Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Internet Law
Archer v. Coinbase, Inc.
Coinbase is an online digital currency platform that allows customers to send, receive, and store certain digital currencies. Archer opened a Coinbase account to purchase, trade, and store cryptocurrency. On October 23, 2017, a third party launched a new cryptocurrency, “Bitcoin Gold,” Coinbase monitored and evaluated Bitcoin Gold’s network and informed its customers via its website: “ ‘At this time, Coinbase cannot support Bitcoin Gold because its developers have not made the code available to the public to review. This is a major security risk.’ ” In 2018, the Bitcoin Gold network was attacked by hackers who stole millions of dollars of funds from trading platforms and individuals on its network.Archer sued Coinbase, based on Coinbase’s failure and refusal to allow him to receive his Bitcoin Gold currency and Coinbase’s retention of control over his Bitcoin Gold. The trial court rejected his claims of negligence, conversion, and breach of contract on summary judgment. The court of appeal affirmed. Archer failed to establish the existence of an agreement by Coinbase to provide the Bitcoin Gold to him and failed to demonstrate Coinbase acted in any way to deprive him of his Bitcoin Gold currency. View "Archer v. Coinbase, Inc." on Justia Law
Carello v. Aurora Policeman Credit Union
Carello is blind. To access online visual content, he uses a “screen reader,” which reads text aloud to him from websites that are designed to support its software. Carello claims that the Credit Union website fails to offer such support. The Illinois Credit Union Act requires that credit union membership be open only to groups of people who share a “common bond,” including “[p]ersons belonging to a specific association, group or organization,” “[p]ersons who reside in a reasonably compact and well-defined neighborhood or community,” and “[p]ersons who have a common employer.” The Credit Union limits its membership to specified local government employees. Membership is required before an individual may use any Credit Union services. Carello is not eligible for, nor has he expressed any interest in, Credit Union membership. He is a tester: he visits websites solely to test Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, which prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating “on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of [their] goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations,” and requires them to make “reasonable modifications” to achieve that standard, 42 U.S.C. 12812(a), (b). The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Carello’s claim. Carello lacked standing to sue because he failed to allege an injury in fact. View "Carello v. Aurora Policeman Credit Union" on Justia Law
Unspam Technologies v. Chernuk
Plaintiffs commenced this putative class action alleging that defendants participated in a global Internet conspiracy to sell illegal prescription drugs, in violation of the laws of the United States and Virginia. At issue on appeal was whether the district court erred in dismissing the complaint against four foreign banks for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court concluded that Rule 4(k)(2) did not justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the banks because exercising jurisdiction over them would not, in the circumstances here, be consistent with the United States Constitution and laws. Subjecting the banks to the coercive power of the court in the United States, in the absence of minimum contacts, would constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's orders dismissing the complaint against the banks. View "Unspam Technologies v. Chernuk" on Justia Law
Patco Constr. Co., Inc. v. People’s United Bank
Over seven days in 2009, Ocean Bank authorized six apparently fraudulent withdrawals, totaling $588,851.26, from an account held by Patco, after the perpetrators correctly supplied Patco's customized answers to security questions. Although the bank's security system flagged each transaction as unusually "high-risk" because they were inconsistent with the timing, value, and geographic location of Patco's regular orders, the system did not notify commercial customers of such information and allowed the payments to go through. Ocean Bank was able to block or recover $243,406.83. Patco sued, alleging that the bank should bear the loss because its security system was not commercially reasonable under Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 11, 4-1101) and that Patco had not consented to the procedures. The district court held that the bank's security system was commercially reasonable and entered judgment in favor of the bank. The First Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment on commercial reasonableness and remanded for determination of what, if any, obligations or responsibilities Article 4A imposes on Patco. View "Patco Constr. Co., Inc. v. People's United Bank" on Justia Law
Katz v. Pershing, LLC
Defendant sells brokerage and investment products and services, typically to registered broker-dealers and investment advisers that trade securities for clients. One of its services, NetExchange Pro, an interface for research and managing brokerage accounts via the Internet, can be used for remote access to market dynamics and customer accounts. A firm may make its clients' personal information, including social security numbers and taxpayer identification numbers, accessible to end-users in NetExchange Pro. Some of defendant's employees also have access to this information. Plaintiff, a brokerage customer with NPC, which made its customer account information accessible in NetExchange Pro, received notice of the company's policy and filed a putative class action, alleging breach of contract, breach of implied contract, negligent breach of contractual duties, and violations of Massachusetts consumer protection laws. The district court dismissed. The First Circuit affirmed. Despite "dire forebodings" about access to personal information, plaintiff failed to state any contractual claim for relief and lacks constitutional standing to assert a violation of any arguably applicable consumer protection law.
In Re: Hannaford Bros Co. Cust
Hackers breached the security of the database for the grocery store where plaintiffs shop. The district court determined that plaintiffs failed to state a claim under Maine law for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied warranty, strict liability, and failure to notify customers. Although the court concluded that plaintiffs adequately alleged breach of implied contract, negligence, and violation of the unfair practices portion of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act, it dismissed those claims because alleged injuries were too unforeseeable and speculative to be cognizable under Maine law. The First Circuit affirmed in part, but reversed dismissal of the negligence and implied contract claims. Mitigation damages are available under those claims, for card replacement costs and credit insurance.
Stearns, et al. v. Ticketmaster Corp, et al.; Johnson, et al. v. Ticketmaster Corp, et al.; Mancini, et al. v. Ticketmaster Corp, et al.
Appellants appealed the district court's denial of certification of their putative class action in Mancini v. Ticketmaster; Stearns v. Ticketmaster, and Johnson v. Ticketmaster. Appellants' actions were directed against a number of entities that were said to have participated in a deceptive internet scheme, which induced numerous individuals to unwittingly sign up for a fee-based rewards program where amounts were charged to their credit cards or directly deducted from their bank accounts. The court held that Rule 23 did not give the district court broad discretion over certification of class actions and the district court erred when it based its exercise of that discretion on what turned out to be an inaccurate reading of the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200-17210. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's denial of the motions for class certification of the UCL claims in Mancini and affirmed its determination that Mancini and Sanders were not proper representatives. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Cal. Civ. Code 1750-1784, claim in Stearns; affirmed the district court's refusal to certify a class regarding the CLRA injunctive relief claims in Mancini; reversed the district court's dismissal of the Johnson action regarding the CLRA claim; and affirmed its refusal to certify a class regarding the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C. 1693-1693r, claim in Mancini.