Transcript: WGAN-TV: MSPs' Class Action Lawsuits Against Matterport, Inc.12754
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|WGAN-TV: Matterport Service Partners' Class Action Lawsuits Against Matterport one of plaintiffs' shared co-counsel, Tom Zimmerman, with Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago. | Thursday, 6 August 2020
Screen Grab: John Stemmelin filed 24 June 2020 in US District Court, Northern District of CA. (Case: 5:20-cv-04168)
Transcript: WGAN-TV: Matterport Service Partners' Class Action Lawsuits Against Matterport, Inc.
✓ Why did two Matterport Service Parters (MSPs) file class action lawsuits against Matterport?
✓ What do they say Matterport promised and failed to deliver?
✓ What do they hope to gain as a result of their lawsuits?
✓ What was the Illinois lawsuit and why was that dismissed in favor of refilling as a class action lawsuit?
On WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 6 August 2020, my guest was one of plaintiffs' shared co-counsel, Tom Zimmerman, with Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C. in Chicago.
WGAN-TV Live at 5: Matterport Service Partners' Class Action Lawsuits Agains Matterport
✓ Are you a Matterport Service Partner? How will these lawsuits affect you?
✓ If you are thinking about buying a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera? Should you be concerned about these lawsuits?
Both complaints include:
1. Violations of Seller Assisted Marketing Plan Laws
2. Violations of California's Unfair Competition Law
3. Violations of California's False Advertising Law
What do these law say; how did Matterport allegedly violate them? And, how does this affect you?
OnWGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 6 August 2020 at 5 pm EDT (GMT -5) we did a deep dive into Class Action Lawsuits Against Matterport.
Here are the Class Action lawsuit Complaints by:
✓George Kenner filed 15 July 2020 in Superior Court of California. (Case: 19CV350887)
✓John Stemmelin filed 24 June 2020 in US District Court, Northern District of CA. (Case: 5:20-cv-04168)
A transcript of this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show appears below.
Contact Info for My Guest on the Show
Zimmerman Law Offices P.C.
Screen Grab: George Kenner filed 15 July 2020 in Superior Court of California. (Case: 19CV350887)
Transcript (WGAN-TV Live at 5 show above)
- I'm Dan Smigrod. Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum.
Today is Thursday, August 6, 2020, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5. Our topic today, Matterport Service Partners', class action lawsuit against Matterport and our guest today ... ... is one of the plaintiff's shared co-counsel Tom Zimmerman, with Zimmerman Law Offices P.C., in Chicago. Hi Tom, good to see you.
- Hi, Dan, good to be here.
- Thanks for being on the show today. I think for our viewers today, I think part of the takeaway that I'd like to have them experience is, why did two Matterport Service Partners- MSPs - file class action lawsuits against Matterport? What do they say Matterport promised and failed to deliver?
What do they hope to gain, as a result of their lawsuits? What was the Illinois lawsuit and why was that dismissed, in favor of refiling, as a class action lawsuit? Tom, how about taking us back to the beginning and just give us a little bit of an overview?
- Sure, so a gentlemen named George Kenner filed a suit in California, back in July of last year . He sued on behalf of a class of California MSPs, against Matterport. We then filed in Illinois with John Stemmelin as the plaintiff, on behalf of a class of Illinois MSPs.
That was in December of last year . Matterport then moved to dismiss the Illinois case. In their papers, they argued that there were various contracts, terms and conditions that govern the MSPs and their relationship with Matterport and those contracts required any lawsuits to be brought in California court, that's called a forum selection clause. So we agreed.
So we voluntarily dismissed the Illinois lawsuit and filed it in California, federal court, still as a class action. But this time, we expanded the scope of the class to be a nationwide class action for all MSPs throughout the country, excluding California.
The reason is, there was already the Kenner complaint that sought to represent a California class of MSPs. We didn't want any overlap with that. So we filed against Matterport and several of the directors individually. They're also named defendants and that brings us to where we are now.
- Terrific, thanks for the overview. ... so there are two different complaints. Perhaps we start with the one that you originated in Illinois. What is it that the plaintiff, your client, is alleging that Matterport violated?
- Right, so the attorneys and the law firms are co-counsel now in both cases. I'm counsel for George Kenner now in the California case and his lawyers are co-counsel with me in the newly filed Stemmelin complaint in California, federal court. Both complaints allege generally the same allegations, as pertaining to alleged misrepresentations and omissions by a Matterport and its agents and employees.
