Mealey's California Section 17200

  • March 30, 2022

    Insurer Seeks Summary Judgment In Out-Of-Network Substance Abuse Payment Case

    LOS ANGELES — Plaintiffs challenging reimbursement for out-of-network substance abuse claims point to no plan provision entitling them to additional payments, cannot base claims on routine coverage verification calls, improperly base California unfair competition law claims on assignments of rights and cannot show different treatment of similar procedures as required for their parity act claims, an insurer tells a federal judge in seeking partial summary judgment in a March 25 memorandum.

  • March 30, 2022

    Panel Says Minor Must Arbitrate Claims Against Game Company For ‘Loot Boxes’

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel on March 29 reversed a trial court’s ruling denying a gaming company’s motion to compel arbitration with a minor and his father who sought injunctive relief against the company under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for allegedly allowing unlawful gambling through the in-game sale of “loot boxes” after the panel found the company’s arbitration agreement “sufficiently conspicuous.”

  • March 30, 2022

    Judge Dismisses UCL Claim, Says Plaintiff Failed To Allege Tesla Knew Of Defect

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 28 dismissed with leave to amend a plaintiff’s putative class action claims that Tesla Inc. violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by allegedly selling him a vehicle with a suspension defect, finding that the plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that Tesla knew about the defect at the time of purchase.

  • March 29, 2022

    ‘Reef Friendly’ Claims About Suntan Lotion Are Not ‘Mere Puffery,’ Judge Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 25 denied a supermarket chain’s motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit alleging that it and a suntan lotion maker violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by selling suntan lotions labeled as “reef friendly” that actually contain chemicals that can harm coral reefs, finding that the claims are not “mere puffery” and are not preempted by federal regulation.

  • March 28, 2022

    Apple Defends Dismissal Of Epic’s Antitrust Claims In 9th Circuit Brief

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court correctly dismissed Epic Games Inc.’s monopoly claims related to its sale of apps and in-app purchases (IAPs) for devices using its operating system (iOS), Apple Inc. says in a March 24 cross-appellant brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, raising arguments of standing, circumstantial evidence and overreaching accusations.

  • March 24, 2022

    UCL Claim Against Ship-Owner Preempted By Federal Maritime Law, Panel Rules

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel on March 22 reversed a trial court’s ruling denying a ship-owner’s motion to strike a rival’s claim brought against it under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for allegedly misrepresenting a vessel as made in the United States after finding the claim preempted by federal law.

  • March 24, 2022

    Mortgagor Argues Against Dismissal Of Suit Over Loan, Force-Placed Insurance

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Opposing motions by defendants to dismiss his putative class suit, a property owner on March 21 submitted various arguments to a California federal court to support his allegations of unfair and deceptive practices connected to home mortgage loan servicing and that a reinsurance program does not serve a legitimate purpose; those arguments included that he met the pleading standards for a fraud by omission suit and that U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations apply.

  • March 23, 2022

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of UCL Claim In Alleged Scam Targeting Vietnamese

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel on March 17 reversed a trial court’s dismissal of two Vietnamese citizens’ claims against a woman who they alleged violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by participating in a civil conspiracy to defraud them, holding that the trial court erred by sustaining the woman’s demurrer and finding their claims against her improperly joined.

  • March 15, 2022

    UCL Claim Dismissed From Class Suit Over Pay For Amazon COVID-19 Screenings

    FRESNO, Calif. — Apologizing in a footnote “for the excessive delay in the issuance of [the] order” due to an “overwhelming caseload,” a federal judge in California on March 11 partially granted a motion to dismiss a putative collective and class complaint accusing Amazon.com Services LLC of failing to pay workers for time spent undergoing COVID-19 symptom screenings before their shifts.

  • March 14, 2022

    Man Who Paid $530K For ‘Pepe’ NFT Accuses Artist, Companies Of Violating UCL

    LOS ANGELES — A Las Vegas resident on March 12 filed a complaint in California federal court against an artist and two tech companies alleging that he lost more than $500,000 after winning at auction a non-fungible token (NFT) artwork featuring the well-known “Pepe” meme, which he alleges the defendants later distributed copies of for free in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • March 11, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Demand For Pro Rata Refund Policy In UCL Complaint Against Insurers

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 7 dismissed a claim for injunctive relief requiring insurers to offer pro rata refunds on future travel insurance policies to a plaintiff who claims that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by not refunding him fully for travel insurance for a cruise that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • March 11, 2022

    Judge Dismisses Some Claims In Consumers’ Suit For Mislabeling Of Protein Levels

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 10 granted in part and denied in part a food company’s motion to dismiss three consumers’ claims including for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) due to alleged mislabeling of protein amounts in food products, with the judge finding some but not all of the claims preempted.

  • March 10, 2022

    California High Court Won’t Publish Opinion Affirming Emergency Care Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — According to its docket, the California Supreme Court on March 9 declined to publish a lower court ruling addressing what the court portrayed as three issues of first impression about out-of-network hospitals’ ability to collect reimbursement from medical plans.

  • March 10, 2022

    Putative Class Sues New Balance Over ‘Made In USA’ Claims

    BOSTON — Six plaintiffs on March 7 filed a putative class action in Massachusetts federal court accusing a footwear company of violating unfair competition laws in six states including California by marketing its shoes as “Made in the USA” despite being partly composed of imported materials, allegedly in disregard of injunctive relief ordered in a recent settlement of similar claims.

  • March 09, 2022

    Soft-Serve Tech Company Sues McDonald’s For Unfairly Tanking Its Business

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware tech company on March 1 filed a lawsuit in Delaware federal court accusing McDonalds Corp. of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by fabricating false claims about safety hazards that allegedly blocked the tech company from marketing a device that improves the functioning of McDonalds’ soft-serve machines.

  • March 09, 2022

    Judge Denies Certification Of Home Defect Class Action After Excluding Expert

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 3 denied a motion to certify a class action brought by homeowners that claim that a construction supply company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by selling defective foundational anchors and ties after the judge excluded the plaintiffs’ only expert witness.

  • March 09, 2022

    Diabetics Claim ‘SlimFast’ Products Mislabeled In Putative UCL Class Action

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A group of plaintiffs with diabetes on March 4 filed a putative class action against the manufacturers of “SlimFast” brand products that are labeled as weight loss products for diabetics, accusing the manufacturers of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by mislabeling their products and making false health claims not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

  • March 09, 2022

    Dismissal Of RICO Claims Sought In Suit Over Mortgage Loan, Force-Placed Insurance

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Arguing that the complaint fails to allege violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a second defendant on March 7 moved in California federal court for dismissal of all claims against it in a putative class action that alleges unfair and deceptive practices connected to home mortgage loan servicing and that a reinsurance program does not serve a legitimate purpose.

  • March 09, 2022

    On Remand, Judge Approves $5.2M Settlement Of Tinder Age-Bias Class Claims

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 4 granted final approval for a $5.2 million revised settlement to resolve a lawsuit accusing a smartphone-based dating app of discriminatory age-based pricing in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) following the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ reversal of a previously approved settlement.

  • March 03, 2022

    Medical Company Drops Bid To Enjoin COVID-19 Test Maker’s Sales

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge in a March 1 minute entry denied as moot a medical company’s application for a preliminary injunction blocking a COVID-19 antigen test manufacturer from selling tests to any other party until it fulfills a contract with the company after the company said its losses “at this stage of the pandemic . . . are now unrecoverable.”