Friday, September 17, 2021

Lost profits aren't restitution for California UCL purposes

Lee v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc., --- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, 2021 WL 2451109, A157657 (Ct. App. Jun. 16, 2021)

Lee, on behalf of a putative class of California optometrists with independent optometry practices, brought suit against a competing chain of optical retailers, alleging UCL violations. However, compensation for lost market share isn’t authorized by the UCL, because that’s not restitution, “the only form of nonpunitive monetary recovery authorized under the UCL. … Lost profits are damages, not restitution, and are unavailable in a private action under the UCL.” Absent a legally enforceable right to a stream of future income, the plaintiff lacks an ownership interest in it and thus there is nothing to “restore.”

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