Generally, the complaints alleged that Matterport had promised that MSPs would receive pre-qualified filtered leads for their local geographic area. They would get so many of these that it would pay for the initial investment in the hardware; building the website and all the other things an MSP had to do, such that they would recoup their initial investment relatively quickly.
The problem with that, that Mr. Kenner and Mr. Stemmelin have experienced and that we've heard from others ... as alleged in the complaint, is that Matterport would saturate the local geographic area with MSPs and they would be competing over the same leads.
So it was very difficult for a MSP to get the business, number one. Number two, if they were able to get some business, essentially they were competing with fellow MSPs in their same geographic area. That was something that was not disclosed to them that this would be occurring.
So that's one of the misrepresentations or omissions that are alleged in the complaint. Additionally, their experience was that Matterport had represented that scanning was easy, that it was easy for anybody to get started quickly. That Matterport would provide the MSPs with training and resources.
But in reality, the plaintiffs in these cases found that there were very large upfront costs: purchasing of the camera; of tripods; of ancillary iPad or computer; setting up a website; all the insurance that went along with it. There were a lot of upfront costs and it took a long time to learn how to use the equipment.
And in their experience Matterport provided very little training, such that they and other MSPs were relegated to actually serving as a peer-to-peer technical support team for each other, because they weren't able to get the initial technical support that they were promised. So they look to each other who other MSPs, who were in the same situation and essentially self-taught each other. That is alleged in the complaint.
- Of the examples that you've provided, what laws would these violate, that you've stated in the complaints?
- So currently there's the California Unfair Competition Law and the California False Advertising Law. Those are statutes.
Those laws would apply, because there is a choice of law provision in the Matterport terms of service that states not only do California courts have jurisdiction to hear legal matters, but that California law would apply. So these California statutes would apply not only to the California class, but also nationwide, because all of the MSPs are subject to the terms and conditions of those agreements.
So is Matterport. So therefore the California statutes would apply, regardless of what state you're in. They're generally statutes that prohibit unfair conduct; fraudulent conduct; misrepresentations; omissions. So, things that somebody should tell you, but fail to tell you; and had you known of it, it would have made a material difference in your decision making.
All of these are encompassed within those statutes. That would apply to those examples that I gave you. There are other examples in the complaint.
One of the other allegations is that the cameras save the images in a format that's unreadable, unless the purchaser also subscribes to the Matterport Cloud Service Plan and pays a monthly fee.
If they were to drop that plan and no longer subscribed to the Cloud Service Plan, then they lose access to their images and the models that they've created.
And, Matterport would retain them and still have access to them. But the MSP who developed it, would lose access.
The plaintiff's allege in the complaints ... that that was not made clear to them, that if they were to leave, or if they were to not participate in that particular plan, essentially they would lose access to everything and all the work that they've done.
There's another issue that is somewhat recent. That is that Matterport is setting up a new program, the Capture Services Program. Essentially, the allegation is that Matterport is competing with its own MSPs.
If an MSP were to be fortunate enough to be accepted into the Capture Service Program, they would have to be subject to a non-solicitation clause in the captured technician contract that prevents them from servicing existing customers directly.
For a period of, I believe it's 24 months after that contract terminates. So the plaintiffs and others that we've talked to feel that they were deceived when they enrolled in the MSP program for these reasons. There are others alleged in the complaint, and those would tie into the two consumer fraud statutes that I mentioned the two California statutes.
There's another aspect to the case. That is a multi-state aspect for 21 states, not including California. If you add in California, it's 22. They have disclosure requirements.
So when a company sells a business opportunity and we alleged that the MSP program falls under that definition of a business opportunity, that there are certain statutes that govern that, and those statutes require disclosures.
They require written contracts, be provided by the company to the prospective purchaser ahead of time. That the purchaser be given some time to review those agreements.
That the purchaser also will be provided with written disclosures that they could then consider in determining whether they want to enter into this business opportunity.
Some of these disclosures require, and I could just read off of this, the names and addresses of the sales persons who will engage in the offer or sale of this business opportunity within their state.
Prior business experience of the seller relating to business opportunities and a description of their experience for the last 10 years.
A listing of educational and professional backgrounds for the seller. Whether they've been convicted of a felony or been subject to any criminal, or civil, or administrative proceedings alleging a violation of any business law.
