Mealey's California Section 17200

  • March 24, 2017

    Brokerage Sues Former Consultant For Trade Secrets Misappropriation

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A brokerage sued one of its former consultants on March 20 in California federal court, alleging that the consultant removed certain confidential and trade secret information from the brokerage before resigning and has used the information in an attempt to solicit customers from it in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC v. John Nordstrom, et al., No. 17-0295, E.D. Calif.).

  • March 24, 2017

    Brokerage Sues Former Consultant For Trade Secrets Misappropriation

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A brokerage sued one of its former consultants on March 20 in California federal court, alleging that the consultant removed certain confidential and trade secret information from the brokerage before resigning and has used the information in an attempt to solicit customers from it in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC v. John Nordstrom, et al., No. 17-0295, E.D. Calif.).

  • March 24, 2017

    Campbell Soup Trans Fat Labeling Class Suit Dismissed; Motions For Sanctions Denied

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 21 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Campbell Soup Co. of deceiving customers by labeling soup as healthy even though it contained trans fat but denied motions by both parties seeking sanctions (Harold Brower, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, No. 16-1005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40792).

  • March 22, 2017

    California Federal Judge Denies Decertification, Finds Vendors Are Employees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A network of “vendors” who perform maintenance and repair services at properties owned by Field Asset Services Inc. (FAS) are employees, not independent contractors, and are owed overtime and business expenses, a California federal judge ruled March 17 in an order granting the vendors’ motion for partial summary judgment and denying FAS’s motion to decertify the class of vendors (Fred Bowerman, et al. v. Field Asset Services Inc., et al., No. 13-57, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39000).

  • March 20, 2017

    4th Circuit Finds Gambling In Virtual Casino Was Not A Monetary Loss

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir.,  2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).

  • March 17, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Substitute Plaintiff In Insurance Coverage Dispute

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on March 16 denied an insured's petition to substitute her as the plaintiff in an action in which her husband sought coverage for theft under an insurance policy, finding that she failed to submit sufficient medical evidence to support a finding that he was incompetent to proceed as a plaintiff (Ray Gibson v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00677, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38231).

  • March 16, 2017

    Craft Brew Alliance Accused Of Making Kona Beer On The Mainland

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Craft Brew Alliance Inc. has deceived and overcharged consumers by falsely advertising its Kona Brewing Co. brand as a local beer made in Hawaii, but it’s actually made in the continental United States, two California women allege in a class complaint filed Feb. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Sara Cilloni, et al. v. Craft Brew Alliance, Inc., et al., No. 17-1027, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 15, 2017

    No Court Remedy For Diabetes Products Tax Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — A class of customers who purchase skin puncture lancets and test strips used by diabetics and filed a class complaint seeking an order to compel pharmacies to file a claim seeking a refund of the sales tax paid for those items failed to establish that the necessary “unique circumstances” exist that would require a court to create a new tax refund remedy, a California appellate panel ruled March 13 (Michael McClain, et al. v. Sav-On Drugs, et al., Nos. B265011 and B265029, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 217).

  • March 15, 2017

    9th Circuit Finds Chase Falsely Promised Loan Modification To Borrower

    LOS ANGELES — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 affirmed a district court's finding that a property owner asserted a viable claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) but reversed its rulings in favor of a bank on the property owner's claims for breach of contract and violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (Mahin Oskoui v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 15-55457, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4365).

  • March 15, 2017

    Amendment Permitted, Class Certification Considered In Honda Window Defect Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 10 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. in a proposed class complaint accusing the car maker of selling certain models with defective windows and granted the plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint to substitute the named plaintiff to represent a narrowed proposed class (Phyllis Grodzitsky, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., No. 12-1142, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185019).

  • March 14, 2017

    Judge Remands Class Action Filed Against Ford To California Court

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 10 remanded a class action lawsuit filed by product specialists who assert wage-related claims against a car maker and staffing companies, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet federal jurisdictional requirements (Henry Chen, et al. v. United Talent Agency LLC, et al., No. 17-1848, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34960).

  • March 13, 2017

    Judge Finds Employees Failed To Prove Theory Of Joint Liability

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 8 found that former employees, who sold skincare products for various entities, failed to show that a company was the alter ego of other defendants named in the case, granting the owner of the product's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California labor code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Candle Horton, et al. v. NeoStrata Company Inc., et al., No. 3:16-CV-02189, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34059).

  • March 13, 2017

    Judge Preliminarily OKs $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Preliminary approval of a $22.5 million settlement of a class action over Google Inc.’s AdWords program under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) was granted March 9, with a California federal judge approving a proposed settlement class and settlement fund and setting dates for class notification and a fairness hearing (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 9, 2017

    9th Circuit Finds Borrower Lacks Standing To Assert UCL Violation

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 affirmed dismissal of a homeowner's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law and other California law, finding that there was no private right of action available to him under the law or that loan servicers acted unlawfully (Peter Zeppeiro v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, et al., No. 15-55747, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3951).

  • March 9, 2017

    Judge: MDL Court Can Rule On Jurisdictional Issues In Volkswagen Emissions Suit

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on March 7 stayed a consumer’s lawsuit over the installation of defeat devices in some of Volkswagen Group of America Inc.’s diesel vehicles pending transfer to a multidistrict litigation court, finding that the MDL court can determine if jurisdictional issues warrant remanding the action to state court (Pamela Woodcox, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., d/b/a Volkswagen of America, Inc., et al., No. 17-215 WBS DB, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32609).

  • March 7, 2017

    Federal Judge Denies Class Certification For Class Of Truck Drivers

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 3 denied a former truck driver's request to certify a class of truck drivers in relation to an alleged failure to pay a minimum wage for the hours worked, finding that he failed to meet the federal pleading requirements (Robert Gatdula, et al. v. CRST International Inc., et al., No. 11-1285, C.D. Calif., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184720).

  • March 3, 2017

    Court Dismisses Employment Claims Related To Shared Tip-Pooling Policy

    SAN DIEGO — After finding that a restaurant chain's shared tip-pooling policy is not unlawful, a California federal judge on Feb. 28 dismissed a former server's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for penalties under the California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) (Brendan Wilkes v. Benihana Inc., et al., No. 16cv2219, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29127).

  • March 3, 2017

    Judge Finds Claims Against Former Employee Are Preempted By CUTSA

    SAN FRANCISCO — After finding that a company's claims related to a former employee's alleged theft of proprietary information for violation of California Penal Code Section 502 and for conversion were based on the same facts as its claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, a California federal judge on March 1 found that the claims were preempted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Henry Schein Inc. v. Jennifer Cook, et al., No. 16-cv-03166, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29183).

  • March 1, 2017

    Judge Partially Dismisses Claims On Retailer's Advertisements On Thread Count

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 28 refused to grant a retailer's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising, but granted dismissal with leave to amend in relation to claims for products that he did not purchase (William Rushing v. Williams-Sonoma Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-01421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28227).

  • March 1, 2017

    Judge Finds Claims Related To Patents Must Be Reviewed Under Korean Law

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 24 partially granted a motion filed by a former employee of a company that makes high-voltage power conversion systems to dismiss certain claims related to his alleged theft of proprietary information to obtain patents, finding that some of the claims should be adjudicated under Korean law (Power Integrations Inc. v. Chan-Woong Park, No. 16-cv-02367, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26467).