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Date: 05-23-2023

Case Style:

Megan Perkins v. The New York Times Company, d/b/a The New York Times

Case Number: 22-cv-5202

Judge: P. Kevin Castel

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manahattan County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Karen A. Chesley and David Edward McCraw

Description: New York City, New York consumer law lawyer represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant claiming that Defendant violated the North Carolina Automatic Renewal Statute, N.C.G.S. Section 75-41(a).

Plaintiff Meghan Perkins, is a citizen of North Carolina, sued The New York Times claiming that it wrongfully renewed her digital subscription without her permission and in violation of North Carolina law.

The New York Times moved to dismiss.

Perkins purchased a monthly digital Times subscription through the Times website on or about February 28, 2020. (Compl't ¶ 34.) She alleges that she was located in North Carolina at the time. (Id.) She subscribed at a promotional rate of $4 a month and provided her PayPal account information to the Times. (Id.)

The Complaint asserts that before she completed the order, “the relevant screens and buttons presented to Ms. Perkins did not clearly and conspicuously state that her [Times] Subscription would automatically renew every month until she cancelled, and they did not describe the full cancellation policy that applied to her purchase.” (Id. ¶ 35.) Perkins asserts that after she completed her order, the Times sent an email acknowledging that her subscription was activated, but the email did not set forth the complete terms of renewal or cancellation. (Id. ¶ 36.) Due to the purportedly deficient disclosures, Perkins asserts that she was unaware that she had enrolled in an “automatic renewal” program under which her subscription would renew each month at variable rates. (Id. ¶ 37.)

On February 24, 2021, about a year after she began her subscription, Perkins's monthly subscriber fee doubled from $4 to $8.[2] (Id. ¶ 38.) She asserts that the Times did not provide her with timely notice of the February 24, 2021 renewal. (Id. ¶ 39.) Perkins asserts that her subscription was renewed “an additional twenty three times for a total of eleven unauthorized charges amounting to $136 to Ms. Perkins's PayPal account without her knowing consent.” (Id. ¶ 40.)

Perkins asserts the Times violates all four subsections of the ARS, N.C. G.S. § 75-41(a), by failing to adequately disclose various subscription-renewal terms in a manner required by the statute. (Compl't ¶¶ 24-33.) The Complaint brings one claim under the ARS, one claim of unfair and deceptive trade practices under North Carolina law, N.C. G.S. § 75-16, and one claim of unjust enrichment.

Outcome: The motion to dismiss is DENIED as to claims asserted in Count One under N.C. G.S. § 75-41(a)(2) and (a)(4). The claim under section 75-41(a)(3) is voluntarily dismissed. The motion is GRANTED as to the remainder of Count One and the entirety of Count Two and Count Three.

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