Mealey's California Section 17200

  • September 16, 2020

    Judge Declines To Dismiss Ex-Employee's Challenge To Juul's Severance Agreement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 11 granted in part and denied in part e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc.'s motion to dismiss an ex-employee's whistleblower complaint against it and to strike parts of her complaint, finding that while most of her allegations failed to state a claim, she presented an argument that Juul violated California law by offering her pay after termination if she waived her right to bring certain claims against the company (Marcie Hamilton v. Juul Labs Inc., No. 20-3710, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166718).

  • September 16, 2020

    Protein Bar False Advertising, UCL Class Suit Survives Dismissal Motion

    SAN DIEGO — A putative class complaint accusing a protein bar maker of falsely stating nutritional facts in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws may proceed because the lead plaintiff alleged economic loss, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 10, also rejecting the bar maker's allegation of preemption (Brittany Sebastian, et al. v. ONE Brands LLC, No. 20-9, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166518).

  • September 14, 2020

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of HBOR, UCL, Other Claims In Wrongful Foreclosure Suit

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 11 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a homeowner's wrongful foreclosure lawsuit against a trustee, finding that the homeowner failed to show that the trustee engaged in an unlawful business practice by violating California's Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) (Gavin Grant v. Clear Recon Corp., No. G057851, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5863).

  • September 14, 2020

    Magistrate: Arizona Plaintiffs Can Seek Relief Under UCL In Defective Product Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Sept. 8 granted in part and denied in part a manufacturer's motion to dismiss class action claims alleging that structural support products suffer from an inherent defect that was fraudulently concealed from California and Arizona homeowners, rejecting the manufacturer's contention that the complaint improperly alleged California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL) claims by out-of-state plaintiffs (Simon Nguyen, et al. v. Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc., et al., No. 19-07901, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164718).

  • September 14, 2020

    Panel: Plaintiff Has No Standing To Sue Google Under UCL, Fails To Allege Injury

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of Google LLC in a putative class action lawsuit alleging that Google's subscription data storage plan violated California's automatic renewal law, finding that the law's unconditional gift provision does not confer standing for a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Eric Mayron v. Google LLC, No. H044592, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 864).

  • September 14, 2020

    Proper Measure Of Restitution Was Time Value Theory Of Money, Panel Affirms

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 11 found that the proper measure of restitution is the time value of fees for the period when the class members paid loan modification fees and when the defendant could lawfully collect the fees, affirming a lower court's ruling in an unfair competition law (UCL) class action (Rene Marentes, et al. v. Impac Funding Corporation, No. G057616, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5865).

  • September 09, 2020

    Plaintiff Voluntarily Dismisses Class Action Seeking Coverage For Trip Cancellation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles resident on Aug. 19 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice of his class action complaint alleging in a California federal court that an insurance policy specifically covered his trip cancellation due to California’s civil authority orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (Richard Robbins v. Generali Global Assistance, Inc., et al., No. 20-04904, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 08, 2020

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Wrongful Foreclosure Suit Alleging UCL, Other Claims

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 4 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a plaintiff's wrongful foreclosure lawsuit, finding that the plaintiff failed to assert that the foreclosure was caused by the defendants' wrongful actions in violation of California's unfair competition law (Victoria O'Ferral v. SRP 2012-4, LLC, et al., No. E071762, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5786).

  • September 08, 2020

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss UCL Suit Alleging Epic Games Induces Minors To Spend Money

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 denied a video game company's motion to dismiss a minor's claims for declaratory relief, negligent misrepresentation and violation of all three prongs of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the plaintiff states a plausible claim that the company's alleged conduct of luring minors to spend a lot of money on in-App Fortnite purchases without their parents' consent is "immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, or substantially injurious to consumers" (C.W., et al. v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 19-03629, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162490).

  • September 04, 2020

    Panel: 17200 Claim Against HP Preempted By Copyright Act

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an opinion and separate memorandum disposition both issued Aug. 20, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly upheld a grant of summary judgment in favor of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE), accused of copyright infringement and unfair competition in connection with its software patch and technical support for Oracle America Inc.'s "Solaris" software (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 19-15506, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26457, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26508).

