Class Rep Drops Facebook Class Action Claims

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – One of three class representatives suing Facebook over its alleged illegal scanning of private messages for advertising purposes dismissed his claims against the company last week.
     David Shadpour sued Facebook in January 2014, three weeks after co-plaintiffs Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley first filed suit. The cases were consolidated in February 2014.
     The plaintiffs claim Facebook treated web links in private messages as “likes,” giving the linked website an additional “like” on its counter and using the data to target advertising at users. In 2014, Facebook argued it had stopped using the link counter in private messages but still scanned user messages to protect against viruses and filter out spam.
     In July, Shadpour filed a motion to dismiss his claims without prejudice and to withdraw from the case as a class representative.
     Facebook opposed the plaintiff’s motion, arguing Shadpour should first agree to fully cooperate with Facebook’s discovery requests.
     In a June 18 joint letter to the court, Facebook argued Shadpour’s discovery requests had “placed a substantial burden and expense on Facebook,” yet Shadpour had yet to turn over requested documents or submit to a deposition.
     Shadpour countered that Facebook would suffer “no plain legal prejudice” from allowing him to withdraw without the requested discovery.
     “No substantial resources have been expended specific to Mr. Shadpour, as his claims merely mirror those brought by the original plaintiffs,” Shadpour argued in a July 13 motion to withdraw.
     Shadpour’s attorneys said the judge should allow him to withdraw because the motion was filed early in the proceedings and because “no allegation unique to Mr. Shadpour forms any fundamental part of the record.”
     Both parties were scheduled to debate the issue at a Sept. 9 hearing, but the hearing was canceled and Shadpour withdrew his motion to dismiss his claims without prejudice.
     On Oct. 2, Shadpour filed notice that he was voluntarily dismissing his claims against Facebook with prejudice.
     Shadpour’s attorney, Michael Sobol of Lief, Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco, did not respond to requests for comment on why Shadpour decided to exit the case.

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