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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • March 15, 2019

    Judge Finds No Change In Retailer’s Satisfaction Guarantee, Dismisses Complaint

    OAKLAND, Calif. — After finding that a consumer failed to show that changes to a retailer’s return policy did not change its satisfaction guarantee and that the consumer suffered no concrete injury, a California federal judge on March 14 granted the retailer’s motion to dismiss the consumer’s class action claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action for lack of standing (William A. Shirley v. L.L. Bean, No. 18-cv-02641, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41881).

  • March 15, 2019

    Borrowers Allege Bank, Trustee Mishandled Loan Servicing, Violated UCL

    SAN FRANCISCO — Borrowers on March 12 sued a lender and a trustee in a California court, asserting claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent misrepresentation and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to the alleged mishandling of the servicing of their home equity line of credit loan (HELOC) (Timothy S. Bostwick, et al. v. First Tennessee Bank, No. 574465, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • March 14, 2019

    Judge Upholds Dismissal Of UCL, Other Claims Related To Condo Purchase

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on March 11 denied a request filed by a purchaser of a condominium unit for reconsideration of a magistrate judge’s recommendation that his lawsuit for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) be dismissed against a real estate agent, holding that he waived his argument on equitable estoppel by failing to present it to the magistrate and that he failed to submit any facts to show that the ruling was erroneous (Jason Brooks v. Tarsadia Hotels, et al., No. 17-cv-03172, D. Colo., 17-cv-03172, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38517).

  • March 11, 2019

    Insured’s Claims Against Auto Insurer Dismissed On Remand

    LOS ANGELES — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California on Feb. 26 ruled that no genuine issues of material fact exist showing that an insurer breached its contract or acted in bad faith in refusing to pay benefits under an automobile insurance policy because the Ninth Circuit has “explicitly” held that the insured’s claim for stigma damages was not covered under the policy (James Copelan, et al. v. Infinity Insurance Co., No. 16-1355, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33613).

  • March 8, 2019

    Third-Party Bad Faith Claim Dismissed In Auto Insurance Dispute

    TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on March 1 ruled that an insurer has shown that no genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether it acted in bad faith in its handling of an automobile insurance claim with a third party because the third party failed to provide any evidence that the insurer breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing or exposed its insured to excess liability in its handling of the claim (Scott Martin v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-3056, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32644).

  • March 6, 2019

    Judge Refuses To Consolidate Trans Fat Class Actions, Denies Request To Amend

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 5 partially denied a request to consolidate two class actions in which purchasers of products containing partially hydrogenated oils allege that the maker of the product violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting the ingredients on its packaging, noting that the cases are in two different procedural postures (Troy Backus, et al. v. Conagra Brands, Inc., No. Nos. 16-00454, 17-00387, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35142).

  • March 5, 2019

    Judge Holds Reasonable Consumer Would Not Be Misled By Candy Packaging

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 1 held that a purchaser failed to show that a reasonable consumer would believe that a gummy candy product did not contain any artificial flavors, granting a motion filed by the seller of the product to dismiss her class action claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), false advertising law (FAL) and other causes of action (Sandra Brown v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 18cv2286, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33211).

  • February 28, 2019

    Denial Of Class Certification Upheld In Security System Defects Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — After finding that common issues did not predominate over claims asserted by a consumer who alleged that a security system maker violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL), the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the Song- Beverly Consumer Warranty Act by making and selling defective products, a California panel on Feb. 25 affirmed a court’s denial of class certification of the case (Christopher Parker v. Logitech, Inc., No. A153147, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1286).

  • February 27, 2019

    Purchasers Of Honey Allege Seller Falsely Certified Product As Kosher

    LOS ANGELES — Customers who purchased honey sued the seller of the product on Feb. 22 in a California state court, asserting that the seller violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) by misrepresenting that the product was certified kosher (Yakov Kandinov v. Indo-European Foods Inc., No. 19BBCV00164, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • February 27, 2019

    Judge Orders Servicer To Show Why It Should Not Be Stopped From Foreclosing

    LOS ANGELES — After finding that a borrower would likely succeed on the merits of his claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against a loan servicer, a California federal judge on Feb. 25 ordered the servicer to show cause as to why a preliminary injunction should not be entered enjoining it from foreclosing on the borrower’s property (Garrett Anderson v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 2:18-cv-08352, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29707).

