Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Lopez v. Don Herring Ltd.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

January 4, 2018

ARTHUR LOPEZ, individually, and on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated individuals Plaintiff,
Don Herring Ltd. Defendant.



         The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) limits access to and disclosure of personal information in state-maintained motor-vehicle records and authorizes private individuals to sue those they believe have violated the act. In this case, auto dealer Don Herring Ltd. (Herring) mailed to Arthur Lopez (Lopez) an advertisement containing Lopez's name and address as well as the make and model of his car. Believing the information in the advertisement to have come from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles's (DMV) records, Lopez filed a class-action DPPA claim against Herring and others. Herring, the only remaining defendant, now moves the Court to dismiss Lopez's suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), contending that Lopez has failed to plead sufficient facts to support a DPPA claim. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Herrings motion to dismiss.



         A. Factual History[1]

         This case begins with an advertisement Lopez received in the mail from Herring. Doc. 47, Am. Compl., ¶ 5; Doc. 47-1, Am. Compl., Ex. 1. Having never done business with Herring, Lopez was shocked to find that the advertisement contained not only Lopez's full name and address but also the make, model, and year of his car. Doc. 47, Am. Compl., ¶23. Believing the safety of his identity was on the line, Lopez decided to investigate. Id. Lopez pleads that he talked to Herring Senior Sales Associate Cary Wilson, who told him that Herring obtained his vehicle information from the Texas DMV. Id.

         Lopez then asked his attorney, Joseph Malley (Malley), to investigate further. Id. Malley asked Herring via mail, [2] “I understand you informed [Lopez] that the information was not obtained from [Lopez's former employer][3] but from the state motor vehicle department. Can you clarify this issue?” Id. Herring's General Sales Manager, Reuben Mosley, responded, “Yes that is correct. We use a third party company that supplies the information and it is gathered through vehicle registrations.” Id.

         Malley also contacted the third party the General Sales Manager mentioned: Tacito & Associates, Inc (Tacito). Doc. 1, Compl., ¶ 72; Doc. 1-4, Compl., Ex. 5. Tacito created the advertisement that triggered this action and may have provided Herring with Lopez's vehicle information. Doc. 47-1, Am. Compl., Ex. 1; Doc. 1-4, Compl., Ex. 5. The letter Malley sent Tacito is not in the record, but Tacito's CEO responded that Tacito received Lopez's record from another company, BB Direct, and that BB Direct's auto list is “Shelby Act compliant”[4] and does not draw from Texas DMV records. Doc. 1-4, Compl., Ex. 5.

         Malley then contacted BB Direct. What Malley sent to BB Direct is not in the record. BB Direct's Brian Berg responded that BB Direct had a record of an order from Tacito for Herring but no longer had the “data file.” Doc. 1-8, Compl., Ex. 9. Though nothing in the complaints nor their attachments explain what this “data file” is, the Court presumes it contained information of car owners like Lopez. Berg went on to explain that BB Direct acts as a broker when it receives requests for automobile owners and obtained the list for the Tacito order from a Texas company called Data Shark. Id. Berg said Data Shark's owner told him that Data Shark's file is Shelby compliant and that Data Shark's file sources are oil-lube stations, insurance companies, and some auto groups. Id. Berg did not believe Data Shark's data came from the DMV because Data Shark's data contained errors. Id. Berg said also that he did not know where Lopez's information came from or whether it was even on the Tacito list. Id.

         B. Procedural History

         When Lopez first filed this class-action lawsuit, he sued Herring, Tacito, BB Direct, and Monica Braverman, the owner of Data Shark, alleging they violated the DPPA and purporting to represent a class of “millions, if not tens of millions” of victims of the defendants' allegedly unlawful practices. Doc. 1, Compl, ¶ 136. But the Court dismissed Lopez's original complaint. Doc. 45, Electronic Order. Lopez then filed an Amended Complaint, naming Herring as the only defendant but still claiming to represent a class possibly numbering in the tens of millions. Doc. 47, Am. Compl., ¶¶ 8, 33. Though, Lopez more realistically describes the class he purports to represent as consisting of those whose personal information Herring obtained from state DMVs. Id. at ¶30. And whereas Lopez attached emails from Tacito and BB Direct to his original complaint, he attaches only emails from Herring to his amended complaint and omits from his pleadings any mention of Tacito, BB Direct, or Data Shark. Doc. 47-2, Am. Compl., Ex. 2; Doc. 47-3, Am. Compl., Ex. 3.

         Herring now moves that the Court dismiss Lopez's amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Doc. 48, Mot. to Dismiss. That motion is ripe for the Court to resolve.


         LEGAL ...

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.