Whether they've been bankrupt within the last seven years. The initial payment that's required. A description of the actual services the seller agrees to perform for the purchaser. A description of any training, the seller agrees to provide. Any representations by the seller to the purchaser, concerning sales or earnings that may be made from the business opportunity. A copy of the most recent audited financial statement of the seller that was prepared within the last year. A list of states where the business opportunity ...
- Excuse me, Tom. So for context, I think what we're talking about is both complaints include at the highest level a violation of the Seller Assisted Marketing Plan laws. That's what's in the 22 states.
- That's correct.
- The 22 states specify Seller Assisted Marketing Plan laws have been allegedly violated. Why do both plaintiffs feel that way? Perhaps you could read maybe a little bit from the complaint about the promises they felt were made, regarding being able to recoup costs within six months.
- So with respect to these Seller Assisted Marketing Plan or business opportunity sales laws, they require generally, and each state vary slightly that the seller in this case, Matterport, would have to register their business opportunity. In this case, the MSP program.
They'd have to register that with the state and they would have to provide the state with the disclosures, the disclosure document that they're going to be providing to these prospective purchasers.
We issued Freedom of Information Act requests to all of those states and in every instance, that came back that no such registration was on file. So in other words, the state was telling us Matterport, had not complied with the requirement that they register the MSP program and that they provide the copy of the disclosure form.
The statutes are very explicit in their intent, and that is to protect the public from people selling these Seller Assisted Marketing Plans. It's to protect the public, to provide them with information, so that they can make a determination, as to whether other representations that are being made, either on the seller's website, or over the phone.
If they're talking to a representative of the seller and they're making representations to them over the phone, they'll have the written disclosure document where they can verify whether those representations are true, or whether there are other things in the disclosure that the seller is not putting on their website and not telling them over the phone.
- Do you think regarding both complaints where there's alleged violations of Seller Assisted Marketing Plan laws, where you've determined that Matterport did not file in those 22 states Seller Assisted Marketing Plan registrations, whatever that might be, do you think Matterport would argue? "No, no, we we're not doing a Seller Assisted Marketing Plan. We were simply selling a camera; cloud platform and photographers were free to pay for a camera, pay for a cloud plan, go out and market."
And, that Matterport did not make any claims that would be construed as a Seller Assisted Marketing Plan.
- Well, they would have no choice but to argue that. If they did not comply with those laws, then their only defense would be, the laws did not apply to them. So that'll be a legal determination that'll be made either by the judge or the jury.
There are a number of factors set forth in the statutes that you would look and see. All right, does your MSP program make this promise? Does it meet this factor - and you would tick them off one-by-one. And, there would be a determination made, as to whether or not they did fall within the definition of the Seller Assisted Marketing Plan, or business opportunity sales law for each particular state. We believe they did.
- All right. I'd like to just share my screen for a moment and go take a look at one of the complaints. This is John Stemmelin's complaint. If I go here on page five, it says Matterport's website, formerly located at this particular website address, stated, "Your business, your way.
Be your own boss, set your own hours and earn what you want for only $4,100 in upfront investment and minimal training, you'll be on your way to a lucrative, self-owned business." Is that the example that you feel applies, excuse me, to this seller Assisted Marketing Plan Law, is that an example?
- It is. The statutes are very specific in what they require, in order to fall within the definition of a business opportunity. So there are a number of examples throughout the complaint. That's one of them, as to what factors would be satisfied under the particular statute, that in our opinion, the MSP program would then qualify as a business opportunity under the definition in the statute.
- Well, my challenge, when I went to look at that Matterport URL, it's not there anymore. Do you have copies of these documents?
- We do, yes. We researched thoroughly factual allegations, before alleging them in a complaint. If we're citing to a document, we've seen the document. If it's a web address, we'll take screenshots of the web address.
- Okay, I'm going to go back if I may just go back to the document, because there was another, excuse me. This would be on page ... I guess its page two, and I'm just searching on the word months.
Okay, I think I'm in the right place. "Matterport inside sales representatives, falsely represented to potential buyers that MSPs receive marketing materials and filtered leads in their geographic 3-30 mile location that would pay for the initial investment in the Matterport 3D camera in six months."
So that's an example of a document that you have from Matterport that you feel directly addresses this Seller Assisted Marketing Plan laws that Matterport has allegedly violated by not filing - that they are in fact, the Seller Assisted Marketing Plan company. Is that the way to say that?
- So if we don't cite to a document, then it's not based on a document. This particular allegation is based on the experience of the plaintiffs, who were told this from the representative.
