Mealey's California Section 17200

  • September 16, 2019

    All UCL Claims Are Subject To 4-Year Statute Of Limitations, Panel Rules

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 9 held that all unfair competition law (UCL) claims are subject to a four-year statute of limitations even when the predicate statute’s limitations period is shorter, vacating a lower court’s order and directing the court to declare that the statute of limitations for the UCL claim predicated on Labor Code violations is four years (David Soto v. The Superior Court of San Bernardino County, et al. No. E071920, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5993).

  • September 16, 2019

    Panel Reverses Ruling As To HBOR Claim Only In Mortgage Lending Dispute

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 10 reversed a lower court’s order that sustained a demurrer without leave to amend a borrower’s claim alleging violation of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) but affirmed the court’s order sustaining the demurrer as to the unfair competition law (UCL) claim and seven other causes of action (Ronell D. Elwin v. Bank Of America, N.A. et al., No. H044007, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6031).

  • September 13, 2019

    Insured Failed To Show Loss From Reinsurance Participation Agreement

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An insured failed to demonstrate any economic loss from entering into a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) and, thus, lacks standing to sue under California unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge ruled Sept. 12, finding that the RPA as part of a workers’ compensation program is not illegal and void (Pet Food Express Ltd. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-01211, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156198).

  • September 12, 2019

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss Amended UCL, Other Claims In Candy Packaging Dispute

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 denied Starbucks Corp.’s motion to dismiss a purchaser of a gummy candy product’s claims for fraudulent omission, breach of an implied warranty and violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and false advertising law (FAL) but granted Starbucks’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of an express warranty and negligent misrepresentation (Sandra Brown v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 18-2286, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150775).

  • September 11, 2019

    Judge: UCL Claims Under Both Prongs Have Been Adequately Alleged Against Walmart

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 held that plaintiffs have adequately alleged violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) under the “unfair” and “unlawful” prongs, denying Walmart Inc.’s motion to dismiss the revised UCL claim in the first amended complaint (Alicia Cappello, et al. v. Walmart Inc., No. 18-06678, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148978).

  • September 11, 2019

    Some Google Images Discovery Ordered In Photo Repository’s Unfair Competition Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a Sept. 9 minute entry, issued after a hearing, a California federal judge directed Google LLC to provide some documents related to its “Google Images” feature to the operator of an online photo repository that sued the tech giant for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to an advertising and marketing agreement (Dreamstime.com LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3:18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 09, 2019

    Majority Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Suit Alleging ‘Massive’ Foreclosure Scheme

    SAN DIEGO — A majority of a California appeals panel on Sept. 5 found that a lower court properly sustained without leave to amend a mortgage servicer and loan beneficiary’s demurrer to a plaintiff’s third amended complaint alleging that the defendants conducted a "massive scheme" of wrongful and fraudulent business practices in connection with foreclosure proceedings on a residential property (Angelica Perales v. Select Portfolio Servicing, N.A., et al., No. D075087, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 59190).

  • September 09, 2019

    Magistrate Dismisses UCL, Other Claims In Mortgage Lending Dispute With Wells Fargo

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 30 dismissed without leave to amend borrowers’ third amended complaint alleging that Wells Fargo Bank violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the borrower has failed to cure the second amended complaint's deficiencies (Ronnie L. Townsend, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 18-07382, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148821).

  • September 09, 2019

    Judge Permanently Enjoins Nightclub Operator From Using AVENUE, AVE. Trademarks

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 entered judgment in favor of a bar, restaurant and nightclub operator after finding that a competitor infringed on its federal trademark rights under the Lanham Act, as well as its rights under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq. (Avenue Hospitality Group, LLC v. Avenue Restaurant and Music Lounge, No. 19-00687, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145841).

  • September 05, 2019

    Federal Judge Trims UCL, Publicity Claim From Class Suit Over Reposting Photo

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 granted an apartment complex manager’s motion to trim claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and California’s statutory right of publicity statute from a class complaint over an alleged unauthorized reposting of an Instagram photo, but denied a second motion to strike the class allegations, ruling that the motion may be refiled if class certification is sought (Jonathon Young, et al. v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, No. 18-2149, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149731).

