Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, April 29, 2019


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Rebate in Form of Pre-Paid Debit Card Is Equivalent of Cash—Appeals Court


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The First District Court of Appeal has affirmed a judgment of dismissal in the case of a consumer who purchased a laptop computer, then sued the manufacturer because the $50 rebate promised in its ad for the item came in the form of a pre-paid Visa debit card rather than cash.

Plaintiff Jordan Rosenberg’s action under the Unfair Competition Law and for fraud against Toshiba was torpedoed by Alameda Superior Court Judge Paul Herbert. In an unpublished opinion for Div. Two filed Thursday, Justice Therese M. Stewart wrote:

“As Rosenberg concedes in his opening brief, injury is an essential element of his claims (at page 22: ‘Here’s how fraud works They lie to you, they conceal, you buy, you discover you didn’t get what you paid for, and you are injured’; and page 23: arguing ‘[i]t was error for the court to rule that Rosenberg suffered no injury in fact’). Yet he has not shown that he alleged any injury, and we do not perceive any. He argues (at page 22) that ‘[h]e was injured to the tune of $50,’ yet as we understand his allegations that is exactly the value he received in the form of a debit card.”

Stewart said in a footnote:

“His amended complaint also alleges that, unlike cash, a debit card expires, is not accepted by all vendors, and is not accepted worldwide. But even assuming those differences could theoretically constitute legally cognizable harm (Rosenberg cites no legal authority addressing whether they can), Rosenberg does not allege that any of these supposed harms ever came to pass. On the contrary, he alleges he ‘never cashed’ his debit card, so these allegations of supposed harm are purely speculative.”

The case is Rosenberg v. Toshiba American Information Systems, Inc., A152972.


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