- Okay, so is this a he-said-she-said kind of conversation?
- Well, I presume based on my experience litigating for over 20 years in commercial class action litigation, they will have a script. Sales representatives have scripts that they read off of.
If the two plaintiffs heard the same thing on different phone calls from different sales representatives, then, we're pretty sure that through discovery in this case, we'll be able to obtain all of the scripts that they were reading off of. At that point, we'll have a document that will show that this was a standard script and standard representations that [was] being made to everybody.
That's why we alleged in the complaint on information and belief, the same representations were part of a standard script that was communicated by Matterport. It's for that reason.
- Going back to the Matterport Capture Services Program. That's something relatively new this year . Did not exist at the time that either photographer bought the camera. Things changed?
- We don't know when these things changed, or what their intent was. I know that there was a prior interview on your show with a Matterport representative, talking about insurance companies and how they had things planned. It sounds like where they were referring to this Capture Services Program. But it's hard to know for sure. We don't know how long ago they had this Matterport Capture Services Program planned and how long it was in development. It didn't just happen overnight.
Any of the MSPs, the Service Partners who became Service Partners after Matterport was developing this Capture Services Program, certainly would want to know about that and would want to know why didn't Matterport tell them when they were contemplating becoming an MSP and spending the money and all the initial investment that at some point in the future, things were going to change and opportunities were not going to be there for them, like they had thought, because they were developing this new program and other people would be getting those leads in that business. I would certainly want to know that.
- Could you speak a little bit more it's addressed in your filings of what is it about the Matterport Capture Services Program, is competitive to Matterport Service Providers?
- So I don't have a full understanding of all of the aspects of the Capture Services Program. It's relatively new. Came out this year, I believe. So we're still investigating all of the aspects of it. My understanding is that if you want a particular job and it falls within this program and whatever the requirements are for the program, that that would be farmed out to these capture technicians.
It's a different group of folks. The capture technicians would get that work. An MSP would not get that work. So if an MSP wanted to become a capture technician, and I believe it's discretionary on the part of Matterport to decide whether to accept you into that or not.
Then they would not be able to service their existing customers directly anymore. They couldn't go to them, because there is a non-solicitation clause in this agreement. So we have just some sketchy information about it.
We don't know specifically all of the terms. It was not announced at the time we filed our complaint. So we don't have any allegations about this particular program in the complaint, but it's something that we're looking into.
- So, correct me if I'm wrong. But at a top level, I believe with the plaintiffs are alleging, is it, "Hey, buy a camera. Get a Cloud Platform. You'll start a business.
We'll send you leads. We're going to help you succeed." Then all of a sudden Matterport comes out with the Matterport Capture Services Program and says, "Hey, large companies, if you need scanning done across America, place one order, at one price. We'll service that to make it easy for you to place an order and we'll go to the Matterport capture technicians to fulfill those Matterport scans."
So I think just to kind of tie it together, your complaint would be, "Hey, you're telling us, you're setting us up in business here, but yet you're competing with us."
- Well, that's the way it appears to be. From what little we know about this new program. It appears to be that these big customer leads are not going to the MSPs. The MSPs are getting bypassed and Matterport is handling those in a different way.
- So maybe two things. One is the photographer is not getting the lead.
Two, it's actually going to someone who has agreed to be paid at whatever rate Matterport determines for that business, which may or may not be your plaintiff. So they bought a camera. They're out scanning. Then all of a sudden, Matterport may be competing with them for the same client.
- It appears that's what's happening, but we don't have all of the facts yet to make any allegations or anything definitive with respect to any statements or our allegations in a complaint on that at this point, without further discovery. It's still too new of a program that I don't want to comment on that at this point.
- Okay, so going back to the two other alleged violations in the complaint, Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, was there anything else, in terms of what you felt was unfair competition? Again, I presume the Capture Services Program might be considered unfair competition. Was there yet something else that might be considered unfair competition?
- No, I think we've generally covered it.
- Covered it. So saturation of selling more cameras into a market than perhaps there are opportunities?
- That's certainly part of it, yes.
- Okay, all right. So I know that that piece that we read, or I read from the complainant talked about a $4,100 camera, but I noticed in the complaint that your client, the plaintiff, John Stemmelin, from Illinois, talks about an investment that exceeded $22,000.
