Case: In re: Yahoo! Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980

Court: Northern District of California
Classes:

  • Certified Nationwide Class: All persons in the United States who are not Yahoo Mail subscribers and who hve sent emails to or received emails from a Yahoo Mail subscriber from October 2, 2011 to the present, or who will send emails to or receive emails from a Yahoo Mail subscriber in the future.
  • Certified California Subclass: All persons in California who are not Yahoo Mail subscribers and who have sent emails to or received emails from a Yahoo Mail subscriber from October 2, 2012 to the present, or who will send emails to or receive emails from a Yahoo Mail subscriber in the future.

Attorneys: Frederic S. FoxLaurence D. King, Donald R. Hall, Linda M. FongDavid A. Straite, Mario M. Choi

Kaplan Fox is court-appointed co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in this digital privacy class action, challenging Yahoo's practice of "scanning" incoming and outgoing emails for content, in order to more effectively target advertising.  On August 14, 2014, Judge Lucy Koh denied in part and granted in part a motion to dismiss the case, allowing plaintiffs to pursue a claim under California's Invasion of Privacy Act.  In addition, Judge Koh allowed plaintiffs to pursue a federal Stored Communications Act claim related to Yahoo's alleged practice of divulging some email content to favored third parties without adequate consent.  Bloomberg News reported on the decision, which can be found here.

On May 26, 2015, Judge Koh certified a nationwide class of email users related to the federal claim, and certified a California subclass of email users related to the California claim.  She also concluded that plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief "does not bar subsequent individual damages claims by class members, even if based on the same events."

On January 7, 2016, Yahoo agreed to modify its email delivery architecture in a way that the plaintiffs believe would bring Yahoo into compliance with California privacy law.  On March 15, 2016, the court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement.  The plaintiffs moved for final approval and an award of fees and expenses on May 31, 2016, and the final fairness hearing is scheduled for August 26, 2016.