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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • May 15, 2019

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Claims Against Tenant Screening Firm, Remands

    PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a May 14 majority decision reversed the dismissal of a tenant’s claims for violations of California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and unfair competition law (UCL) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) asserted against a company that prepares tenant screening reports for landlords, holding that based on a recent California Supreme Court ruling, a district court improperly held that the ICRAA was unconstitutionally vague (Gabriel Felix Moran v. The Screening Pros, LLC, No. 12-57246, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14215).

  • May 15, 2019

    California Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Fraud, UCL Claims Against Home Builder

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on May 13 held that a trial court judge did not err when dismissing claims for fraud and under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) brought by homeowners accusing a builder of construction defects, finding that evidence that could have been used to support the claims was properly stricken as part of discovery sanctions imposed upon the plaintiffs after the first phase of the trial (Edward Guillen, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. E066028, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3310).

  • May 14, 2019

    Judge Holds UCL Claims, Complaint Are Not Styled As Class Action, Remands

    SAN FRANCISCO — After holding that a former rental car company employee’s complaint, including his claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), was not styled as a class action and that his claims did not meet the amount in controversy requirement for removal, a California federal judge on May 13 remanded the case to state court (Troy Belton v. Hertz Local Edition Transporting, Inc., No. 19-cv-00854, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80473).

  • May 14, 2019

    Transportation Company Settles Drivers’ Wage Class Suit For $1.4 Million

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 10 granted final approval of a $1.4 million settlement to be paid by a transport company to end wage class claims brought by drivers, noting that concerns raised in the order granting preliminary approval had all been addressed (Charles W. Cooley, et al. v. Indian River Transport Co., et al., No. 18-491, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79587).

  • May 14, 2019

    Consumer Files Class Action Over Retailer’s Recurring Subscriptions

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on May 9 filed a class action against an online organic products retailer in a California court, alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws by not providing clear disclosures about its automatic renewal terms (Inez Vasquez-Cossio v. She Is Organic, LLC, No. 2019-01068651, Calif. Super, Orange Co.).

  • May 10, 2019

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Claims, Reverses Decision On Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 1 held that a district court correctly granted summary judgment for a health group on a physician’s claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action but reversed a part of the decision that granted judgment for the group on the doctor’s claim for breach of settlement, finding that his evidence created a genuine issue of material fact on whether the group made reasonable efforts to comply with the agreement (Chukwuemeka Ndulue, M.D. v. Fremont-Rideout Health Group, No. 17-16430, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 13178). 

  • May 8, 2019

    Judge Grants Partial Dismissal Of Pharma Company’s Claims Related To Nasal Spray

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 3 dismissed claims for false advertising against a list pricing company but held that a pharmaceutical company’s claims for violations of the Lanham Act, California's False Advertising Law and unfair competition laws against a laboratory in relation to its advertisement of a cocaine hydrochloride solution can proceed (Genus Lifesciences Inc. v. Lannett Company, Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-07603, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76346).

  • May 6, 2019

    Nonprofits Argue They Have Standing Under UCL, Ask Court To Deny Motion

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nonprofit organizations on May 1 opposed a poultry company’s motion to dismiss their claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and another state law by misleading consumers about its chicken products, arguing that they suffered an economic injury in the form of diverting resources as a result of the company’s unlawful conduct (Organic Consumers Association, et al. v. Sanderson Farms Inc., No. 17-cv-03592, N.D. Calif.).

  • May 6, 2019

    Photo Repository Argues UCL, Contract Dispute Is Not Ripe For Judgment

    SAN FRANCISCO — An online stock photo repository that asserts claims for breach of contract and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) on May 1 opposed a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by Google LLC, arguing that the motion is procedurally improper and that its arguments based on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution fail (Dreamstime.com, LLC v. Google, LLC, et al., No. 18-01910, N.D. Calif.).