That was with two Matterport cameras, presuming some other related gear, et cetera. That if we did the math on the 230 members in the class that were, I guess, identified, that that comes out to more than $5 million. Is that $5 million ... what you're seeking?
- So there is, I don't know, I haven't got my calculator in front of me, but there are a number of remedies that are available under the different statutes.
One of them is contract rescission. So if an MSP feels that they were deceived and they don't want to be part of the program anymore, they can cancel their contract and not be bound to the terms.
We would seek under the statutes, the various remedies that are provided, one of which is they would get a refund of all the money that they paid. I mean, they could return the camera, get their money back.
Any actual damages that they've sustained with respect to website hosting, insurance, the tripod, any other ancillary products or services that they purchased, they would be entitled to recover that.
Some of the statutes provide for penalties. So some percentage, an additional 10%, some provide for treble damages. So the MSP, let's say, they're out $20,000.
The court would triple that, and they would get three times their damages, in order to punish Matterport and to deter other companies from engaging in similar conduct, if that's what the court found to have occurred in this case.
- So in the case, it's helpful for me just to visualize one person in this conversation. So if we talk about John Stemmelin and his investment was $22,000, as he's calculated it for two Matterport cameras, presumably there's some iPads, tripods, related gear, his Matterport Cloud Hosting, maybe he ordered floor plans; but somehow he got to a number of $22,000.
If the court found in his favor, then he might get to be able in the contract rescission, the ability to send all that stuff back to Matterport and maybe get interest on top of that and maybe get triple damages awarded? So that $22,000 turns into $66,000 or more?
- Correct, under that example.
- That would be per person, but each the damages might be different for each person, based on how they've calculated, what their investment was.
- That's correct. I mean, there's the monthly fee that's paid to Matterport Cloud Service. That would be part of it, as well. So it all adds up.
It's just not the investment in the hardware, but it's ongoing monthly expenses for website hosting per your Cloud Service Plan hosting and all of that that would be included in each Service Partners damages that they would seek, in a case like this.
- Okay, I was reading through both complaints, trying to understand. Well okay, what might somebody receive back? So damages, I think we've talked about. Contract rescission. We've talked about injunctive relief. What would that be?
- Well, initially when we filed the complaint, we were seeking injunctive relief to force Matterport to comply with the disclosure, the registration and disclosure requirements of the 22 states that have the Business Opportunity Sales Laws and prohibit Matterport from further offering the MSP program to new prospective purchasers, until they did so, in compliance with those particular disclosure and registration laws.
- Perhaps that's why Matterport has ceased to offer new enrollments into the Matterport Service Partner Program. Some of us have wondered, "Well, gee, I wonder why that stopped?" So that might be as a result of your filing.
- I suspect it is. That's a relatively recent occurrence, as I understand it. I believe it started after the suits were filed last year.
- Okay. Declarative relief?
- Declaratory, thank you. What is declaratory relief?
- The court can make a declaration of the rights of parties. So we would ask the court to make a declaration that the MSP Program is in fact, a business opportunity, or a Seller Assisted Marketing Plan, such that it falls within the ambit of those 22 states' laws.
- Why is that helpful to you?
- Well, you would get a legal determination that this plan, in fact falls within the definition of those laws and therefore those laws applied to the MSP program.
Then we would see whether or not they complied with the registration and disclosure requirements up to this point from our Freedom of Information Act requests to each of the states. We have not seen any registration, or any disclosures by Matterport that were filed with those 22 states.
So at least up to this point, it appears that they did not comply with any of those requirements of those laws. If that turns out to be the case after discovery, and you have a declaration from the court that the MSP program was subject to the registration and disclosure requirements, then you would have a violation of the law.
- Then have damages based on that?
- Then the remedies, then all the MSPs in those particular states, would have the remedies available to them. In the multi-state class.
- Could you list the 21 states for us? "I'm a Matterport Service Partner. I'm watching today's show. I hear that there's 22 states that this applies to, California being one of them. But there's 21 other United States." I could imagine some of our viewers are scratching their head wondering, does this apply to them?
- Yeah, sure. Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C. Then of course, California.
- Great, so if I'm in one of those other states, do the two of the three violations apply, the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law?
- They would. Moreover, because there is the California choice of law provision in the various Terms Of Service and other Cloud Service Agreement, for example, Matterport Terms Of Service.
That choice of law provision is in, as we understand it, every contract with an MSP, regardless of what state you're in, it says California law applies. So in addition to the Business Opportunity Sales Laws from these 22 states, there would be the two California statutes that would apply to all 50 states.
