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Remember Laurie Piechur and her class action suit against Redbox over multi-day rental fees? Ms. Piechur, her attorneys and members of the suit demanded more than $350,000 for Redbox’s allegedly unfair late fees. An Illinois U.S. District Court remanded the case to St. Clair County last month, and Redbox has recently filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

The argument from the original filing read as follows:

“The Coinstar unit has violated its claim that it doesn’t charge late fees by charging an additional $1 for DVDs that are returned any time after the 9 p.m. deadline after the initial 24-hour period has expired.”

According to Redbox’s motion, dated March 18, Ms. Piechur and other suit members were fully aware of the terms and conditions under which they rented their DVDs. The motion reads:

“Thus, according to her own factual allegations, Plaintiff rented DVDs from Redbox, either chose to keep them or failed to return them within 25 days, and was charged according to the terms of the agreement she entered into with Redbox at the time of the rental . . . The Complaint does not allege that Plaintiff did not know the rental terms at the time she rented DVDs from Redbox . . . The Complaint does not establish in what ways the fees are oppressive, against public policy, or subsequently injurious to consumers.”

Does Ms. Piechur’s argument hold any more water today than it did back in October, Insiders? We’ll keep you posted on further developments in the case. In the meantime, hit the comments and tell us which side you think has a leg to stand on.

(via The Madison St. Clair Record)

24 Responses to “Redbox Attempts to Dismiss Class Action Lawsuit”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    Gotta love our legal system. You can sue if you drop hot coffee in your lap and win millions because it was hot, and now you can sue because you’re and idiot and kept your movies longer and got charged for it. What did this woman think? You can rent it for $1 and keep it forever? Ahh to be that naive. “Hi I’d like to buy a house please, here is my $1,000 down payment, I guess since I’m in the house I don’t need to pay any longer.”

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      rb [visitor]

      Tiny…Redbox lawyers should use your comparison of Laurie Piechur expecting to keep the dvd forever without further rental payment to your thought of someone putting a down payment on a house then expecting no need to pay any more/longer while living in the house forever. It’s a good analogy. It would be an easy win for Redbox if they used it! After all, a person’s basic monthly mortgage payment isn’t considered a monthly late fee, no more than a Redbox customer keeping their $1 rental for more than 1 day is a late fee. It’s a daily rental fee, clearly stated when you agree to rent from Redbox.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Michelle [visitor]

    This is rediculous, I mean hello you get the movie for $1 how hard is it to return the movie the next day or two. It still does not add up to what a new movie cost to rent at Blockbuster. Grow up woman and get a job. People these days try to sue others so they dont have to work.

  3. Member [Join Now]

    She’s an idiot. The court should never have even allowed the case to progress. Get a life woman. Anywhere you rent , you’re aware of the obligation to return by a certain day/time. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      friends of st.clair [visitor]

      The judge admitted the case because both sets of lawyers need the funds. they are a tightnit group of people there in st. clair.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    Bikemiles [bikemiles]

    By any legal logic the suit should be dismissed and the lawyers filing the suite should compensate for legal expenses incurred by Redbox in a frivolous lawsuit.

    Per diem (day) rental is very basic and the foundation of the rental/lease industry. The only video rental comparison I can think of is one of the big rental chains a decade ago who added a long duration rental on for even a minor late return or late loggingby staff (computers do this now with Redbox). As I recall that was settled out of court. No precedent set.

  5. Visitor [Join Now] [visitor]

    I hope she dies w/in the next week as well as everyone else who plans on ever bringing a lawsuit as stupid as this

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    The problem is that redbox stated no late fees in their advertising which is not the case at all. If they had just stuck with a $1 a day rental fees, there would be no case.

    Someone at Redbox made a huge mistake and now it could possibly cost them.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      tinybrat [visitor]

      It is not a “late fee”. It is a per day fee. If you pay attention to the kiosk, before you check out, the terms are plainly written at the bottom of the page, they are also on a big sticker across the front of the kiosk. This lawsuit will not proceed much further, redbox will be victorious and this woman will walk away having to pay redbox’s legal fees and her own. This country needs to stop with all the lawsuits. Just a bunch of idiots out their looking for a way to make a buck without having to actually work for it. Our legal system needs to be re-worked. We should have a jury of our peers decide whether a lawsuit has merit, like the grand jury system used for criminal charges. You’d find only a small sliver of these cases ever making it to a courtroom if that were the case.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Mike [visitor]

        What is interesting is that since the lawsuit was filed they have now removed the “No Late Fees” from their website.

  7. Member [Join Now]

    This is just stupid. It’s people like this who need to do the world a favor and just die

  8. Member [Join Now]

    No mattter how you slice it or think about it. This lawsuit is just another way to tie up the courts for something stupid and keep bogging the courts down to a crawl. We need to seriously use the logic of tinybrat for the legal system.

  9. Member [Join Now]
    MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

    I would say that instead of stupid lawsuits being the courts fault, it is all the crazy lawyer’s out there. You all have seen those shady office buildings everywhere. Law school used to be a prestigious thing but now anybody can get a law degree online or something like that. These guys have a client come in and they print off some paperwork and bog down the system with ridiculous claims. Crazy stuff.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    I’ll be surprised if it is dismissed even though it has virtually no merit.

