Plaintiffs in 'Moneymaker v. Paypal' class action receive adverse appellate ruling, Canada option remains

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: September 27, 2023 13:11 PDT

The class-action plaintiffs in the high-profile "Moneymaker v. Paypal" case have received an adverse ruling from the US's Ninth District Court of Appeals that likely ends the plaintiffs' pursuit of justice against PayPal's allegedly unfair freezing and seizure of funds, often without disclosure of the rreasons why, from affected accounts.

According to Nevada attorney Eric Bensamochan, who is one of several attorneys representing plaintiff groups in the case, the Ninth Circuit ruling upheld an earlier district-court decision. That ruling combined the lawsuit with another, similar action and deemed that the matter must be decided according the arbitration structure dictated within PayPal's terms of service, despite the allegedly illegal, no-recourse seizures and account terminations that occurred.

Bensamochan explained to PokerOrg that despite the US-court setback, efforts would likely continue on a parallel legal track in Canada for other plaintiffs, as PayPal's terms and conditions in Canada do not prohibit class-action filings as they do in the US.

Bensamochan posted an excerpt of the Ninth District ruling on social media earlier today. "To all who were waiting to hear from us regarding 9th Circuit Courts decision, they have ruled in PayPal’s favor, if you’d like to read more about it please view document attached below," Bensamochan posted. "Thank you to everyone who supported up and trusted us as well. We just want everyone to know we did our best and we never gave up… it’s not over, more to come!"

'Moneymaker' lawsuit actually didn't include Moneymaker as a plaintiff

The lawsuit's origins began in 2021 when PayPal confiscated over $12,000 in funds from Moneymaker's account, funds that he had collected for a fully legal, privately-run daily fantasy sports (DFS) league. An outraged Moneymaker quickly took the matter public, vowing to sue Paypal and retaining Bensamochan, a lawyer with gambling-industry experience, for that purpose.

Faced with a public outcry led by Moneymaker, PayPal reversed course and refunded the money it had seized from his account in hopes of defusing the situation. By that time, however, Bensamochan had already identified other PayPal users with similar complaints and experiences. When the class action was filed, Poker League of Nations founder Lena Evans became its lead plaintiff, as she had suffered a similar unilateral funds-seizure from her PLON corporate account.

Evans' description of what happened to her via PayPal typified the claims of other plaintiffs as well. Despite the egregious and no-recourse behavior the plaintiffs alleged had occurred, PayPay still prevailed in multiple rulings that enforced the one-sided language of its user agreement for US users. What is likely the last of those US court rulings transpired earlier today.