  • September 03, 2019

    Judge Dismisses Loan Servicers From Suit Alleging Unlawful Nonjudicial Disclosure

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 29 granted current and former loan servicers’ motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 and 17500 and other claims, finding that both the first amended complaint and the plaintiffs’ oppositions to the defendants’ motions to dismiss are “woefully lacking in substance” (Paul Phat Tran, et al. v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No 5:19-cv-00242, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147823).

  • August 29, 2019

    Plaintiffs Say Whole Foods’ Bottled Water Contains Arsenic

    LOS ANGELES — Three individuals on Aug. 26 sued Whole Foods Market Inc. in California federal court contending that they have been exposed to arsenic in bottled water sold at Whole Food that is incorrectly marketed as “pure” (David Berke, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Inc., et al., No. 19-7471, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 28, 2019

    Panel: Claims Are Potentially Subject To Employment Practices Liability Coverage

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Aug. 27 held that a lower court erred in finding that an employment practices liability insurance policy’s wage-and-hour exclusion bars coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought against the owner and operator of more than 250 Pizza Hut and Wing Street restaurants, finding that many of the underlying allegations are potentially subject to coverage (Southern California Pizza Co., LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, No. G056243, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5712).

  • August 28, 2019

    On Remand, 9th Circuit Finds Class Decertification Appeal Was Untimely

    PASADENA, Calif. — A petition for leave to appeal a class decertification order, where a motion for reconsideration was filed 20 days after the decertification order and the petition was filed 14 days after the motion for reconsideration was denied — without the benefit of equitable tolling based on a February decision by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court — was untimely, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 27 (Troy Lambert, et al. v. Nutraceutical Corp., No. 15-56423, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25839).

  • August 26, 2019

    Panel Again Tosses Unlawful Business Claim Against Costco Over Ensure Sales Tax

    SAN FRANCISCO — On remand from the California Supreme Court, a state appellate panel on Aug. 22 stood by its previous ruling that a consumer cannot state an unlawful business practice claim against Costco Wholesale Membership Inc. because there has not been a legal finding that consumers are entitled to a refund for sales tax reimbursement that they paid on purchases of Ensure nutritional drinks (Larry Littlejohn v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, No. A144440, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5605).

  • August 20, 2019

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Claim Against Insurer

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 found that an insurer’s purported statements and conduct in denying an insured’s claim were not fraudulent or unfair under California's unfair competition law (UCL), affirming a lower court’s dismissal of an insured’s lawsuit without leave to amend (Deborah Quattrocchi, v. Allstate Indemnity Company, No. 18-15208, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24514).

  • August 16, 2019

    Federal Judge Rules On UCL, Other Claims In Employment Bias, Wage Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling on summary adjudication and summary judgment motions in an employment discrimination and wage-and-hour violations dispute, a federal judge in California on Aug. 14 concluded that there is not enough evidence for a reasonable jury to determine that there was an implied contract regarding severance pay for purposes of claims under California Labor Code Sections and 201 and 203 and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Ian Iljas v. Ripley Entertainment Inc., No. 18-00136, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137596).

  • August 16, 2019

    Judge Denies Summary Judgment In Suit Alleging Unlawful, Unauthorized Broadcast

    FRESNO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 14 denied dueling motions for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising from claims that the defendants broadcast a closed-circuit boxing match “unlawfully” and without prior authorization (G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Arturo Flores, et al., No. 18-001248, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137671).

  • August 16, 2019

    Judge: Kellogg Violated UCL’s ‘Unlawful’ Prong With 2 Product Statements

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Granting a plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, a federal judge in California on Aug. 13 held that Kellogg Sales Co. violated and is liable under the “unlawful prong” of California unfair competition law with respect to two statements on the labels of its  Raisin Bran and Raisin Bran Crunch (Stephen Hadley v. Kellogg Sales Company, No. 16-04955, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136791).

  • August 16, 2019

    Health Food Company’s Trademark Infringement Claim Is Plausible, Judge Says

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 refused to dismiss a health food company’s trademark infringement complaint against its competitor, finding that the claims for federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition and false designation of origin, violation of California unfair competition law (UCL) and common-law trademark infringement are plausible (Kip's Nut-Free Kitchen, LLC v. Kips Dehydrated Foods, LLC, et al., No. 19-00290, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134654).