SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 3 dismissed certain class action claims asserted by borrowers against a bank in relation to its failure to provide them with loan modifications but held that they sufficiently stated claims for violations of California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and unfair competition law (UCL) (Alicia Hernandez, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 18-07354, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93529).
LOS ANGELES — Borrowers on May 24 sued a loan servicer and trustee in a California court, asserting claims for violations of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA), California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to the handling of their loan modification application and the assignment of their loan (Ilanit Shoshan, et al. v. Bayview Loan Service LLC, et al., No. 19VECV00738, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Rejecting Google LLC’s argument that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution shielded it from a client’s complaint over alleged unfair search results rankings, a California federal judge on June 5 denied in part the technology firm’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on unfair competition and breach of contract claims against it (Dreamstime.com LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3;18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a class of consumers could pursue antitrust claims against Apple Inc. related to its App Store exclusivity practices, a pair of app developers filed similar claims against the technology giant in California federal court on June 4, alleging monopolization and unfair competition by restricting the sale and development of apps through developer contracts with exorbitant fees and commissions (Donald R. Cameron, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 5:19-cv-03074, N.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — After the recent dismissal of a class action complaint in which a health care professional asserted violations of the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) against a staffing company, the employee on May 28 filed an amended class action complaint to include allegations on expenses incurred when not working (Teresa Junkersfeld v. Per Diem Staffing Systems, Inc., No. 4:18-cv-07795, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88176).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court on May 31 affirmed a trial court’s decision granting a litigation support service company’s motion to strike a complaint under California's strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP)statute, holding that the court did not err in striking claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and intentional infliction of emotional distress because service of process is protected conduct under the anti-SLAPP statute (Stephen Harris v. Direct Legal Support, Inc., No. E067257, Cal. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3766).
TRENTON, N.J. — A complaint seeking damages and asserting claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), negligence and other causes of action initially filed in California by the widower of a woman who died of ovarian cancer allegedly caused by Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products was transferred to New Jersey federal court on May 28 (Robert D. Tafoya v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 3:19cv13023, D. N.J.).
SAN DIEGO — After holding that a purchaser’s claims against a vehicle maker related to alleged extra oil consumption in his vehicle accrued in 2012, a California federal judge on May 28 held that his causes of action for violations of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and California’s unfair competition law and a fraud claim were all barred by applicable statutes of limitations (Robert Smothers v. BMW of North America, LLC, No. 18-CV-1391, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89160).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 24 dismissed class action claims for violations of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by purchasers, who alleged that a vehicle maker should be held liable for damage caused by rats chewing on wiring in the vehicles during manufacturing and assembly, holding that they failed to show that the manufacturer had knowledge of the alleged wiring defect or were under a duty to disclose information (Melinda Espineli, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00698, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88203).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 21 granted a loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a borrower’s claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and negligence related to a reverse mortgage, holding that the HBOR sections did not apply to the servicer and that the complaint lacked the reasonable particularity of facts to support a UCL claim (David Coltrin v. James B. Nutter & Company, No. 2:19-cv-00483, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85631).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 affirmed a district court’s decision in favor of a homeopathic product maker on the majority of consumers’ claims but reversed the court’s decision as to a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), holding that a jury’s narrow findings as to deceptive advertising did not resolve a broader theory on unfair practices (Kim Allen, et al. v. Hylands, Inc., No. 17-56184, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14391).
SAN DIEGO — After holding that internet lead generation companies will likely succeed on the merits of their claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on May 13 granted their request for a preliminary injunction enjoining competitors from using their trade secrets (Zeetogroup, LLC, et al. v. Nicholas Fiorentino, et al., No. 19-CV-458, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80648).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 8 dismissed all but a California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) claim by a consumer who brought a putative class complaint against the maker of oil that she alleges is falsely labeled as 100 percent extra virgin olive oil and granted leave to amend only a claim for negligent misrepresentation and a request for punitive damages (Shelly Robinson v. J.M. Smucker Company, No. 18-4654, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78069).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 14 granted a motion filed by insurers to dismiss claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) in relation to the marketing and endorsement of insurance policies, holding that they failed to meet the particularity requirements under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) and that an alleged implied representation on the endorsed products was not an actionable representation (Simon Levay, et al. v. AARP Inc., et al., No. 17-09041, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81338).
SAN FRANCISCO — Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax software, breached its agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to offer a certain percentage of taxpayers the option to file their taxes for free by diverting customers to its paid products, three customers allege in a class complaint filed May 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Brianna Sinohui, et al. v. Intuit Inc., No. 19-2546, N.D. Calif.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a May 14 majority decision reversed the dismissal of a tenant’s claims for violations of California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and unfair competition law (UCL) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) asserted against a company that prepares tenant screening reports for landlords, holding that based on a recent California Supreme Court ruling, a district court improperly held that the ICRAA was unconstitutionally vague (Gabriel Felix Moran v. The Screening Pros, LLC, No. 12-57246, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14215).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on May 13 held that a trial court judge did not err when dismissing claims for fraud and under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) brought by homeowners accusing a builder of construction defects, finding that evidence that could have been used to support the claims was properly stricken as part of discovery sanctions imposed upon the plaintiffs after the first phase of the trial (Edward Guillen, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. E066028, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3310).
SAN FRANCISCO — After holding that a former rental car company employee’s complaint, including his claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), was not styled as a class action and that his claims did not meet the amount in controversy requirement for removal, a California federal judge on May 13 remanded the case to state court (Troy Belton v. Hertz Local Edition Transporting, Inc., No. 19-cv-00854, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80473).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 10 granted final approval of a $1.4 million settlement to be paid by a transport company to end wage class claims brought by drivers, noting that concerns raised in the order granting preliminary approval had all been addressed (Charles W. Cooley, et al. v. Indian River Transport Co., et al., No. 18-491, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79587).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on May 9 filed a class action against an online organic products retailer in a California court, alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws by not providing clear disclosures about its automatic renewal terms (Inez Vasquez-Cossio v. She Is Organic, LLC, No. 2019-01068651, Calif. Super, Orange Co.).