  • May 3, 2019

    Federal Judge Enters Default Against Hoverboard Makers, Awards $2M In Damages

    LOS ANGELES — After holding that a product safety company adequately demonstrated the substantive merits of its claims for trademark infringement, violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action, a California federal judge on April 30 granted its request for a default judgment against entities and individuals it alleged used its marks on their hoverboard products and awarded it more than $2 million (UL, LLC v. Gangsong Group Corp., et al., No. 17-8166, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72782).

  • April 30, 2019

    COMMENTARY: What’s Left Of Class Arbitration After Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela?

    By Steven C. Bennett

  • April 30, 2019

    California Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL, Fraud Claims Against Toshiba

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on April 25 affirmed a trial court’s decision to sustain a laptop maker’s demurrer to claims asserted by a consumer for fraud and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), holding that he failed to allege a viable cause of action or injury (Jordan Rosenberg v. Toshiba American Information Systems, Inc., No. A152972, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2).

  • April 30, 2019

    Condo Owners Seek Review Of Court’s Dismissal For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    LOS ANGELES — Following a recent appeal filed by an attorney who challenges a district court’s holding that he breached his fiduciary duty and violated California law when he solicited and paid someone a fee to organize condominium owners to pursue an underlying class action, the owners on April 25 also appealed a decision to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which dismissed their claims against a law firm and another attorney for lack of jurisdiction (James Estakhrian, et al. v. Mark Obenstine, et al., No. 11-3480, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50828).

  • April 29, 2019

    Customer Alleges Company Mispresented Credit Services, Asserts UCL, FAL Claims

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on April 24 filed a class action complaint against a corporate credit company in a California court, alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) when it misrepresented that it would help repair and raise his credit score (Larry Clark v. Corporate Credit Ray Reynolds, et al., No. 2019-01065701, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • April 25, 2019

    Dealership Customers Failed To Show Common Issues; Panel Affirms Denial Of Cert

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals court on April 22 held that a trial court did not err in holding that a case in which purchasers asserted claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) against a car dealership was not suitable for class certification, affirming the court’s ruling that common issues did not predominate (Taurus Myhand, et al. v. Orange Coast Auto Group, et al., No. G055997, Cal. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2775).

  • April 24, 2019

    Supreme Court: No Compelled Class Arbitration Over Data Breach Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 reversed and remanded a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that upheld class arbitration for allegations of negligence and breach of implied contract levied against an employer (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).

  • April 23, 2019

    Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, RESPA, Other Claims As Barred By Res Judicata

    LOS ANGELES — After holding that a borrower’s fourth lawsuit related to a property foreclosure was barred as a result of judgments entered in a previous lawsuit against the same parties, a California federal judge on April 19 granted a motion to dismiss her complaint without leave to amend (Faithie Parker v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 19-1017, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67332).

  • April 23, 2019

    Insured Sues Geico, Homesite In California Court For Failure To Defend

    LOS ANGELES — An insured on April 18 sued two insurers in a California court, asserting that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance agreement by failing to defend him in an underlying negligence lawsuit (Gaetano Mandala v. Geico Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 19STCV13501, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • April 19, 2019

    Judge Holds California Southern District Is Proper Venue For UCL, Other Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 16 declined to transfer a lawsuit filed by employees hired to participate in military role-playing exercises who allege that their employers violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code in relation to their pay, finding that convenience to the witnesses did not weigh in favor of a transfer (Ahmad Jamshid Abdul, et al., v. Workforce Resources, LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-00019, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65157).

  • April 17, 2019

    Judge Holds California Law Must Be Applied In Injury Case Against Nutribullet

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 12 denied a motion filed by the makers of blender products that argued that New Zealand law, rather than California law, should be applied to a consumer’s claims for compensatory and punitive damages in relation to injuries she suffered, holding that California’s interest in the case was greater because New Zealand does not allow litigation for compensatory damages and the state has a strong interest in deterring negligent conduct by businesses within the state (Elizabeth Flack v. Nutribullet, L.L.C., et al., No. 2:18-cv-05829, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64400).