  • February 26, 2019

    California Panel Affirms Injunction Against Indian’s Cigarette Sales To Public

    SAN FRANCISCO — On rehearing, a California appeals court panel on Feb. 25 affirmed a summary adjudication order and a permanent injunction entered in favor of the state attorney general halting the on-reservation sale of untaxed cigarettes to the public by a member of an Indian tribe (The People ex rel. Xavier Becerra v. Ardith Huber, No. A144214, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 149).

  • February 26, 2019

    Judge Preliminarily Approves Settlement Of UCL, Other Claims Against Gas Company

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 22 granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement that will resolve claims asserted by customers against a natural gas company for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), recording law and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), holding that continued litigation could result in reduced funds for class members (Emily Fishman, et al. v. Tiger Natural Gas Inc., et al., No. 17-05351, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28746).

  • February 21, 2019

    UCL, Other Claims Dismissed Against Olive Oil Maker For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 19 granted a motion filed by an olive oil product maker to dismiss class action claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws asserted by a purchaser who alleged that the product was mislabeled, holding that the amount in controversy did not meet the minimum jurisdictional requirement (Renee Young v. Transnational Foods, Inc., No. 18-cv-04651, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26259).

  • February 20, 2019

    Panel Holds Wells Fargo Was Beneficiary Of Deed, Affirms Dismissal

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Feb. 15 affirmed a trial court’s grant of demurrer on claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), wrongful foreclosure and other causes of action asserted by a borrower against a bank, holding that he failed to show that the bank was not the beneficiary of the deed on his former property (Jim Malone v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. E067966, Calif. App., 4th Cir., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1135).

  • February 14, 2019

    Consumer Claims Investment App Violated UCL, CLRA, Misled Public About Fees

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on Feb. 12 filed a class action against the owners of an app-based investment service in a California court, asserting that they violated California law by misleading investors about the possible risk of multiple overdraft fees imposed by banks as a result of the service’s automatic transfers from consumers’ checking accounts (Josh Bingham v. Acorns Grow, Inc., No. 2019-01050842, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • February 14, 2019

    Judge Certifies Subclass Asserting California Law Claims Against Rent-A-Center

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 11 granted a rental company’s motion for summary judgment on usury claims asserted against it by customers, but partially certified a subclass of consumers whose transactions with the company involved shipments through a shipping company in relation to their claims for violations of the Karnette Act, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Paula Blair, et al. v. Rent-A-Center Inc., et al., No. 17-02335, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21988).

  • February 13, 2019

    Candle Maker Alleges Company Stole Marks, Sues For Infringement, UCL Violations

    LOS ANGELES — A candle maker on Feb. 11 sued another candle company in a California federal court, asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the company made and sold candles using its artwork and federally registered proprietary names (Indio Products, Inc. v. CSP Yemaya International, Inc., et al., No. 2:19cv1018, C.D. Calif.).

  • February 13, 2019

    California High Court Refuses To Review Ruling Dismissing Class Action Over Valves

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 30 denied a petition filed by two condominium owners claiming that their homes were damaged as a result of defective valves and caps made by Kohler Co. that sought review of an appeal’s court’s ruling that the Right to Repair Act does not allow the plaintiffs to pursue class action claims against the manufacturer because the product was made offsite before being installed in the homes (Kohler Co. v. Superior Court, No. S253173, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 711).

  • February 12, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL Class Claim Against Wells Fargo As Time-Barred

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a bank’s motion to dismiss a jewelry distribution company’s class action for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to an alleged illegal financing scheme operated by the bank, holding that the claim was barred by a four-year statute of limitations (J. Edwards Jewelry Distributing, LLC v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 18-cv-03886, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21144).

  • February 8, 2019

    Judge Holds UCL Claim Raises Novel State Law Issue, Declines Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — After holding that a claim asserted by borrowers who allege that interest rates on loans are unconscionable in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) raises a new and undetermined issue of state law, a California federal judge on Feb. 5 declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the case and dismissed it with leave to refile in a state court (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., No. 08-cv-03174, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18624).