Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wainblat v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

November 4, 2019

ROBERT WAINBLAT, for himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

          F. DENNIS SAYLOR IV UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This action involves a cable subscriber's claims of violations of his statutory right to privacy. Plaintiff Robert Wainblat alleges that defendant Comcast Cable Communications, LLC has violated his rights as a cable television subscriber under federal and Massachusetts laws. He also asserts class allegations on behalf of similarly situated individuals.

         Comcast has moved to compel arbitration pursuant the terms of an arbitration provision contained within the subscriber agreement between the parties. For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Allegations of the Complaint

         Robert Wainblat is a Massachusetts resident. He alleges that he has been a subscriber of the cable television services of Comcast Cable Communications, LLC since approximately September 2013. (Compl. ¶ 4).

         The complaint alleges that Comcast deploys a “two-way cable-network” to deliver targeted advertisements in violation of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (“CCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 521, et seq. (Compl. ¶ 10). The alleged data collection includes information such as customer viewing history, income, ethnicity, education, and product-consumption habits, some of which may be acquired from third parties. (Id. ¶ 10-12). Comcast allegedly uses that data in conjunction with data from subscriber Internet usage to sell high-value targeted ads through Comcast Spotlight, its advertising arm. (Id. ¶ 13-14). The complaint further alleges that Comcast uses this data to “blast” subscribers with ads across multiple interfaces and media. (Id. ¶ 15).

         The complaint alleges that those data collection and usage activities employ “personally identifiable information” as defined by 47 U.S.C. § 551(a)(2)(A). (Id. ¶ 16-20). It further alleges that those activities, in conjunction with Comcast's opt-out data-collection consent practices, violate the CCPA. (Id. ¶ 21 -25). That statute, in addition to establishing a framework for cable competition and ownership, creates various substantive rights concerning cable-subscriber privacy. See 47 U.S.C. § 551. Those rights include, among others, the right not to have personally identifiable information collected or disseminated without prior written or electronic consent and certain rights of access and notice of personally identifiable information collected by a cable service provider. Id. at § 551 (b)-(d).

         The complaint also asserts claims under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A. Specifically, it alleges that Comcast's failure to provide “clear and conspicuous disclosures” regarding its information sharing practices constitutes an unfair and deceptive act and practice in violation of Chapter 93A. (Compl. ¶ 25).

         1. The Parties' Contractual Relationship

         Wainblat first subscribed to Comcast cable television services for his residence in Boston beginning on August 26, 2013. (Def. Mot. Compel Arb. 3; see also Compl. ¶ 26). At the time of that first installation, he received a “Welcome Kit” that included copies of a Privacy Notice and a Subscriber Agreement, which contained an arbitration clause. (D. Mot. Compel Arb. 3).

         In October 2016, Wainblat self-installed Comcast services under a new account at a new address. (Id.). Included in the self-install kit were copies of the then-current Subscriber Agreement and Privacy Notice. (Id.).

         In August 2017, Comcast inserted a revised Subscriber Agreement (the “2017 Subscriber Agreement) into Wainblat's Comcast bill. (Id.). According to the terms of the 2017 Subscriber Agreement, Wainblat accepted the revised agreement through continued receipt of Comcast services. (Id. at 4).

         The 2017 Subscriber Agreement contained an arbitration provision (the “Arbitration Provision”). It covers

any claim or controversy related to [Comcast] or our relationship, including but not limited to any and all: (1) claims for relief and theories of liability, whether based in contract, tort, fraud, negligence, statute, regulation, ordinance, or otherwise; (2) claims that arose before this or any prior Agreement; (3) claims that arise after the expiration or termination ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.