    Others in the rental industry have been successfully sued for similar reasons and lost.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    NC Red [visitor]

    This is about the “settlement” like Blockbuster did back in 2005 with the slogan “No Late Fees”. The lawyers are sure the Redbox will settle it out of court for a lump sum. Again, I don’t see why Redbox did not see this coming from what happen to Blockbuster about misleading advertisement for the ignorant that don’t read the terms and conditions. But I would love to see if anyone who is in the lawsuite received an email rental confirmation from Rebox becuase it also states

    “Disc rentals cost only $1.00 + tax until 9:00 PM the next evening, then $1.00 + tax for each additional night. After 25 days, your card will be charged an additional $24.00 + tax and the disc is yours to keep. “

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      NC Red [visitor]

      In the end Redbox so called “Late Fees” still is better than Blockbuster’s by a mile and a half. So let the ignorant go to Blockbuster if they want to be taken advantage with the Late Fees which will cost an arm and a leg.

      If I am to understand Blockbuster Late Fees, after 15 days they charge $10 with the $5 rental, plus the cost of the DVD. So if the “New Release” such as “Twilight: New Moon” DVD is $25.99 based on and plus the $15 late fees/rental comes to $40.99 plus tax rather then $25 at Redbox. A whopping $16 – ($18 plus tax) price difference.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tina [visitor]

    “The Coinstar unit has violated its claim that it doesn’t charge late fees by charging an additional $1 for DVDs that are returned any time after the 9 p.m. deadline after the initial 24-hour period has expired.”

    I know I didn’t really pay attention to all of the disclaimers but I understood it to be a “24 hour” anything. I always understood it to be charged the $1 daily fee if the disc isn’t returned before 9pm. I don’t know why this has gone as far as it has.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tina [visitor]

    Sorry, I meant to say that I never understood it to be a “24 Hour” anything.

  14. Member [Join Now]
    Eternalshadows [eternalshadows]

    This is just another Frivolous case. Completely pointless. I agree that Redbox should have learned from Blockbuster, but come on! Common sense should be present and people should read through everything that is in Terms and Agreements. It’s not Redbox’s fault for the lady’s stupidity. Even on the Redbox machines in Texas where I’m from, it says “Daily Fee” and not “Late Fee”. Its always been that way since I first saw the machine. Stupid people need to die and free some air for the semi-intelligent to intellegent people

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    2L Lawstudent [visitor]

    Just a quick primer on the legal system. Tinybrat’s idea that a jury decides if a case has merit is ridiculous (no offense intended – seriously – I see where you’re coming from, but keep reading). Do you have any idea how many lawsuits are filed? Less than 2 % of all lawsuits go to trial, and yet people STILL complain about how frequently they’re called up for jury duty. Imagine if there was 50 times the number of summons.

    Further, the whole idea of a jury deciding questions of law goes wholly against how our legal system is set up. Juries decide FACTS (like, did the guy shoot the other guy, did the other guy threaten him with a knife), judges decide LAW (like, was his shooting justified based on the legal principle of self-defense. That’s the way it has worked from the foundation of our (and England’s) legal system. A jury simply isn’t competent to decide if a complaint has legal merit – that’s the judge’s job. Yes, yes, I know, there are some cases that are so obvious that anyone could decide whether they have merit, but the majority require a person who is legally trained to make that determination.*

    Finally, there is a (relatively) quick and easy way for Redbox to deal with this lawsuit. It’s called a 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, and essentially it says “Yup, everything you say is true. So what? You don’t have a legally cognizable claim. We haven’t done anything wrong.” From the article above, that’s what Redbox has done – they’ve filed such a motion. If this really is such a slam-dunk case (and the one thing I’ve learned in law school is that until you know all the facts, it’s never a good idea to try and decide how a case should come out) then a judge will throw it out of court before Redbox has to spend too much on legal fees.

    *For example, the McDonalds hot coffee case, which has been cited above as being an example of how our legal system is messed up, isn’t quite as clear-cut as it initially sounds. You can read the full facts at I’ll quickly summarize. McDonalds had scalded over 700 people with its coffee. The plaintiff was severely burned, requiring skin grafts to fix the damage. McDonalds KNEW the coffee they were serving had the potential to hurt people, and that the high temperature was unnecessary. The million dollar award was a punitive award, designed to teach McDonalds a lesson that they can’t go around negligently hurting people. Now, should the burned person have gotten that million (actually $480,000)? Perhaps not. But, money is the language of business, and if you don’t tell a company that what they’re doing is wrong in the language of business, they don’t listen.

    • Member [Join Now]

      2L Lawstudent: Thanks for your post. 99.5% of comments to any blog post or article are garbage. Your’s is one of the rare useful ones.

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    MelissaInTexas [visitor]

    These types of frivolous lawsuits disgust me. It seems like the stupidity population is rising and right behind them are the “ambulance-chasing” lawyers and lawyers hoping to put their face in front of every camera they can. (See: Gloria Allred.) In this case against Redbox, I’m not sure who is dumber – the idiot woman trying to get something for nothing, or the bottom-feeding lawyer. My theory is, they were thinking of the class action suit against Blockbuster and thought they would be able to make millions. Let’s just assume for a second that Redbox was sneaky and didn’t disclose it’s fee terms, or erroneously charged this woman $1/day and wouldn’t refund her the money. What make her think she would deserve anything more than a refund? UGH! Sometimes, I hate that our legal system is so “free.”