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Smith v. Cash America International, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

June 4, 2019

BLANCHE T. SMITH Plaintiff,
v.
CASH AMERICA INTERNATIONAL, INC. Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. Michael R. Barrett, United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Cash America International, Inc.'s Motion to Strike Class Allegations (“Motion to Strike”) (Doc. 19). After Plaintiff opposed and Defendant replied, the Court held the Motion to Strike in abeyance while the Parties conducted targeted discovery on five discrete issues:

1. Defendant's pawn loan business, practices, policies and procedures;
2. Defendant's jewelry authentication process, including practices, policies and procedures;
3. Defendant's policies and procedures specific to its Bond Hill store in 2015;
4. Defendant's recordkeeping systems, policies, procedures, and retention policies;
5. Defendant's employee training practices, policies, and procedures for jewelry authentication

(Doc. 16). The Parties have fully briefed the Motion to Strike (Docs. 19, 20, 21), and submitted supplemental memoranda (Docs. 31, 32) after conducting the above-referenced discovery. This matter is ripe for disposition.

         I. BACKGROUND

         a. Procedural Posture Relating to Motion to Strike

         After the Parties performed targeted discovery, they indicated that they wished to submit additional briefing, although they were initially uncertain of the form the briefing should take. Regardless, the Court expressed a willingness to allow the Parties to submit supplemental briefing, with the expectation that the Parties would inform the Court of the anticipated form of briefing. (June 30, 2017 Minute Entry); (Doc. 30, PageID 382-83).

         Consistent with the June 30, 2017 Minute Entry, Plaintiff later sought leave to file a sur-reply to the Motion to Strike. (Doc. 27). Defendant then requested leave to file a response to Plaintiff's sur-reply. (Doc. 28). Plaintiff “vociferously disagree[d]” that such a response was appropriate. (Doc. 29). Ultimately, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a sur-reply; however, over Plaintiff's objection, it also granted Defendant leave to file a response to the sur-reply. (Doc. 30). The Court reasoned that “[g]iven that the Court allowed targeted discovery, and given the Court's earlier representation that it will allow the Parties to file supplemental briefing and follow up in approximately 90 days (June 30, 2017 Minute Entry), the Court would prefer to hear from both parties regarding how - if at all - extrinsic evidence gathered during targeted discovery should affect the Court's analysis of the pending Motion to Strike.” (Doc. 30, PageID 384) (emphasis in original).

         After the Parties finished their briefing, the Court took the matter under advisement.

         b. Factual Background

         In her Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations:

         On August 11, 2015, Plaintiff visited a Cash America location in Bond Hill, Hamilton County, Ohio. (Id. at ¶ 19). She was interested in obtaining a “pawn loan” on a sterling silver metal cross with diamonds (hereinafter referred to as the “pendant”). (Id. at ¶¶ 19-20). Plaintiff had previously pawned items at Defendant's store. (Id. at ¶ 21). Defendant requested and Plaintiff acquiesced to allow Defendant to inspect the pendant. (Id. at ¶ 24). Defendant removed the pendant from Plaintiff's line of sight and inspected it. (Id. at ¶ 25). Defendant then returned the pendant to Plaintiff, advising her that it would not make a “pawn loan” on her piece of jewelry. (Id. at ¶ 26). Plaintiff did not sign any paperwork or otherwise provide any information to Defendant. (Id. at ¶ 23). After leaving the store, Plaintiff discovered that the pendant had been cut and some form of acid poured over the pendant. (Id. at ¶ 27). Plaintiff has had no further contact with Defendant. (Id. at ¶ 29). She believes it would cost approximately $40-$45 to fix the pendant. (Id. at ¶ 28).

         Plaintiff brought this action on behalf of herself and a putative National class and Ohio subclass (Id. at ¶ 31), asserting the following claims: 1) Trespass to Chattels; 2) Fraudulent Concealment/Nondisclosure; 3) Breach of Bailment; 4) Violation of Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act; 5) Violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (“OCSPA”); and 6) Declaratory Judgment/Injunctive Relief. (Doc. 3). The Court dismissed Count IV (Violation of Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act), but the other claims remain pending. The issue before the ...


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