- Now I'm totally confused. I was thinking, "Oh, I didn't hear my state listed out of the 22 states in the United States. Am I eligible as a class member, if I am in any one of the remaining states, based on what you just described?"
- Yes, yes, they are. You can bring different causes of action for the same alleged misconduct. Somebody might engage in misconduct and that would constitute a violation of one particular statute. It might also constitute a violation of another statute.
It might also constitute a breach of contract. It might constitute negligence. There are several different legal theories that can be brought for the same alleged misconduct. So that's what's happening here. You have a set of facts that are alleged in the complaint.
A set of misrepresentations and omissions and other conduct that's alleged in the complaint. Based on those allegations, you have various statutes that are alleged to be violated. So the two California statutes prohibit certain misconduct.
Because there is this choice of law provision in the contract that says California law applies, whether you're in one of the 22 states that have another statute that applies too, or if you're not in one of those 22 states, you're in some other state, the two California statutes would apply to you, regardless of what state you're in.
- Okay, "I'm a Matterport Service Partner. I'm watching today's show. Am I just waiting to see what the resolution of this, of these two class actions are?
Am I calling you, emailing you? Am I expressing interest in, how do I be part of, learn more?" Help me understand if as a Matterport Service Partner, who's watching the show today, what should their takeaway be from today's show?
- So we're happy to hear from anybody. We've talked to a number of MSPs and other folks with knowledge and we're happy to talk to anybody.
We're happy to keep you informed of the case. If you're interested in participating in one of the cases, that's available to you, as well, and we'll send you whatever documents we can. Some things are confidential.
But anything that's public, we can certainly send to you. You can go to my website, which is AttorneyZim.com It's AttorneyZim.com. You could send me an email. It's Tom@AttorneyZim.com. You could call our office. It's 312-440-0020. Any of those things you'll be able to reach us. Our website has a contact form on it. You could submit a contact form and we'll get right back to you.
- Okay, I'm going to repeat your website again. www.AttorneyZim.com. A-T-T-O-R-N-E-Y, Z as in zebra. I as in igloo. M as in Mary. First three letters of your last name, that's .com. So, AttorneyZim.com. I noticed on one of the complaints that the suit, the complaint is not just Matterport. It's the board of director members are named individually. Why is that?
- The specific Business Opportunity Sales Laws in the multi-state aspect of it, for those 21 states, provide that not only is the company liable for damages, but that the individual directors are all individually personally liable, as well. So under those causes of action and that particular theory of the case, we named them as defendants, because the statutes allow for that.
- Well, only one complaint has the board of director members though.
- Right, the John Stemmelin nationwide complaint that we filed in the federal court, in California for all of the States, except for California, that has them named as defendants, because that's the complaint that has those 21 different Business Opportunity Sales Laws in that complaint.
- I see. I'm thinking about, "I'm a real estate photographer. I'm thinking about buying a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, scratching my head. What should be my takeaway from watching today's show?"
- Well, I think you ought to be very careful in your decision-making.
Hopefully you understand what you're getting into.
What's being promised and what some of the potential ramifications will be to you and your new business that you want to start with this new program that Matterport has recently introduced and how that's going to affect you and any business that you hope to get and any leads that you were expecting to get that maybe you're not going to get, because they're going to go to somebody else.
So that's the reason why these states require these onerous disclosures, setting forth all of the information that you would need in order to make an informed business decision.
We're happy to talk to you and let you know what the experiences of the two plaintiffs in this case. Some of the other MSPs who have contacted us. You can talk to them if you like, too, and hear it from them firsthand and see if you think that it's the right fit for you. Once you get a different perspective from somebody who's actually living through it.
- Both suits asked for a jury trial. Why is that?
- Well, we always ask for a jury trial. Everybody's entitled to a jury. In my experience, trying a lot of cases, to a lot of juries, they usually get it right.
We think it's important that when you have 12 ordinary citizens who are hearing the facts that come out at a trial and the testimony, of all the witnesses, including Matterport witnesses and hearing their defense, we believe that it's important for them to decide, "what is right?" "What is just?" "What kind of society do we have?"
These statutes are there to protect members of the public, so that they are not taken advantage of. Most people understand some things happen and it's really nobody's fault. That's just unfortunate. If that's the case, then that's the case.
But people also understand and have in many times personally experienced that there is unfairness that occurs, as well. That there are companies who do take advantage of people.
