court: there’s no right to jury trial when seeking only injunction/disgorgement in false advertising case

Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. v. Timeshare Lawyers
P.A., 2023 WL 3510374, No. 20-24681-Civ-Scola (S.D. Fla. May 17, 2023)

The court grants these timeshare plaintiffs’ motion for a
bench trial, ruling that the Seventh Amendment doesn’t guarantee a jury trial
in a false advertising case where the plaintiffs seek only equitable remedies.
I presume that the defendants think that a jury might be more sympathetic to
their unclean hands-type arguments, and they also argued they’d wasted a bunch of time and resources preparing for a jury; the court notes that “a significant portion
of the Defendants’ opposition highlights what is perhaps best referred to as
Bluegreen’s persistent gamesmanship in this and related cases.”

 The issue of “whether
a right to a jury trial exists turns on whether the claims were historically
cognizable at law or considered equitable.” This requires comparing the
statutory action to 18th-century actions, then examining the remedy sought; the
latter is the more important consideration. The Eleventh Circuit previously held
that a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit under the Lanham Act is not
entitled to a jury trial when it seeks only disgorgement of the defendant’s
profits in lieu of actual damages. Hard Candy, Ltd. Liab. Co. v. Anastasia
Beverly Hills, Inc., 921 F.3d 1343, 1348 (11th Cir. 2019).

Although this was a false advertising case with no obvious
18th-century analogue, the court found Hard Candy dispositive. The
nature of the relief requested—disgorgement and an injunction—was the
determining factor. This also applied to plaintiffs’ tortious interference and
civil conspiracy claims, even though both causes of action were traditionally
cognizable at law.

from Blogger

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s