SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 2 upheld the dismissal of a man’s lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and U.S. Bank N.A. of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the causes of action were barred by claim preclusion because they could have been raised in an earlier lawsuit (Vahe Aftandilian v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 18-56666, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35768).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A California judge on Nov. 19 dismissed a conservative organization’s lawsuit asserting California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims against YouTube LLC and its parent company Google Inc. in a lawsuit alleging that they unlawfully restricted the plaintiff’s content on YouTube (Prager University v. Google LLC, et al., No. 19-340667, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co., 2019 Cal. Super. LEXIS 2034).
PASADENA, Calif. — Partially affirming, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 27 held that a lower federal court properly dismissed a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in a dispute arising from a frozen fruit mixture containing pomegranate arils that were contaminated with the hepatitis A virus, concluding that the lower court properly interpreted that the jury did not find the pomegranate arils supplier fully liable for the pomegranate adulteration (Townsend Farms, Inc. v. United Juice Corp., et al., Nos. 18-55067 and 18-55068, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35589).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 26 granted a medical technology company’s motion to strike and/or dismiss counterclaims under the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in its lawsuit alleging that a company used its confidential, proprietary and trade secret information to develop a line of spectral flow cytometers (Becton, Dickinson and Company v. Cytek Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 18-00933, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205465).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 20 granted a plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a lawsuit brought under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) alleging that a bank failed to pay interest on escrow accounts on mortgage loans, noting that it “is hard to imagine a case more worthy of class treatment” (William Kivett v. Flagstar Bank, FSB, et al., No. 18-05131, N.D. Calif.. 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202448).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 15 denied GNC Holdings Inc.’s motion to dismiss California unfair competition law (UCL) and all other claims in a consumer class lawsuit alleging that the product labels describing GNC’s dietary supplements' functions were unlawful because they did not include a federally required disclaimer (Richa Arora, et al. v. GNC Holdings, Inc., No. 19-02414, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198723).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 8 partially denied an employer’s motion for partial summary judgment in a wage and hour violations lawsuit brought by a former employee, finding that the California unfair competition law (UCL) claim survives the motion because it seeks only restitution and not statutory or civil penalties (Stephen Carter v. Golden Gate Freightliner Inc., No. 19-02034, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194910).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 14 granted Google Inc.’s motion to dismiss California unfair competition law (UCL) and Sherman Act claims in a messenger application developer’s lawsuit alleging that it monopolized application distributionwith Google Play and Android to suppress competition (Paul Joseph Sayre v. Google, Inc., No. 19-02247, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198622).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Nov. 12 denied a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in a class action alleging that it conducted “fraudulent assessment and collection of unperformed, unfair, or unlawfully marked-up property valuation and inspection fees” (Mary A. Rhodeman, et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 18-2363, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197944).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Nov. 15 granted The Hershey Co.’s motion for summary judgment on California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in a class suit alleging that Hershey falsely labels its Brookside Dark Chocolate products as flavored with natural ingredients when they contain artificial flavor (Howard Clark, et al. v. The Hershey Company, No. 18-6113, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198630).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — An insurer’s lawsuit accusing a number of substance abuse treatment centers of common-law fraud, violation of California’ unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims can proceed in state court, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 13, holding that the plaintiff company’s claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (Health Net Life Insurance Co. v. Morningside Recovery LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-1342, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197937).
SAN DIEGO — Consumers who filed a class complaint accusing Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. of misleading buyers with its juice labels filed a motion on Nov. 8 in a California federal court seeking preliminary approval of an agreement that will provide a $5.4 million settlement fund and will halt sales in the United States of drinks labeled with “no artificial flavors” that contain artificial versions of malic acid and/or fumaric acid (Crystal Hilsley, et al. v. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., No. 17-2335, S.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The makers of Harley-Davidson motorcycles failed to show that a class complaint bringing various state claims, including violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), involves damages in excess of $5 million, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 7, granting a motion to remand (Matthew D. Greene, et al. v. Harley-Davidson, Inc., et al., No. 19-1647, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194896).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Nov. 8 held that a lower court’s order that struck class allegations in a plaintiff’s lawsuit alleging unlawful business practices against her former employer is not appealable under the death knell doctrine, dismissing the appeal (Emielou Williams v. Impax Laboratories, Inc., No. A155479, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 1119).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Nov. 4 granted in part Wells Fargo Bank N.A.’s motion for summary judgment in a couple’s lawsuit accusing it of violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), finding that communications the lender had with the plaintiffs in 2013 about a loan modification application did not violate the statute because the borrowers were still in default on their mortgage loan (Walter H. Hackett III, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 17-CV-07354, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193296).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Two advertisers who brought fraud and unfair competition class claims against Facebook Inc. over inflated video advertising metrics saw their proposed settlement with the social network preliminarily approved Nov. 6 by a California federal judge, who deemed the $40 million settlement of the three-year old lawsuit to be “fair, reasonable, and adequate” (LLE One LLC, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:16-cv-06232, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — Reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group (AAG) “is scamming the nation’s senior citizens and their heirs out of millions of dollars” by conducting and charging for numerous property inspections and force-placing property insurance on properties that are insured, the co-executors of a woman’s estate claim in a putative class action filed Nov. 4 in California federal court (Nancy Palombi, et al. v. American Advisors Group, et al., No.19-cv-2120, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 1 granted a consumer’s motion for conditional certification of a settlement class and for preliminary approval of a class settlement of a putative class action brought under the Song-Beverly Act and Section 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code arising from allegedly defective Samsung televisions (Alexis Bronson, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. et al., No. 18-02300, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190350).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 29 concluded that the California unfair competition law (UCL) and other state claims alleged against Trader Joe’s Co. in a putative class action are preempted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), granting Trader Joe’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissing the claims with prejudice (Christina Webb v. Trader Joe's Company, No. 19-1587, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187494).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Oct. 22 denied a motion by mortgagors to reconsider a previous ruling that dismissed their California unfair competition laws (UCL), unjust enrichment and other claims against their mortgage servicer, finding that the motion “simply reargues” their previous contention that an alleged fee-splitting scheme violated the UCL (Lamar Bigsby, Jr., et al. v. Barclays Capital Real Estate, Inc., No. 14-1398, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183641).