John Cepelak, et al. v. HP Inc.
Analysis Group was retained by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher on behalf of HP, the defendant in a false advertising and consumer protection class action brought by individuals who purchased HP printers for home use. The proposed classes included individuals consisting of “all buyers of any HP printer” in four states. The plaintiffs alleged that HP failed to disclose that its printers used color ink when printing in black and white, and that the printers ceased printing entirely if the color ink was not replenished. The plaintiffs claimed that they were not reasonably made aware of the need to use color ink in printers at the time of their purchases and asserted that they were forced to spend more money on ink than could have been reasonably expected.
An Analysis Group team led by Principal Mark Gustafson and Vice President Nathan Trujillo supported Senior Advisor Bruce Strombom, who filed a report and testified at deposition on damages. In his testimony, Dr. Strombom opined that the opposing expert did not address the expectations of consumers, a necessary consideration in the calculation of damages in a consumer class action. Dr. Strombom explained that the opposing expert’s damages methodology would, therefore, “overstate individual and class-wide damages by including individuals who may not have been harmed.”
A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of California denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and declined the plaintiffs’ request to file a renewed motion for class certification. The judge noted “glaring problems with [the] proposed classes,” citing several of the issues reported by Dr. Strombom.