Trials and Litigation

eHarmony Lawyer Says Calif. Gay Bias Suit is Moot; Plaintiffs Disagree

An eHarmony lawyer says a California class action alleging gay bias is moot after a settlement agreement announced yesterday in a similar case in New Jersey.

Antone Johnson, the online dating service’s vice president of legal affairs, told the Daily Journal he sees no reason for the case to proceed in California now that eHarmony will offer an online matchmaking option for gays. The new service, Compatible Partners, will be launched under a settlement with the New Jersey attorney general, who had claimed eHarmony violated state anti-discrimination law by refusing to offer matchmaking services to gays.

The California case, Carlson v. eHarmony, has been granted class action status.

“We believe that this case is now essentially moot, and we’re confident that we will prove that in court,” Johnson told the Daily Journal. “Now that we’re entering the same-sex matching market, we fail to see what the Carlson plaintiffs could achieve through further litigation.”

But plaintiffs’ lawyer Joshua Konecky told the publication there is still an unresolved issue. “There’s also a monetary damages component of this case that wasn’t addressed one way or the other for the settlement in New Jersey,” he said.

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