Kenneth Hobbs v. Brother International Corporation et al.
Two Analysis Group teams were retained by counsel for Brother International Corporation, the defendant in a consumer class action regarding alleged misrepresentations in the marketing and sale of Brother's printers with scanner and copier capabilities. The plaintiff claimed that the multifunction printers did not scan complete pages, causing the edges of images to be truncated.
An Analysis Group team, led by Managing Principals Rebecca Kirk Fair and Emily Cotton, supported affiliated expert Joel Steckel in the evaluation of consumer awareness of a printer's inability to capture the area at the edge of a page and the materiality of this limitation to consumers. In its order denying class certification, the Court cited Professor Steckel's materiality survey of more than 450 people who had purchased or planned to purchase a printer close to the time of the survey, which found that “consumers chose the Brother printer with nearly identical frequency regardless of whether they were made aware of the unscannable margin at the time of their selection.”
A second Analysis Group team, led by Senior Advisor Keith R. Ugone and Vice President Minh P. Doan, evaluated whether the existence of injury and the quantification of the claimed monetary relief asserted could be reliably evaluated on a Class-wide basis using common proof. To support the conclusion that “individual questions predominate over common questions,” the Court cited Dr. Ugone's analysis, which showed that 785 of 917 consumer reviews on Amazon gave the challenged printers four or five stars. Further, in reaching the conclusion that the plaintiff did not demonstrate that claimed “damages are susceptible to common proof,” the Court relied upon Dr. Ugone's analysis, which showed a wide variation in retail prices for the challenged printers and concluded that there is no price premium for the challenged printers.
The plaintiff agreed to dismiss his case with prejudice and waive his right to appeal.