Law Street Media

Class Action Suit Brought Against Nespresso for Alleged Tying Arrangement

A steaming cup of coffee.

Cup of hot drink on the table

A complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Southern District of New York by Abigail Shaughnessy against Nespresso USA, Inc. The putative class action complaint alleges that the defendant’s product warranties condition the continuation of the warranties based on the consumer’s usage of an authorized repair service.

The warranties of Nespresso products are described in the complaint as tying arrangements, which “state or imply that a consumer must buy or use an item or service from a particular company to keep their warranty coverage.” In this case, the consumer must use the defendant’s authorized repair service to maintain their warranty, the complaint says.

The plaintiff owns one of the defendant’s espresso and coffee machines called the Nespresso Vertuo. The complaint explains that Nespresso’s tying arrangement violate both state and federal law since it adds unlawful restrictions against third parties who provide repair services and implies that consumers must continually buy Nespresso branded coffee capsules in order to maintain their warranty.

The warranty explicitly states that users of the defendant’s product should only use capsules that are intended for the appliance. However, plaintiff Shaughnessy alleges that the Nespresso coffee capsules are sold at inflated prices, yet consumers have to buy them for the sake of their warranty. Plaintiff Shaughnessy asserts that had she known about the unlawful tying arrangement, she would not have purchased the defendant’s product or she would have paid significantly less for it.

The complaint cites violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, unjust enrichment, fraud, fraudulent omission, and declaratory judgement. The plaintiff seeks class certification, favorable judgement on each count, compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages, pre-judgement interest, restitution, litigation fees, and a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Bursor & Fisher, P.A.

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