Mealey's California Section 17200

  • July 15, 2019

    California Panel Affirms Ruling In UCL Action Arising From Foreclosure Proceedings

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a loan servicer and the beneficiary under the deed of trust on the plaintiff’s residence, finding that the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendants violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) because the undisputed facts show that they cannot be held liable for violating the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) (Alfred Awani v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC et al., No. B282732, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4288).

  • July 15, 2019

    Panel Affirms Ruling In Lenders’ Favor In Suit Alleging Wrongful Foreclosure

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on June 18 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of lenders and/or mortgage servicers in a lawsuit alleging that they wrongfully foreclosed on a property, finding that the defendants did not violate the Homeowners' Bill of Rights (HBOR) because there was no pending completed loan application when the notice of trustee's sale was recorded (Jason Cartaya v. M&T BANK, et al., No. D075105, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4069).

  • July 15, 2019

    Woman Appeals Ruling Dismissing Suit Over Post-Payment Interest

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman is appealing to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a June 10 ruling by a federal judge in California awarding summary judgment to a lender she accuses of violating the unfair prong of California’s unfair competition law and denying her request for class certification (Lori Solarski v. Stearns Lending LLC, No. 17-1741, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 08, 2019

    Monster Energy Co. Appeals Denial Of Permanent Injunction, Dismissal Of UCL Claim

    LOS ANGELES — Monster Energy Co. on July 3 appealed a federal district court’s order that denied its motion seeking a permanent injunction under the Lanham Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) against the producer and distributor of "Monster Mobile" automotive tools and other related goods and the court’s dismissal of its UCL claim for lack of standing (Monster Energy Company v. Integrated Supply Network, LLC, No. 17-548, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 03, 2019

    $25M Tinder Age-Bias Class Settlement Granted Final Approval

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California granted final approval on June 19 of a class settlement valued at approximately $25 million reached in a class lawsuit accusing a smartphone-based dating application of discriminatory age-based pricing in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Lisa Kim, et al. v. Tinder, Inc., et al., No. 18-3093, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108041).

  • July 02, 2019

    Another App Developer Sues Apple For App Store Unfair Competition, Monopolization

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In the wake of a May ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court permitting consumers to pursue antitrust claims against Apple Inc. for alleged monopolization via its App Store, a developer of iPhone apps filed a potential class action against the tech giant in California federal court on June 28, alleging violation of the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Barry Sermons v. Apple Inc., No. 4:19-cv-03796, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 01, 2019

    UCL, Other State Claims Survive Dismissal In Keurig Recyclability Class Complaint

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 28 denied a motion to dismiss a putative class complaint accusing a single-serve coffee “pod” maker of several violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state law violations by advertising some of its pods as “recyclable” when they are rarely able to actually be recycled (Kathleen Smith v. Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., No. 18-6690, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108947).

  • June 27, 2019

    Dismissal With Leave To Amend Granted In Limo Business’ Class Suit Against Uber

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California limo company suing Uber Technologies Inc. under the California unfair competition law (UCL) and the California Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UPA) failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction, a federal judge in California ruled June 20, granting a motion to dismiss with leave to amend (Diva Limousine, Ltd. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 18-5546, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103621).

  • June 26, 2019

    Restaurant, Owner Liable Under Communications Act, For ‘Publishing’ Licensed Fight

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on June 19 ruled in favor of a closed-circuit distributor of sport and entertainment programming on its claims that a restaurant and its owner violated Section 605 of the Communications Act and are liable for the conversion of an IBF World Middleweight Championship fight after the restaurant “published” the fight without purchasing a license from the distributor (G&G Closed Circuit Events, LLC v. Lucina Contreras Valencia, et al., No. 18-0423, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102826).

  • June 26, 2019

    Complaint Implicates Protected Conduct Under Anti-SLAPP, California Panel Says

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on June 17 held that the part of an unfair competition complaint dealing with writing letters to the government implicates protected conduct and that a lower court erred in refusing to strike this portion of the complaint under California's strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, reversing in part (Diversified Medical Records Services, Inc. v. ChartSquad, LLC, No. G056599, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4050).

