannot complain about the treatment of their interest groups, and the lenders cannot charge higher rates of interest to these class members based on their classifications as members of various lenders’ groups.
The District Court found that there was a class rule violation regarding the nature of discounts at issue. The rule 23(b) (3) provided that if a class action plaintiff was unable to assign a fact to a defendant’s injury, the plaintiff would not have the ability to recover damages from that defendant. Pursuant to the rule, if there was a determination that a fact existed, a defendant could be liable for the difference only for those facts actually proven, or in the alternative, for an amount determined by the fact-finding procedure at the pre-trial stage of the case. Thus, if a plaintiff assigned a fact could not establish that it was a fact, or could not establish that the fact existed, that plaintiff would lose its right to recover damages for that fact. Pursuant to this rule, a plaintiff could not assign a fact to a defendant for purposes of establishing a liability unless the plaintiff could establish the fact beyond a reasonable doubt.
The proposed class action lawsuit loan amendment was designed to ensure that the lenders’ interests were protected throughout the litigation process. Although the proposal was included within the class action lawsuit Memorandum of Agreement, some plaintiffs expressed concern that it favored the lenders over the class members. Specifically, some plaintiffs argued that they were not relevant to class members’ liability or to the determination of the amount of the loan, thus allowing the lenders to charge higher interest rates to these class members based on irrelevant factors. Proposed amendments were suggested to eliminate this inherent defect. Specifically, the amendments proposed to eliminate the requirement that plaintiffs must identify a direct lender as the source from which they received the loan, eliminate the requirement that plaintiffs show reliance upon the lender, and require plaintiffs to waive any objection to a lender’s reliance on irrelevant factors.
Plaintiffs have also raised the issue that the proposed amendments would allow the lenders to discriminate against class members on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Although the Court rejected these arguments as having no significance in the class action litigation process, the Court did not opine on the merits of the class members’ rights being violated. Instead, the Court expressed its opinion that the amendments should be applied to the lenders only after the conclusion of the case so that the Court could address the issue of disparate impact more appropriately in the future. This suggestion, however, was not included in the final version of the proposal. The Court left the question of disparate impact for lower courts to determine when it would apply to the class members’ claim.