Chambers v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., 2009 WL 2579661 (S.D.Cal. Aug. 19, 2009)

California resident Doug Chambers purchased an eyeglass repair kit manufactured and sold by CVS which was labeled “Made in USA,” only to find that the kit contained component parts made in China. We can only imagine the horror Chambers must have experienced when the screwdriver asked for a fried wonton. Nonetheless, Chambers managed to pull himself together enough to file a class action complaint against CVS in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, asserting claims under various California statutes based on this “hi-anus” crime.

CVS filed a motion to dismiss challenging the court’s subject matter jurisdiction, which Chambers alleged was based on CAFA. 

Although Chambers couldn’t dispute that the kits sold for an average price of $2.45 and that CVS had only sold about 17,000 kits during the relevant time period, he argued that there were several other kits sold by CVS that suffered from the same horrific defect, sales of which could be combined with attorneys’ fees and costs to surpass the minimum of $5 million required under CAFA. 

The court, however, noted the small detail that Doug had only referenced the one product in his complaint, and it couldn’t “assume the existence of” such other products in determining whether it had jurisdiction. 

Alas, Doug, you are even more alone than your pizza rolls and evening of Walker Texas Ranger viewing would suggest. Here’s a tip, Doug – get to know your foreign-born repair kit. Broaden your horizons. Learn Mandarin, you just might like it. Ni hao, baby.