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Harris v. Time, Inc.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5
191 Cal. App. 3d 449 (1987)



Joshua Gnaizda, a three-year-old boy (plaintiff), received an envelope in the mail from Time, Inc. (Time) (defendant), offering a free calculator watch “just for opening [the] envelope.” Joshua’s mother opened the envelope and learned that a subscription to Fortune magazine was required in order to receive the watch. After Time refused to provide the watch, Joshua’s father, a public interest attorney, filed a class-action suit along with Mark Harris and Richard Baker (plaintiffs) against the company for breach of contract, unfair advertising, and promissory estoppel and fraud. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and $15 million in punitive damages. The trial court granted Time’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the complaint after finding the plaintiffs’ claims to be “de minimis.” Plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)

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