Mealey's California Section 17200

  • November 26, 2018

    9th Circuit Upholds Verdict For Boiron In Class Suit Over Homeopathic Treatment

    SEATTLE — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 8 affirmed a jury verdict for the maker of a homeopathic treatment accused of selling nothing more than sugar pills on claims under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and upheld the trial court’s refusal to hold a bench trial on claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), opining that the evidence provided was sufficient to allow a jury to conclude that the product actually treats the flu (Christopher Lewert, et al. v. Boiron Inc., et al., No. 17-56607, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31712).

  • November 26, 2018

    California Court Vacates Decision That Employer’s Class Waiver Was Unconscionable

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Nov. 20 held that a trial court erred in holding that an arbitration provision in an employment contract was unenforceable due to a substantively unconscionable class action waiver, ordering that the ruling be vacated and instructing the trial court to compel arbitration of the former employee’s causes of action for violations of the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) (Maria Del Rosario Martinez v. Ready Pac Produce, Inc., No. B279225, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7841).

  • November 20, 2018

    California Federal Judge Remands Class Complaint Seeking Wages From Marriott

    LOS ANGELES — Citing too much speculation as to the amount in controversy, a California federal judge on Nov. 16 remanded a class complaint bringing California wage-and-hour and unfair competition law (UCL) claims against a hotel chain (Blanca Argella Arias v. Residence Inn, et al., No. 18-8818, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196020).

  • November 19, 2018

    High Court Will Not Review Whether California Escrow Law Preempts NBA

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 19 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a bank, declining to review an appeals court’s ruling that the National Bank Act (NBA) does not preempt state escrow interest law (Bank of America, N.A. v. Donald M. Lusnak, No. 18-212, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 19, 2018

    Judge Holds HOLA Preempts Borrowers’ UCL, HBOR Claims Against Bank

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted a bank’s motion to dismiss claims for violation of California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by borrowers, holding that their claims were preempted by the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA) (David Fowler, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 18-cv-01254, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194423).

  • November 16, 2018

    Judge Requests More Information On Contracts Before Ruling On ATM Fees

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 13 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim asserted by customers who allege that they were wrongfully charged fees by a bank at its out-of-network automatic teller machines (ATM) and deferred a decision on claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), conversion and other claims until further discovery on the parties’ underlying contracts is completed (Jacob Figueroa, et al. v. Capital One, N.A., No. 18cv0692, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193522).

  • November 15, 2018

    California Panel: Right To Repair Act Bars Class Action Suit Over Valves

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Nov. 14 ordered a trial court judge to vacate a portion of an earlier decision denying a valve maker’s anti-class certification motion, finding that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims under the statute because the product was manufactured offsite before being incorporated into the fixtures of their homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B288935, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 1026).

  • November 15, 2018

    Restaurant Worker Seeks Damages For UCL, Labor Violations In California Court

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former restaurant employee on Nov. 2 filed a proposed class action against her employer in a California court, asserting claims for violations of California’s Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to allegedly unpaid wages and other unfair business practices (Kathryn Cupp v. Perkins & Marie Callender’s, LLC, No. 2018-01030922, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • November 13, 2018

    High Court Denies Vitamin Maker’s Petition For Review Of Class Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov.  13 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a vitamin maker that sought review of an appeals court’s decision that reversed the denial of class certification of a purchaser’s claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Pharmavite LLC v. Noah Bradach, No. 18-449, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 12, 2018

    Panel: Some Cross-Claims From Lawyer Accused Of Insurance Fraud Properly Stricken

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Nov. 9 upheld a trial court judge’s ruling dismissing cross-claims brought by a lawyer accused of insurance fraud, finding that an insurance company’s subpoenas seeking the attorney’s deposition in three unrelated personal injury actions did not constitute an abuse of process under the state’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute or constitute an unfair business practice in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Dennis Gerald Geselowitz v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. B278637, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 3rd Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7605).