So it's important to have people with their own experiences, sitting there, taking it all in and making their own independent judgment, based on their life experiences, as to whether this was something that was unfair. If it was, the measure of compensation that should be awarded to the MSPs, in order to right the wrong and make them whole, and put them back into a position that they should have been in, in the first place.
- To remain eligible as a member of the class, assuming at some point, you win, we get a letter that says, "Hey, the suit has happened.
Do you want to participate in whatever the judgment is?" Does a Matterport Service Provider still need to hold onto their camera? Do they need to keep their [Matterport] Cloud account active? Or as soon as they cancel their account, or return their camera or both, they're no longer eligible?
- No, they're still eligible. It depends on the type of relief that would be afforded. Many of these statutes provide that if you're going to rescind the contract, cancel it, you have the ability to cancel your contract, that you would have to return the camera, and then you would get your refund for what you paid. If you don't have your camera, then there may be other issues that you'll have to face, because of that.
But I would save everything. I would save all emails. I would save all receipts.
Anything that was purchased, if you can. I would save it just as Matterport is required to save everything, now that they've been sued.
Like these scripts that we think exist, should not be destroyed, because in the course of the litigation, we will ask for documents and they will ask for documents and other information. So the more that you have to justify your claim, the better it is.
If you have emails where you've communicated, or other writings with people from Matterport, where you believe that they were making statements that ultimately turned out to be untrue, or they made statements and you think, "You know what? I sure wish I would've known this other thing, but you never told me that in this email here."
So that would be an omission. You should save all those.
So that's all very important. Even if you're not planning on participating in the lawsuit as a plaintiff, if you believe that there was misconduct committed and you would like to help your fellow MSPs in trying to obtain some justice and set things right, we would be happy to talk to you and take a look at that.
- Tom, in our last two minutes here, today is Thursday, August 6, 2020. What's the likely timeline, if this goes all the way to the end to a jury trial, is this two years away? Is it three years away?
- We're probably looking at a year or two. We're still in the initial stages of the litigation in the Kenner complaint. That's the California only case.
That's a little bit farther along, because it was filed earlier. So we will be conducting discovery. In that case, we'll be coordinating between the two cases as best we can. So if we question a witness, we would have that questioning apply to both cases. So you don't have to question the same witness twice. That will help speed things up.
But litigation, it does take some time, especially if you want to be thorough. I think we're looking at another year or two before, if it goes to a jury trial, it's probably going to take that long.
- Is there any question I didn't ask you today that the?
- No, I think that was very thorough on your part too, Dan.
- Okay, thank you, Tom. I thank you. I did reach out to Matterport to ask them if they would like to have a show on this topic. I did hear back from them. "Thank you for offering the opportunity, but we don't discuss ongoing litigation." So just wanted to let the folks know that we did reach out to ask, did Matterport want to do yet another show on the same topic. Tom, thanks so much for being a guest on the show today. I appreciate it.
- My pleasure.
- We've been visiting with Tom Zimmerman. He is with the Zimmerman Law Offices P.C., in Chicago. Today's topic Matterport Service Partners, Class Action Lawsuit Against Matterport.
If you missed any portion of today's show, we have been recording it and we will post it in The We Get Around Network Forum. If you're watching it on various channels, WGANForum.com. WGANForum.com. Tom, thanks again. I'm Dan Smigrod. Founder of The We Get Around Network Forum and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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|It would be interesting to see or hear if they looped "Scan Services" the new brokerage direct into this.|
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|I turned down Matterport's "Scan Services" opportunity as it prevented me from up selling any services|
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|Thanks for transcribing!|
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Screen Grab fron PacerMonitor.com
Originally Posted by Axis360Media
Class Action Lawyer Tom Zimmerman expressed interest in commenting this Thursday, 5 November 2020 following the motion to dismiss.
If you would like to virtually attend the motion to dismiss this Thursday, 5 November 2020 at 8 am PT:
Dial In: (888) 684-8852 Access Code: 3707514
(The Court may be in session with proceedings in progress when you connect to the conference line. Therefore, mute your phone if possible and wait for the Court to address you before speaking on the line.)
WGAN Related Discussion
✓ The latest filing for the Matterport class action suit
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An update posted today (Tuesday, 26 January 2021) by Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr. (@attorneyzim) with law firm Zimmerman Law Offices, P.C.:
✓ Update on the Status of the Lawsuit Against Matterport
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