Mealey's California Section 17200

  • August 12, 2022

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Against Grocery Chain Over Club Soda Sodium Content

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 9 sua sponte ordered the dismissal of a putative class action against Albertsons Companies Inc. for allegedly violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting the sodium content of its store-brand club soda product, writing that the plaintiff failed to establish an amount in controversy that satisfies the jurisdictional requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • August 11, 2022

    Judge Dismisses UCL Claim Against Mobile Game Developers For Rigged ‘Loot Boxes’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 9 dismissed with leave to amend a group of mobile gamers’ claims that two developers violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by deceiving the gamers into spending thousands of dollars purchasing in-game “gems” to play rigged “loot box” games, finding no evidence of affirmative misrepresentation by the developers.

  • August 10, 2022

    California Law Allowing UCL Suits Against Pork Producers Lawful, High Court Told

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three California state officials in an Aug. 8 response brief urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law prohibiting sales of pork products produced from animals kept in “a cruel manner,” violations of which are punishable under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), calling the law “a neutral in-state sales restriction that . . . is not protectionist or discriminatory.”

  • August 08, 2022

    Kaiser Health Plan Disclaims Liability For Kaiser Providers’ Medical Decisions

    SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds have not shown that they were injured by their health plan when their medical providers denied access to care or that the insurer can be held liable for the subsidiary providers’ lack of staffing or scheduling, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. told a California appeals court July 1 in asking the court to uphold summary judgment on California unfair competition law (UCL) and state Parity Act claims.

  • August 05, 2022

    Judge Won’t Dismiss Consumer’s UCL Suit For Omission Of PFAS In Anti-Fog Spray

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 4 declined to dismiss a putative class complaint alleging that an anti-fog spray maker violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by advertising its product as “safe” and omitting the fact that it contained per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

  • August 03, 2022

    Judge Finds No Jurisdiction Over Putative Class Claims For Stem Cell Cancer Treatment

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on July 29 dismissed without prejudice a putative class action brought by a cancer patient accusing a stem cell therapy clinic and affiliated entities and individuals of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by providing her with stem cell treatment for her cancer instead of chemotherapy that allowed her cancer to worsen, as the judge found that the plaintiff did not adequately plead federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • August 02, 2022

    Remaining Plaintiff In Subway Tuna Content Class Suit Files Amended Complaint

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The remaining lead plaintiff accusing a sandwich franchisor in a putative class complaint of labeling its tuna salad, sandwiches and wraps as “100% tuna” while failing to prevent adulteration filed an amended class complaint on July 28 in a federal court in California.

  • August 02, 2022

    Visa Can’t Get UCL Claim Tossed In Sex-Trafficking Suit Against Pornhub Operator

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 29 denied Visa Inc.’s motion to dismiss claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in a sex-trafficking lawsuit brought by a woman suing MindGeek S.a.r.l., the company that owns and operates pornography website Pornhub, and several of its affiliates, for monetizing a sexual video made of her when she was a minor, finding that she adequately alleges that Visa influenced MindGeek’s business.

  • August 01, 2022

    City’s UCL Claim Against Company For Misclassification Not Arbitrable, Panel Says

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel in a July 28 ruling on rehearing maintained its affirmance of a trial court’s rejection of a shopping-and-delivery app company’s attempt to compel arbitration of the San Diego city attorney’s claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misclassifying as contractors its workers, referred to as “shoppers.”

  • July 29, 2022

    Solar Roof UCL Claims Against Tesla Fail To Show Intent To Defraud, Judge Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 26 granted in part Tesla Inc.’s motion to dismiss putative class claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by hiking prices on delayed solar panel roof installations after finding that the plaintiffs failed to plead with sufficient specificity that Tesla “intended to raise its prices or mislead consumers on the timing of installation.”

  • July 28, 2022

    $118M Class, PAGA Settlement Preliminarily Approved In Google Unequal Pay Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California judge on July 25 granted preliminary approval of a $118 million class settlement to be paid by Google LLC to end a class complaint by female former employees who allege that the technology giant systematically assigns women to lower salary bands and promotes women more slowly and at lower rates.

  • July 27, 2022

    Burger King Says Whopper PFAS Packaging Has Federal Approval Therefore Case Fails

    SAN FRANCISCO — Burger King Corp. on July 25 moved in California federal court to dismiss a putative class action related to allegations that the burger chain fraudulently concealed the fact that the packaging for the Whooper burger contains per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), arguing that a federal agency has authorized specific PFAS for use in food packaging and therefore food products that use it are “not adulterated, not unsafe, and not illegal for sale.”

  • July 26, 2022

    Teenager, Mom Say Meta Violated UCL By Causing Anorexia, Depression

    SAN FRANCISCO — A teen girl and her mother on July 25 filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Meta Platforms Inc. alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by using “addictive” algorithms on its Instagram social media app that led the teenager to develop anorexia and other chronic health issues.

  • July 25, 2022

    $100 Million Riot Games Bias Class Settlement Granted Preliminary Approval

    LOS ANGELES — A California judge on July 22 preliminarily approved a $100 million settlement to be paid by Riot Games Inc. to end female employees’ gender bias class complaint; the settlement is 10 times the amount of the previously negotiated class settlement.

  • July 20, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Putative UCL Class Claim Against Google For Data Monitoring

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 18 denied two plaintiffs’ claims that Google LLC violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and violated their privacy by allegedly collecting data about their usage of non-Google apps while using Google’s Android operating system on their smartphones as the claims were all insufficiently pleaded despite the judge finding that Google failed to fully disclose its data collection policies.

  • July 19, 2022

    Apple Tells 9th Circuit Epic Did Not Prove Harm To Support UCL Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a July 15 across-appellant brief, Apple Inc. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Epic Games Inc. did not establish any harm from its purportedly anticompetitive behavior related to the distribution and sale of apps and related products for the Apple operating system (iOS), asking the appeals court to reverse a trial court’s “unprecedented” finding that Apple acted anti-competitively under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) despite finding no such violations of the Sherman Act.

  • July 18, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Class UCL Claims For Sony’s Alleged PlayStation Monopoly

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 15 granted a motion to dismiss putative class action claims that Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC monopolized game sales for its PlayStation video game console through its online store in violation of the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the plaintiffs failed to adequately plead anti-competitive conduct despite claiming that Sony unfairly hiked prices.

  • July 15, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Heart Attack Patient’s UCL, Fraud Claims Against Travel Insurer

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 12 dismissed with leave to amend claims that a travel insurance policy provider committed promissory fraud and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by not approving medical coverage for a heart attack patient on vacation to Chile for five days, leading to a delay in care that allegedly caused him permanent heart damage, after finding the claims not pleaded with sufficient particularity.

  • July 15, 2022

    Judge Dismisses ‘Unclear’ UCL Claims For ‘Defective’ Electric Skateboards

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 11 granted a motion to dismiss putative class claims against an electric skateboard maker for violation of the consumer protection laws of California, Pennsylvania and Hawaii, finding that their claims lacked sufficient particularity regarding the alleged defect that they claim causes electric skateboards to suddenly stop short, potentially injuring riders.

  • July 14, 2022

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Business’s UCL Claim For Denied Coronavirus Coverage

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel July 13 reversed a trial court’s grant of an insurer’s demurrer to claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance policy by denying a claim for physical damage from the COVID-19 virus brought by a business forced to shut down during the pandemic, finding that the court improperly ruled based on its “disbelief” of the plaintiffs’ allegations.