Mealey's California Section 17200

  • November 11, 2021

    9th Circuit Reverses Preemption Ruling In Chicken Labeling Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 reversed a trial court’s ruling that a consumer’s putative class claims concerning labeling on ConAgra Brands Inc.’s frozen chicken products were preempted based on federal approval and remanded for the parties to submit evidence and for the court to decide if that approval ever occurred.

  • November 10, 2021

    California Unfair Competition Law Hospital Pricing Suit Won’t Get Rehearing

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on Nov. 8 declined to rehear a case in which it found that even under the most generous standard, a man never establishes that a hospital’s failure to disclose that it imposes an emergency room fee separate from its listed charges constitutes unfair conduct under the California unfair competition law (UCL) or the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).

  • November 10, 2021

    Antitrust Plaintiffs Can’t Add Unfair Competition To Complaint Against Apple

    SAN FRANCISCO — The consolidated consumer plaintiffs in a decade-old class action over Apple Inc.’s alleged monopolistic practices related to the sale of apps for its mobile devices were unsuccessful in their quest to amend the operative complaint to add a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), with a California federal judge on Nov. 8 denying their motion for unjustified delay.

  • November 09, 2021

    Default Judgment Entered Against Alleged Counterfeiter In Copyright, UCL Case

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 27 granted a default judgment and permanent injunction against an alleged counterfeiter of vaping products in an action filed by a hemp vaping products manufacturer alleging copyright infringement and violation of federal unfair competition law, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), finding that default judgment was warranted because the manufacturer stated a claim upon which it may recover under applicable statutory law and a permanent injunction was warranted because the manufacturer will continue to face irreparable harm without it.

  • November 08, 2021

    Parents: Google Classroom Violated Child’s Privacy, Allowed Damaging Hack

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A minor child, through his guardians ad litem, on Oct. 29 filed a privacy violation suit in a California federal court against Google and the school district where he attended school, alleging that Google failed to obtain consent to collect and disclose personally identifiable information (PII) related to the Google platform the child was forced to use during COVID-19-related school closures before the child’s computer device was hacked resulting in sexually explicit content being sent to the child’s teacher.

  • November 05, 2021

    California Court Affirms Verdict For Insurer In Emergency Care Payment Case

    LOS ANGELES — A judge properly excluded a claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for injunctive relief that an insurer likely could not comply with, a California appeals court panel said in a Nov. 4 opinion, also affirming the exclusion of certain evidence and expert testimony and dismissal of tort claims arising from alleged underpayment for emergency services.

  • November 04, 2021

    California Federal Judge: UCL Claims On Vehicle Defects Failed, No Notice Proven

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 22 denied two manufacturers’ motions to compel arbitration of a consumer’s putative class action alleging a defect in the axle of a recreational vehicle because the manufacturers were not signatories to the contract that contained the arbitration provision, but the judge granted their motions to dismiss the complaint because the plaintiff failed to show that they had sufficient knowledge of the defect to support her claims under the state Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL).

  • November 04, 2021

    Class Suit Stayed In False Advertising Claim Pending Related Settlement Approval

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 27 stayed a consolidated class action alleging that a company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by using “false and misleading labels,” pending final approval of a related class settlement, finding that “[t]here is simply no showing that a stay of approximately six weeks will unduly prejudice or strategically disadvantage Plaintiffs.”

  • November 03, 2021

    Class Suit Alleges Unfair, Deceptive Mortgage Loan, Force-Placed Insurance Actions

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A property owner on Oct. 29 filed a putative class action against Bank of America N.A. (BOA) and Integon National Insurance Co. in California federal court, alleging unfair and deceptive practices connected to home mortgage loan servicing, including that a reinsurance program does not serve a legitimate purpose.

  • November 03, 2021

    Right Of Publicity Claims Partly Preempted By Copyright Act, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — An aggregator of yearbook photographs who is accused of violating California right of publicity and unfair competition laws won partial dismissal of the claims on Nov. 2, when a federal judge in California agreed that federal copyright preemption applies to some, but not all, of the claims.

  • November 02, 2021

    Oracle Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Misuse Counterclaim In California

    SAN FRANCISCO — An infringement defendant’s counterclaims of copyright misuse and violations of the California unfair competition law were rejected Oct. 29 by a federal judge in California in a win for Oracle America Inc.

  • November 02, 2021

    California Judge Finds Opioid Makers Not Liable In Public Nuisance Bench Trial

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — After a five-month bench trial, a California state court judge on Nov. 1 issued a tentative decision finding that four municipalities failed to prove that four drug manufacturers were liable for violating state consumer laws and for creating a public nuisance through their marketing of opioids.

  • November 01, 2021

    Judge Dismisses Zicam California Consumer Class Action As Lacking Standing, Proof

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 25 dismissed without prejudice a putative state class action alleging that the manufacturer of Zicam cold remedy products violated California consumer laws by falsely claiming the products were “clinically proven to shorten colds.”

  • October 29, 2021

    Additional $1.15 Million Class Settlement Approved In Stem Cell Treatment Suit

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 26 granted preliminary approval to a $1.15 million settlement in a class complaint alleging a nationwide stem cell treatment scheme in violation of federal law, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws, which with a prior settlement against an individual doctor defendant amounts to $3.65 million.

  • October 29, 2021

    Medical Group Tells California Supreme Court It Has UCL Standing Under Prop 64

    SAN FRANCISCO — A medical association on Oct. 27 filed its opening brief on the merits to the California Supreme Court challenging an appellate ruling that it lacked standing to bring an unfair competition law (UCL) claim against an insurer for its practice of restricting physicians from making referrals to out-of-network doctors, arguing that it has standing under the UCL as amended after the 2004 passage of Proposition 64.

  • October 26, 2021

    Panel Finds L.A. Couple Failed To Show Brokers Caused Water Damage Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate court panel on Oct. 21 affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment on a married couple’s claims against a broker and real estate agent for professional negligence and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the couple failed to establish that the brokers caused them to enter into an addendum with the buyers regarding repairs for water damage that led to years of disputes and a $760,000 award against the couple.

  • October 21, 2021

    Judge Upholds Putative Class’s UCL Claims For Mislabeling Of Elderberry Products

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Oct. 19 declined to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and unfair competition laws in Massachusetts and Missouri brought against a manufacturer of products containing a proprietary extract of black elderberry and marketed as boosting consumers’ immune systems.

  • October 18, 2021

    Judge Dismisses Company’s UCL Counterclaim For Denial Of COVID-19 Coverage

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed an international organization’s counterclaims against its insurers for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims after finding the organizations’ argument that it should be entitled to insurance coverage for properties shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic fails because the properties did not sustain physical damage.

  • October 18, 2021

    Saudi Dissident Sues Twitter For Unauthorized Access Of Account By Saudi Agents

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man who calls himself “a thorn in the side of the” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sued Twitter Inc. and two former employees who were Saudi agents in California federal court on Oct. 13, alleging that the parties conspired to access his Twitter account for the purpose of obtaining his private information, which they furnished to the Saudi government.

  • October 18, 2021

    Judge Compels Arbitration Of Parent’s Claims Against School Photos Companies

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 13 granted a motion to compel arbitration of putative class claims accusing a school photo company of violating California laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by taking unsolicited school photos and allegedly pressuring parents to buy the photos, with the judge finding that the plaintiff agreed to the company’s terms of service (TOS) when she purchased the photos online.