Plaintiffs Oppose Ledger’s Bid to Dismiss Crypto Lawsuit

News | June 18, 2024 By:

On Friday, June 7, 2024, the plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to Ledger SAS’s motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens in a consolidated lawsuit currently being heard in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The case involves several plaintiffs who purchased cryptocurrency hardware wallets manufactured by Ledger SAS, a French company known for producing secure storage devices for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The plaintiffs have accused Ledger of misleading customers for years about the security features of one of their flagship products, the Nano Wallet.

In their response, the plaintiffs argue the court should reject Ledger’s motion for three key reasons. First, the motion violates the principle of judicial estoppel because Ledger had previously agreed this was an appropriate forum for the consolidated case. When negotiating to transfer the lawsuits from California and New York to Illinois, Ledger stipulated that litigation in the Northern District would be proper and convenient.

Second, the plaintiffs contend the traditional forum non conveniens framework applies since the forum selection clauses cited by Ledger in their motion are not applicable, enforceable, or valid. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue the clauses in Ledger’s terms of service for their Ledger Live crypto management software do not govern this dispute, which solely concerns alleged misrepresentations about the Nano Wallet hardware.

They also argue the forum selection clauses in Ledger’s sales terms for Nano Wallets would not apply to some of the plaintiffs and are invalid under French law, which governs the interpretation of the clauses per their choice of law provisions. The response cites consumer protection laws and precedents in France that prohibit forum clauses requiring litigation in distant foreign courts from being enforceable against individual consumers.

Finally, the plaintiffs say even under the modified forum non conveniens test Ledger advocates, the motion still fails. They note public interest factors in this case undermine dismissal and that Ledger lacks genuine concern for the convenience of this forum given their prior agreement to litigate here. Ultimately, the plaintiffs contend Ledger simply wants to end the class action style case by forcing litigation in a more costly foreign legal system without such procedures.

A decision on Ledger’s motion is pending from the federal court in what has become a closely watched legal battle at the intersection of consumer protection law and emerging digital assets like cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The outcome could influence similar disputes as the cryptocurrency industry continues rapidly evolving.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.