SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Dec. 9 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) alleging that its insurer has a duty to refund premiums or make adjustments warranted by the reduction in its business operations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the policy does not appear to preclude the insured’s ability to plausibly assert a timely claim under the unfairness prong of the UCL.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 7 granted final approval of a settlement reached between a consumer class and Shutterfly Inc. that will provide promotion codes and cash payments for individuals who purchased “Groupons” to use on the Shutterfly website only to find that the promotional codes they were provided could not be combined with others.
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 19 granted General Motors LLC’s motion to dismiss a putative class complaint asserting violations of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by not acknowledging and remedying a defect in engine bay fuse blocks of certain vehicles, finding that GM did not owe “any implied warranty obligations” and that its “failure to acknowledge or remedy a defect that occurred outside any applicable express warranty period” and the complaint’s “conclusory allegations are insufficient to support an UCL ‘unfair’ prong claim.”
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 30 denied an e-commerce retailer’s motion to stay a putative class action asserting violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and automatic renewal law (ARL) based on the automatic renewal of an e-commerce membership program, finding that the irreparable harm alleged by the retailer would be better addressed by having the parties focus on discovery regarding the issue of arbitration, which is the focus of a pending appeal by the retailer.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 29 granted a university’s motion to dismiss with prejudice a putative class action filed by three law students asserting violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of implied contract by stopping in-person education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that the plaintiffs failed to plead breach of implied-in-fact contract or unfair or unlawful conduct under the UCL or cure the deficiencies in their earlier complaints.
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Dec. 2 granted General Motors’ motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint asserting violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) and unjust enrichment by not disclosing that the destination fee on a sticker price included profit, finding that the complaint failed to allege facts supporting the argument that GM’s conduct was “deceptive.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Salespeople at franchised dealerships who claimed that their business was harmed by Volkswagen’s emissions scandal failed to adequately allege that the car maker was their joint employer, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 6 in an unpublished opinion.
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 18 dismissed a putative class action complaint against an electronics manufacturer asserting violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law (FAL), misrepresentation and strict liability without leave to amend, finding that granting leave to amend would be “futile” because the plaintiff twice failed to “adequately allege facts under the applicable heightened pleading standard of [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 9(b)."
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 3 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ lawsuit alleging that their insurer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by denying their coronavirus coverage claims without proper investigation and fraudulently marketing and selling “illusory” limited coverage, finding that the insurer’s purported failure to investigate cannot form the basis of a UCL claim because there is no coverage as a matter of law.
SAN FRANCISCO — An injunction requiring Apple Inc. to inform users that in-app purchases (IAPs) can be made outside of its App Store should be stayed pending resolution of an appeal of a lower court’s ruling on monopolization and unfair competition claims brought by Epic Games Inc., Apple contends in a Nov. 30 reply brief, telling the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the injunction will harm both it and consumers.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A class in a California unfair competition law (UCL) case involving allegations that two companies improperly advertised consumer talc as free from asbestos filed an emergency motion Dec. 2 asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to give them until February to file the reply brief after the judge imposed a stay related to the bankruptcy of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, then lifted the stay, only for the company to seek to reimpose it two weeks later.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Two weeks after a California federal judge stayed a National Bank Act violation action filed by a bank against a district attorney, finding that abstention was warranted because of state proceedings implicating “important state interests” regarding the district attorney’s unfair competition law (UCL) violation action against the bank, the bank on Nov. 19 appealed the stay order to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 22 granted final approval of a $6.5 million settlement, including attorney fees, costs and service awards, ending two putative class complaints accusing GSK Consumer Health Inc. of misleading consumers by making false claims on the labels of certain Benefiber products that they are “100% Natural” and “clinically proven to curb cravings.”
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate court Nov. 30 declined to publish its opinion finding that a judge properly excluded an injunctive relief claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) while also affirming the exclusion of certain evidence and expert testimony and dismissal of tort claims arising from alleged underpayment for emergency services.
SAN FRANCISCO — Fraud-by-omission claims brought under California law, as well as a claim for violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) by consumers suing HP Inc. after their printers allegedly stopped printing black and white copies when the color ink ran out, survived dismissal after a federal judge in California on Nov. 15 ruled that the alleged defect “is ‘central to the product’s function’” and that an actual injury has been alleged by the plaintiffs.
NEW YORK — The operator of a song lyrics website and Google LLC participated in oral arguments before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 over whether the website operator’s contractual and unfair competition claims against Google sound in copyright law and, as such, are preempted by and were properly dismissed the Copyright Act.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 18 recommended approving a motion for default judgment, damages and attorney fees against a group of financial entities accused of using a “leveraged forward contract scheme” to defraud an elderly man and his wife in violation of California law, including the unfair competition law (UCL), after they failed to appear in the action.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California attorney general on Nov. 15 announced a stipulated judgment filed with a California court in a case against Amazon.com Services LLC under which the online shopping giant will stop concealing COVID-19 case numbers from workers and to provide information on workplace protections.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Nov. 2 denied Ford Motor Co.’s motion to compel arbitration in a defective wiring case and dismissed the plaintiff’s implied warranty and fraudulent inducement claims but denied dismissal of the class, express warranty and California consumer law claims.
SAN DIEGO — A request for production (RFP) by Marriott International Inc. for records pertaining to certain online purchases made by a customer suing over its online checkout practices is overbroad and not proportional to claims brought under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 1, overruling Marriott’s objection to a magistrate’s denial of its motion to compel.