  • November 12, 2018

    Panel Holds Attorney’s Actions Did Not Cause Damages, Affirms Dismissal

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Nov. 9 affirmed a decision in favor of an attorney’s estate for breach of fiduciary duty, violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to his alleged representation of a client in an underlying lawsuit, holding that the client failed to show that the attorney’s actions caused him to suffer any damages (Gary Salzman v. Lisa Watson, et al., No. B284969, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7609).

  • November 07, 2018

    Injunction Preventing Vehicle Accessory Advertising Not Warranted, Judge Holds

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 6 refused to enter a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit in which a vehicle accessory equipment seller asserts that a competitor violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the Lanham Act by falsely representing that its products are made in the United States, holding that it failed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction (Vault Cargo Management LLC v. Rhino U.S.A. Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01517, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189959).

  • November 07, 2018

    Borrower Failed To Show UCL Violations, Wrongful Foreclosure, Judge Rules

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Nov. 5 dismissed a borrower’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), fraud, wrongful foreclosure and other claims related to a property foreclosure, holding that her allegations were conclusory (Shirley Brown v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 18-3418, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189232).

  • November 07, 2018

    Tenant Alleges Storage Unit Mispresented Contract Terms, Violated UCL

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A tenant at a storage unit facility that caught on fire sued the owner of the property and business in a California court on Oct. 16, asserting that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law by failing to take appropriate safety measures and by making tenants sign an unconscionable contract (Michelle Meredith v. Public Storage Inc., No. 2018-01026239, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • November 05, 2018

    Judge Dismisses UCL, FAL Claims Over Insurance Scheme, Allows Amendment

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Nov. 2 granted motions to dismiss claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law (FAL) and financial elder abuse asserted by a putative class of purchasers of insurance who allege that insurers engaged in an unlawful scheme that involved one insurer profiting from the sale of its policies on behalf of two other insurers, holding that the insureds could amend their UCL and FAL claims to properly plead reliance (Simon Levay, et al. v. AARP Inc., et al., No. 17-09041, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116585).

  • November 05, 2018

    Borrowers Allege Loan Servicers, Others Breached UCL In California Court

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A borrower on Oct. 31 sued a loan servicer and others in a California court, asserting claims for breach of contract, violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims, asserting that they improperly handled her loan modification (Eusebia Santiago v. Cooper, et al., No. 2018-00243508, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

  • November 05, 2018

    Judge Stays UCL, Elder Abuse Claims Pending Arbitration, Transfers Case

    OAKLAND, Calif. — After granting an assisted living facility’s unopposed motion to compel arbitration of an estate’s claims for financial elder abuse and violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on Oct. 31 also held that the case should be transferred to another California federal court based on the convenience of the parties (Audrey Heredia, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living LLC, No. 18-cv-00616, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186749).

  • November 05, 2018

    $5.4 Million Tesla Autopilot Class Settlement Is Granted Final Approval

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 2 granted final approval of a more than $5.4 million settlement to be paid by Tesla Inc. to end class claims by owners of Tesla vehicles with “Enhanced Autopilot” that the owners alleged was falsely billed as “safer” for drivers (Dean Sheikh, et al. v. Tesla, Inc., No. 17-2193, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 02, 2018

    Borrowers Failed To Show Wells Fargo Violated HBOR, Judge Holds

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that borrowers failed to show that a bank violated California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), a California federal judge on Oct. 31 dismissed the claims and causes of action for declaratory relief and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), as predicated on the HBOR cause of action (Bruno J. Bicocca v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2:17-cv-01158, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186722).

  • October 31, 2018

    Judge Holds Closed Circuit Events Company Is Entitled To Damages For Broadcast

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Oct. 26 held that a company was entitled to statutory and conversion damages for the unlawful broadcast of a program it held the exclusive distribution rights to, but did not rule on its motion for default judgment on claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims until it submits information on attorney fees (G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Anna Lee Patricia Sanchez, et al., No. 18-cv-00382, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184206).