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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • February 20, 2019

    Panel Holds Wells Fargo Was Beneficiary Of Deed, Affirms Dismissal

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Feb. 15 affirmed a trial court’s grant of demurrer on claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), wrongful foreclosure and other causes of action asserted by a borrower against a bank, holding that he failed to show that the bank was not the beneficiary of the deed on his former property (Jim Malone v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. E067966, Calif. App., 4th Cir., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1135).

  • February 14, 2019

    Consumer Claims Investment App Violated UCL, CLRA, Misled Public About Fees

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on Feb. 12 filed a class action against the owners of an app-based investment service in a California court, asserting that they violated California law by misleading investors about the possible risk of multiple overdraft fees imposed by banks as a result of the service’s automatic transfers from consumers’ checking accounts (Josh Bingham v. Acorns Grow, Inc., No. 2019-01050842, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • February 14, 2019

    Judge Certifies Subclass Asserting California Law Claims Against Rent-A-Center

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 11 granted a rental company’s motion for summary judgment on usury claims asserted against it by customers, but partially certified a subclass of consumers whose transactions with the company involved shipments through a shipping company in relation to their claims for violations of the Karnette Act, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Paula Blair, et al. v. Rent-A-Center Inc., et al., No. 17-02335, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21988).

  • February 13, 2019

    Candle Maker Alleges Company Stole Marks, Sues For Infringement, UCL Violations

    LOS ANGELES — A candle maker on Feb. 11 sued another candle company in a California federal court, asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the company made and sold candles using its artwork and federally registered proprietary names (Indio Products, Inc. v. CSP Yemaya International, Inc., et al., No. 2:19cv1018, C.D. Calif.).

  • February 13, 2019

    California High Court Refuses To Review Ruling Dismissing Class Action Over Valves

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 30 denied a petition filed by two condominium owners claiming that their homes were damaged as a result of defective valves and caps made by Kohler Co. that sought review of an appeal’s court’s ruling that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims against the manufacturer because the product was made offsite before being installed in the homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court, No. S253173, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 711).

  • February 12, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL Class Claim Against Wells Fargo As Time-Barred

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a bank’s motion to dismiss a jewelry distribution company’s class action for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to an alleged illegal financing scheme operated by the bank, holding that the claim was barred by a four-year statute of limitations (J. Edwards Jewelry Distributing, LLC v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 18-cv-03886, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21144).

  • February 8, 2019

    Judge Holds UCL Claim Raises Novel State Law Issue, Declines Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — After holding that a claim asserted by borrowers who allege that interest rates on loans are unconscionable in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) raises a new and undetermined issue of state law, a California federal judge on Feb. 5 declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the case and dismissed it with leave to refile in a state court (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., No. 08-cv-03174, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18624).

  • February 6, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL, CLRA Claims, Holds Butter Maker Did Not Misrepresent Product

    SAN DIEGO — After finding that a butter maker never represented that its products were made using cows that were 100 percent grass-fed, a California federal judge on Feb. 4 dismissed a consumer’s class action claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), fraud and other causes of action (Dyami Myers-Taylor v. Ornua Foods North America, Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01538, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17678).

  • February 5, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL, FDCPA Claims, Holds Firm Had Standing To File Motion

    LOS ANGELES — After finding that a plaintiff named in an underlying lawsuit failed to challenge a renewed motion for judgment and failed to prove that a law firm acted in fraud by seeking the renewed judgment on behalf of the successor of a defunct entity, a California federal judge on Jan. 23 dismissed his claims for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Marius D. Popa v. Winn Law Group, APC, et al., No. 17-6804, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11676).

  • February 5, 2019

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Claim In Hydroponic Gardening Sales Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Jan. 7 affirmed the dismissal of claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and contract claims asserted by a seller of hydroponic indoor gardening products, holding that it failed to raise any triable issues of material fact in relation to its claims that other entities violated an agreement providing that it was the sole distributor of the products in the United States (Sentinel Global Product Solutions Inc. v. Hydrofarm, Inc., No. A149017, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 417).