  • September 03, 2020

    9th Circuit Revives False Advertising Class Claims Over Google's AdWords

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man who used Google LLC's AdWords program sufficiently established standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution for his false advertising and unfair competition claims based on Google's purported misrepresentations about accounting for "click fraud," a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 1, reversing and remanding a trial court's dismissal of his putative class complaint (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 18-17035, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27834).

  • September 01, 2020

    Judge Refuses To Remand, Grants Insurer's Motion To Dismiss COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Aug. 28 denied a restaurant insured's motion to remand and granted an all-risk insurer's motion to dismiss the insured's lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the governmental shutdown orders prompted by the novel coronavirus, finding that the insured failed to demonstrated that it incurred "direct physical loss of or damage to property" to trigger the policy's civil authority coverage (10E, LLC v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut, et al., No. 20-0441, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156827).

  • August 31, 2020

    Judge Dismisses Marketing Company's Suit Against Facebook Over Advertising Clicks

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 28 granted Facebook Inc.'s motion to dismiss an advertising company's putative class action alleging that the "world's largest social media services company" violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by making numerous false or misleading statements about advertising on its social media platform, finding that the plaintiff failed to assert facts establishing that it has statutory standing to sue under the UCL (dotStrategy Co. v. Facebook Inc., No. 20-00170, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156903).

  • August 31, 2020

    Magistrate:  Plaintiff Alleged At Least 1 Plausible Theory In Support Of UCL Claim

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal magistrate judge in Delaware on Aug. 28 recommended denying defendants' motion to dismiss a plaintiff's California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, finding that the plaintiff has asserted a plausible trade dress infringement theory in support of its UCL claim (Truinject Corp. v. Galderma, S.A., et al., No. 19-592-LPS-JLH, D. Del., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156255).

  • August 27, 2020

    Settlement Of California's UCL Suit Over Weather Channel App Data Sharing OK'd

    LOS ANGELES — A California judge on Aug. 14 approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the state of California under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) against the operators of The Weather Channel app for sharing users' geolocation data with third-party advertisers (California v. TWC Product and Technology LLC, et al., No. 19STCV00605, Calif. Super. Los Angeles Co.).

  • August 26, 2020

    Judge Awards Bill Of Costs In Dispute Over Reinsurance Participation Agreement

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Almost a year after ruling that an insured failed to demonstrate any economic loss from entering into a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) and, thus, lacked standing to sue under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge in California on Aug. 25 awarded costs of $20,396.04 against the insured (Pet Food Express Ltd. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-1211, E.D. Calif.).

  • August 25, 2020

    Federal Judge Permits Amendment In Asbestos-Talc Consumer Class Action

    SAN DIEGO — Permitting a fifth amended complaint in a California class action pursuing unfair competition law (UCL) and other consumer protection law claims against two companies for allegedly marketing consumer talc products as safe despite knowing their dangers will not cause undue delay or prejudice, a federal judge in the state said Aug. 20 in granting the motion (Louisa Gutierrez, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., et al., No. 19-1345, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151296).

  • August 24, 2020

    Judge Trims Claims, Class Allegations From Suit Over Loan Servicer's Payment Fees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 19 dismissed a woman's claims accusing her servicer of violating the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California unfair competition law (UCL) when charging payment processing fees for mortgage payments made over the phone and struck her class allegations after finding that the class requirements in the complaint could not be met (Amye Elbert v. RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp., No. 20-250, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150341).

  • August 20, 2020

    Federal Judge Denies Marriott's Bid To Dismiss Room Fees Class Suit

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 14 denied a motion by a hotel franchisor and operator to dismiss a putative class complaint accusing it of violating California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state statutes by falsely advertising room rates and hiding certain fees in initial quotes, finding sufficient evidence for the claims to proceed (Todd Hall v. Marriott International, Inc., No. 19-1715, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148467).

  • August 19, 2020

    Google Must Produce Emails, Posts In Female Employees' Unequal Pay Lawsuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Emails and posts on an internal online platform by two former male employees are relevant to disparate treatment and impact claims brought against Google LLC by former female employees under California's unfair competition law (UCL), a California judge found Aug. 18, ordering the technology giant to produce the requested electronically stored information (ESI) (Kelly Ellis, et al v. Google LLC, No. CGC-17-561299, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).