(CN) – A district judge refused to throw out allegations that MyLife.com is a scam, bolstering the claims of four people who say the people searching service uses fake names.
John Clerkin, Veronica Mendez, Cynthia McCrary and Cody Brock consolidated their claims against MyLife.com Inc. and a venture capital firm, claiming that the website’s list of people ‘searching for you’ generated fake names.
“Plaintiffs point to a testimonial posted on the Internet by an individual who registered on the website as ‘sfsf sdgfsdgs,'” the court order states. “The website reported to that individual that seven people were looking for ‘sfsf sdgfsdgs.’ Plaintiffs cite another individual’s Internet testimonial stating that, irrespective of the zip code entered, the website indicated that ‘Grovia Paxton’ was residing in that zip code area and was looking for the individual.”
Judge Claudia Wilken granted a motion by Oak Investment Partners, which invested $25 million in MyLife.com, to declare that it was not liable for the alleged scam being perpetrated by the website.
“Plaintiffs allege only that Oak Investment Partners provided $25 million to MyLife. Even if true, this is not sufficient to support conspiratorial or aider-and-abettor liability against Oak Investment Partners. This allegation does not suggest that Oak Investment Partners shared a common plan with MyLife, which is necessary to support liability as a co-conspirator,” Wilken said.
But Wilken the judge declined to grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss the four plaintiffs’ class allegations and state Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) claims.
The defendants said the CLRA claims failed because McCrary and Brock did not receive a solicitation for the MyLife.com by email and instead only saw an ad for the site.
Wilken rejected that argument, holding that the “Defendants point to a general allegation that MyLife violated the CLRA by ‘disseminating false solicitations representing that ‘someone’ is looking for the recipient.’ However, plaintiffs did not allege that this was the sole manner in which MyLife violated the CLRA. Thus, McCrary’s and Brock’s specific allegations and this general allegation are not inconsistent, and their CLRA claims need not be dismissed.”
Wilken likewise refused to throw out claims that MyLife.com’s presentation of its pricing plans duped subscribers into full memberships when they believed they were only paying for a trial.
“While the monthly rates are displayed in bold and relatively large print, it is not evident that a subscriber will be charged immediately for the full amount for an entire membership term,” the judge said, adding that language used at the MyLife site “can be viewed as ambiguous and susceptible to multiple meanings.”
Wilken stated that plaintiffs’ could move forward with claims under the California’s Unfair Competition Law, a common count for money had and received, and unjust enrichment and common restitution.
The judge also declined to strike a section of the consolidated complaint that listed third-party complaints about the MyLife website, finding them “neither immaterial nor impertinent” to the consumers’ claims.