  • June 26, 2019

    Panel Affirms CLRA Attorney Fee Award To CVS In Lipitor Product Labeling Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on June 17 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of CVS Pharmacy Inc. in an unfair competition lawsuit brought by a customer who purchased Lipitor from the defendant, finding that the lower court did not err in awarding $54,486 in attorney fees to CVS under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Joel D. Joseph v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. B288641, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4042).

  • June 26, 2019

    Court Did Not Err In Declining To Base UCL Claim On Tort Of Trespass To Chattel

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on June 24 rejected an appellant’s contention that because it prevailed on a cause of action for trespass to chattel, it necessarily follows that it should have also prevailed on its state unfair competition claim, affirming a lower court (Pneuma International, Inc. v. Yong Kwon Cho, et al., No. A151536, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 576).

  • June 25, 2019

    Federal Judge Approves $3.7M Settlement Of UCL, Other Claims Against Gas Company

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 20 granted final approval of a $3.7 million class action settlement that resolves 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), finding the settlement “fair, reasonable, and adequate as to the class” and “the product of good faith, arms-length negotiations between the parties” (Emily Fishman, et al. v. Tiger Natural Gas Inc., et al., No. 17-05351, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103608).

  • June 25, 2019

    Facebook ‘View As’ Data Breach Class Complaint Mostly Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 21 mostly granted a motion by Facebook Inc. to dismiss a putative class action over a 2018 data theft via the social network’s “view as” feature, finding that only one of the remaining plaintiffs established standing and that most of his claims were not sufficiently pleaded or were precluded under California law (William Bass Jr., et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-05982, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104488).

  • June 21, 2019

    Federal Judge Remands Suit Alleging Insurer Unlawfully Charged Credit Card

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 19 remanded a lawsuit alleging that an insurer unlawfully and fraudulently charged $1,132.41 to a credit card, finding that the insurer failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy is more than $50,000 to warrant federal jurisdiction (Shahnaz Niknam v. Safeco Insurance Company, et al., No. 19-04937, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102787).

  • June 17, 2019

    Judge Holds UCL Claim Presents Federal Question, Refuses To Remand

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 14 denied a medical’s group’s motion to remand its lawsuit related to a contract dispute with another group, holding that a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) presented a substantial federal question (Central Valley Medical Group, Inc. v. Independent Physician Associates Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cv-00404, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100265).

  • June 17, 2019

    Panel Rejects Landlords’ Challenges To Fee Award For San Francisco

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California court on June 13 affirmed a trial court’s award of $2,503,141 in attorney fees for the city and county of San Francisco, after holding that landlords’ acts of harassment in violation of a rent ordinance amounted to violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the city was entitled to fees and that the fees awarded were reasonable (San Francisco, et al. v. Anne Kihagi, et al., No. A152933, Calif. App., Div. 1, Dist. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4002).

  • June 13, 2019

    Judge Holds UCL, Contract Claims Are Preempted By HOLA

    SAN FRANCISCO — After holding that borrowers’ claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract were preempted by the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA), a California federal judge on June 11 granted a bank’s converted summary judgment motion and dismissed the claims (Lowell and Gina Smith, et al. v. Flagstar Bank, FSB, No. 18-05131, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98196).

  • June 12, 2019

    Federal Judge Remands Employee’s UCL, Wage Claims To California Court

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 10 granted a former technology company employee’s request to remand a class action lawsuit in which he asserts wage-related claims and a cause of action for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), holding that the damages sought did not meet the $5 million jurisdictional threshold for removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Roger Flores v. Element Materials Technology Huntington Beach LLC, No. 19-932, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97165).

  • June 12, 2019

    Reinsurer, Affiliates Seek Dismissal Of Counterclaims In Workers’ Comp Dispute

    OMAHA, Neb. — A reinsurer and its affiliates moved to dismiss counterclaims on June 7 in their breach of contract dispute over a workers’ compensation program, telling a Nebraska federal court that the counterclaims “are a hodgepodge of conclusory allegations and unsupported assertions that fail to meet basic pleading standards” (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Ramesh Pitamber & Kusum Pitamber, et al., No. 17-61, D. Neb.).