NBA’s Warriors Cry Technical Foul Over Class Wiretap Claims

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By Daniel R. Stoller

The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have again asked a federal court to throw out class claims that the team’s mobile app unlawfully used audio recordings without fan consent ( Satchell v. Sonic Notify, Inc. , N.D. Cal., No. 16-cv-04961, motion to dismiss filed 4/10/17 ).

Plaintiffs claim the Warriors and their third-party partners violated the federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2511, with a fan-entertainment application that activated the microphone on users’ mobile devices to identify their locations via audio. The Oakland, Calif.-based Warriors April 10 sought to dismiss an amended class complaint, saying that the named plaintiff didn’t adequately allege that the team intercepted or “actually acquired the contents” of any protected communication.

The case was partially dismissed in February by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California because the proposed consumer class failed to allege that the Warriors’ app allowed for interception of “oral communication” or the use of a communication’s contents in violation of the Wiretap Act. Judge Jeffrey S. White allowed the proposed class to file an amended complaint in order to attempt to fix the deficiencies.

However, the named plaintiff focused on the mobile app design and function— not on the interception of communications—in the amended complaint, the team argued in its motion to dismiss. The plaintiff cited a different section of the Wiretap Act covering manufacturers of devices that unlawfully intercept communications but didn’t raise a violation of that section in the amended complaint, the team said.

Edelson PC represents the named plaintiff. Cooley LLP represents the Warriors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at dStoller@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

For More Information

Full text of the Warriors' motion to dismiss is available at http://src.bna.com/nPJ.

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