Mealey's California Section 17200

  • July 20, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Federal Claims Related To PACE Programs Against Governments

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — After finding that Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs are considered tax assessments and are not regulated by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and another federal law, a California federal judge on July 17 granted a motion filed by several government entities and a company to dismiss a case against them, but remanded claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to state court (In re Hero Loan Litigation, No. 16-02478, No. 16-02491, No. 16-08943, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111771).

  • July 20, 2017

    Managers’ Wage-And-Hour Suit Against Starbucks, Teavana Is Sent Back To State Court

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 12 sent a wage-and-hour class suit filed by managers against Starbucks Corp. and Teavana Corp. to state court, finding that the defendants failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Marie Hernandez v. Starbucks Corporation, et al., No. 17-3150, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108081).

  • July 19, 2017

    Partial Reversal Of Judgment For Paper Carrier Class Means Revisiting Attorney Fees

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel on July 7 partially reversed a trial court’s award of nearly $3.2 million and prejudgment interest for a class of newspaper carriers suing for various wage violations and unfair business practices and ordered reconsideration of the more than $6.1 million award for attorney fees given the possible award reduction (Liliana Espejo, et al. v. The Copley Press, Inc., No. D065397, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 609).

  • July 19, 2017

    Class UCL Suit Sent Back To California For Reconsideration Of Forum

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on July 14 sent a class complaint alleging unfair business practices back to California for reconsideration of a business contract’s forum-selection clause, noting that the case presents an “extraordinary situation where a transfer order is clearly erroneous and to let it stand would work manifest injustice” (S & J Rentals, d/b/a Twin Cities Equipment Rentals v. Hilti, Inc., No. 17-159, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109247).

  • July 17, 2017

    9th Circuit Finds Court Did Not Err In Dismissing UCL, Foreclosure Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — After finding that borrowers failed to show that two banks violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) or wrongfully foreclosed on their property, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 13 affirmed a district court's dismissal of their complaint (Brock Williams, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 15-17335, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12565).

  • July 12, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Strike Class Claims Against Macy's, Dismisses UCL, FAL Claims

    OAKLAND, Calif. — After finding that consumers failed to assert claims related to pricing against retailers  for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising with the required specificity, a California judge dismissed the majority of their claims but granted them leave to file an amended pleading (Kristin Haley, et al. v. Macy's Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-06033, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105469).

  • July 14, 2017

    Judge Orders Successors In Interest To File Motion To Substitute

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on July 12 refused to rule on a loan-servicing company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) until the parties move to substitute the deceased plaintiff with her successors in interest (Margarette Smith v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16cv2519, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109002).

  • July 11, 2017

    Judge Finds Hoverboard Sellers Jointly Liable For $1M Infringement Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — After the recent lift of a bankruptcy court stay against two defendants accused of using trademarks held by hoverboard maker, a California federal judge on July 7 granted summary judgment for the company and found that they were jointly liable to pay $1 million in damages (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).

  • July 11, 2017

    $142 Million Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account Settlement Is Preliminarily Approved

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 8 granted preliminary approval of a $142 million settlement to be paid by Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106294).

  • July 10, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Remand UCL, Labor Code Claims Against Health Care Center

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 5 refused to remand class action claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by an employee against a health care center and payroll company, finding that the employer and payroll company showed that the amount in controversy will exceed $5 million (Maricela Reyes v. Carehouse Healthcare Center LLC, et al., No. 16-01159, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103764).

  • July 6, 2017

    Judge Finds PAGA Penalties Are Not Included In Amount In Controversy

    RIVERSIDE, Calif.— After finding that the amount in controversy in a proposed class action filed by an employee who alleges that her employer failed to record and pay her hours worked did not meet jurisdictional requirements, a California federal judge on June 30 remanded the case to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Kymberlee Arnold v. OSF International Inc., d/b/a the Old Spaghetti Factory, et al., No. 17-897, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103006).

  • July 5, 2017

    Judge Dismisses UCL, FDCPA Claims For Lack Of Standing To Challenge Assignment

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 29 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligence and other claims, finding that she lacked standing to challenge an allegedly untimely assignment of the loan into a trust (Roberta Thrower v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 2:17-00766, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101520).

  • July 5, 2017

    Panel Finds Borrower's Claims Against Wells Fargo Are Barred By Abatement

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on June 28 affirmed a trial court's decision to sustain a bank's demurrer to a complaint filed by a former homeowner who sought to set aside a foreclosure, finding that she had already asserted identical claims in another lawsuit (Lynn Behrens Zimmerman v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. B275595, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4428).

  • June 30, 2017

    Judge Extends Deadline For Microwave Maker To Respond To Class Complaint

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 28 granted a microwave maker's application to extend a deadline for it to respond to a class action complaint in which consumers assert violations of California law, pending the outcome of a motion to transfer the case to another court (Erika Mendoza, et al. v. Electrolux Home Products Inc., No. 1:17-cv-00839, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100440).

  • June 29, 2017

    Judge Finds Circle K Stores Did Not Misrepresent Purchase Price Of Station

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 26 granted summary judgment in favor of a gas station franchisor on a franchisee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) fraud, finding that it could not find that the gas station owner misled the franchisee to believe that he would receive a certain purchase price for the property and that no genuine issues of fact existed as to whether a contract was breached (Mark Yi, as successor in interest to OE Sun Yi, v. Circle K Stores Inc., No. 16-2171, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99547).

  • June 28, 2017

    California Court Finds Airport Fees Were Not Collected In Violation Of UCL

    LOS ANGELES — After finding that a payment-processing company and the city of Santa Monica did not unlawfully collect landing fees from aircraft owners, a California appeals court on June 22 affirmed a trial court's decision finding that they lacked standing to sue under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and that the owners failed to assert a viable cause of action for imposition of constructive trust (Top Gun, et al. v. Vector-US, Inc., et al., No.  B268214, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4278).

  • June 27, 2017

    California Federal Judge Finds Wage Claims Exceed $12M, Denies Remand

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 22 denied a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint seeking, in part, unpaid compensation for missed meal and rest breaks, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $12 million (Belen Torrez, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage, Corp., et al., No. 17-867, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97704).

  • June 23, 2017

    Judge Enters Default, Awards Company $15,000 For Unlawful Broadcast

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on June 15 granted a sports broadcasting company's motion for a default judgment in relation to the unlawful broadcast by the owners of a restaurant of a boxing match, awarding it $15,000 in damages (J&J Sports Productions Inc. v. Ramon T. Gallegos, et al., No. 16-cv-950, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92552).

  • June 23, 2017

    Judge Finds Letter Claiming Infringement Did Not Violate UCL, Lanham Act

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 20 granted a jewelry maker's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Lanham Act, finding that another jewelry designer failed to show how a private correspondence asserting trademark infringement in relation to certain designs significantly threatened or harmed competition (Marco Bicego S.P.A., et al. v. Stephanie Kantis, et al., No. 17-cv-00927, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95000).

  • June 22, 2017

    Brooks Brothers Sued By Customer Class Following Data Breach

    LOS ANGELES — Brooks Brothers Group Inc. failed to take necessary measures to protect customers’ personal data, including credit card numbers, exposing those customers to identity theft, a California man claims in his June 9 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Scott Ables, et al. v. Brooks Brothers Group, Inc., No. 17-4309, C.D. Calif.).