Quinn Emanuel recently achieved dismissal ¬with prejudice for Alphabet, Google, and several of its senior executives, in a case in which plaintiffs asserted 13 causes of action and sought $500 million.
Plaintiff Gimmegelt was a Nevada corporation that participated in Google’s free AdSense program. It was terminated from the program after Google found suspicious activity suggesting fraudulent clicks on Gimmgelt’s website. Following its termination, Gimmegelt purportedly assigned its claims to plaintiffs Gottlieb and Khokhar, the individuals behind the corporation. Gottlieb and Khokhar then filed a complaint in the Eastern District of New York, where they reside. The complaint used Google’s termination of Gimmegelt from the AdSense program as a launching pad for claims of RICO violations, securities fraud, antitrust, conspiracy, and breach of contract, among others.
Quinn Emanuel’s first step was to move to transfer the case to California, Google’s home forum. Once in California, Quinn Emanuel crafted a strategy to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the assignment of claims was invalid and that plaintiffs had therefore failed to name the real party in interest. The Court agreed, granting our motion and dismissing the complaint with leave to amend.
Plaintiffs the filed an amended complaint, joining Gimmegelt as a plaintiff. Quinn Emanuel immediately moved to dismiss again, this time based upon the statute of limitations. The strategy was unconventional – the only change to the complaint was the addition of a plaintiff and yet we were arguing that the amended complaint was time barred – but we marshalled case law in support of our argument that the real party in interest didn’t get the benefit of any equitable tolling or relation back, as the assignment was a strategic decision, not a mistake. The Court agreed. We also argued that the individual plaintiffs (who remained in the case) were improper assignees, and thus had to be dismissed too. The Court also agreed.
Quinn Emanuel stopped the plaintiffs’ case before it could get past the pleadings. The Court granted our motion and dismissed the $500 million lawsuit with prejudice.