  • February 4, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL, CLRA Claims Related To Allegedly Defective Sunroof

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Although certain warranty claims related to an alleged vehicle defect were allowed to proceed, a California federal judge on Jan. 31 held that a consumer failed to plausibly allege facts to support his claims for violations of Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), dismissing the claims with leave to amend (Giorgrio Enea v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-02792, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15925).

  • February 1, 2019

    Panel Reverses Dismissal, Holds Allegations Support UCL, Negligence Claims

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on Jan. 29 reversed a trial court’s dismissal of claims for negligence and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), holding that borrowers’ allegations that a bank unreasonably delayed and subjected them to a fraudulent loan modification process are sufficient to support the claims (Flag Billings, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. C084369, Cal. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 684).

  • February 1, 2019

    Judge Allows Amendment Of UCL Claim Related To Alleged Unauthorized Accounts

    SAN DIEGO — Although a consumer had standing to assert his claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on Jan. 30 dismissed the cause of action with leave to amend the pleading to add facts on how a telephone service company allegedly uses personal information to open unauthorized cell phone accounts (Patrick Ames v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-01666, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14967).

  • January 31, 2019

    Judge Allows UCL Claim Against Google To Proceed, Finds No Antitrust Violation

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 29 dismissed an online stock photo repository’s antitrust claim, holding that Google LLC did not have a monopoly power that it used to discriminate against the repository, but allowed the company’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract and the implied good faith and fair dealing to proceed (Dreamstime.com, LLC v. Google, LLC, et al., No. 18-01910, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13408).

  • January 30, 2019

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL, HBOR Claims Against Banks, Purchaser

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Jan. 29 affirmed a lower court’s decisions in favor of the purchaser of a property at a trustee’s sale and banks, holding that a borrower failed to submit the required allegations of tender in support of his claim for violation of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and his cause of action for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) failed as derivative to that claim (Jorge Rojas v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. E068405, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 680).

  • January 30, 2019

    Judge Denies Nursing Home’s Motions For Arbitration, To Strike Class Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 25 denied a nursing home’s motions to compel arbitration brought by two plaintiffs, dismiss claims accusing it of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and strike the plaintiffs’ class claims, finding that the plaintiffs’ claims were not subject to arbitration provisions and that the claims satisfied the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 9(b) (Stacia Stiner, et al. v. Brookdale Senior Living Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-03962-HSG, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12552).

  • January 28, 2019

    $750,000 New Balance ‘Made In USA’ Settlement Granted Preliminary Approval

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Jan. 24 granted preliminary approval of a $750,000 settlement to be paid by New Balance Athletics Inc. to end a class complaint that the shoe maker overcharged consumers and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws by advertising certain shoes as “made in USA” when a significant portion of the shoes comprised materials and labor from abroad (Sheila Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., No. 17-159, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12659).

  • January 25, 2019

    Attorney General Sues Hip Implant Makers, Asserts UCL, FAL Claims

    SAN MATEO, Calif. — The California attorney general, on behalf of the people of the state, on Jan. 22 sued numerous makers of metal-on-metal hip implants in a California court, alleging that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) by making misrepresentations about the stability, survivorship and other characteristics of the products (California v. Medical Device Business Services, Inc., et al., No. 19-00422, Calif. Super., San Mateo Co.).

  • January 24, 2019

    Customer Sues Walgreens In Federal Court, Asserts ADA, UCL Violations

    LOS ANGELES — A customer on Jan. 23 sued a retailer in a California federal court, asserting that it discriminated against her and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to remedy barriers at its store that interfered with her ability to use the location (Chom Ye Chon v. Walgreen Co., et al., No. 2:19cv501, C.D. Calif.).

  • January 23, 2019

    Judge Allows Property Owner To Amend Resource Conservation And Recovery Act Claim

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 22 dismissed without prejudice a property owner’s claim that companies that worked on a construction project violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when dumping materials from the project on his property, holding that while he sufficiently alleged that the defendants contributed to the disposal of hazardous waste, he did not allege that the waste presented an imminent threat to human health and the environment (Todd Ingalls v. AMG Demolition & Environmental Services, et al., No. 17-cv-2013, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10198).