SAN DIEGO — A California state court judge on Jan. 30 ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Ethicon Inc. to pay civil penalties of $343.99 million for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh devices in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in a way that was likely to deceive doctors and consumers about the “risks and dangers” of the products (California v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 37-2016-00017229-CU-MC-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co., Central Branch).
LOS ANGELES — An insured sued its homeowners insurer and its affiliate for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair business practices in a California court on Jan. 17, alleging that they “devised a scheme and plan” that relinquished adjustment of his wildfire claim to “Hired Consultants” who denied or lowballed the claim under the defendants’ “directive, consent and approval” (Kambiz Aramnia v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 20VECV00077, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 22 denied the majority of defendants’ motions for summary judgment in a false advertising class action over their marketing of skin care products, finding that “triable issues plague” the motions and also denied as moot the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification (Kari Miller, et al. v. Peter Thomas Roth, LLC, et al., No. 19-00698, N.D, Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10854).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Jan. 8 — in a case that made its way all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court in an appeal over equitable tolling and the lead plaintiff’s appeal of a class decertification decision — reinstated the original 2014 class certification order in the case challenging the labeling of dietary supplements (Troy Lambert, et al. v. Nutraceutical Corp., No. 13-5942, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6391).
SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court erred when it applied California discovery rules in a case over bedding thread counts and ruled that the lead plaintiff could obtain a list of the proposed class members from the retailer he was suing prior to class certification being granted, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 13, granting the retailer’s petition for a writ of mandamus and ordering the trial court to vacate its order (In re: Williams-Sonoma, Inc., No. 19-70522, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1046).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 6 granted final approval of a class settlement between consumers and coconut oil makers that will result in changes to health claims on the labeling and a $1,850,000 payment (Sherry Hunter, et al. v. Nature’s Way Products, LLC, et al., No. 16-532, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1706).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Two months after a California federal judge preliminarily approved a $40 million settlement over inflated video advertising metrics on Facebook Inc.’s social network, the two remaining advertiser plaintiffs on Jan. 15 moved for final approval of the settlement of their unfair competition and breach of duty claims (LLE One LLC, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:16-cv-06232, N.D. Calif.).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 13 dismissed with prejudice plaintiffs’ putative class action claims under California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), false advertising law (FAL) and unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the claims are deficient because they fail to identify the speaker (Philip Brady, et al. v. Anker Innovations Limited, et al., No. 18-11396, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5672).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Jan. 15 dismissed a lawsuit alleging that an aircraft manufacturer breached an agreement to purchase a limited edition aircraft, finding that the plaintiff's allegations fail to state a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim under a theory of unfairness (Samer Bishay v. ICON Aircraft, Inc., No. 19-00178, E.D, Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7939).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 13 granted BMW of North America LLC’s motion to dismiss unfair competition law (UCL) and conversion claims based on its alleged refusal to provide a plaintiff with the data that one of its dealerships extracted from her vehicle, finding that the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that she can base her UCL claim on her $1,997.52 payment to another dealership to repair her car (Gretchen Key v. BMW of North America, LLC, No. 19-03366, N.D. Calif., 020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5417).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Jan. 15 denied an oil refinery’s motion to dismiss a wage-and-hour violations class action brought by current and former employees, finding that because the California Labor Code claims survive dismissal, the unfair competition law (UCL) claim based on the oil refinery’s purported “unlawful” conduct also survives (Marco Dimercurio, et al v. Equilon Enterprises LLC, No. 19-04029, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7006).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Dec. 16 affirmed a lower court’s judgment of dismissal of a lawsuit alleging wrongful disclosure and claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the plaintiff failed to assert the property ownership required under the HBOR (Anthony A. Malfatti v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No. A153821, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8429).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 6 issued an order staying a lawsuit alleging that a defendant engaged in the “unauthorized practice of law” after the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal announcing that they reached a settlement (LegalForce RAPC Worldwide P.C. v. TTC Bus. Sols., LLC, No. 17-07318, N.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 23 dismissed conversion and unfair competition claims in a clothing distributor’s lawsuit alleging that a dealer advertised certain Italian shoe products below the minimum required price, sold these products on unauthorized websites and refused to pay for $116,000 in product inventory (Lever Your Business, Inc. v. Sacred Hoops & Hardwood, Inc., No. 19-1530, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220090).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Dec. 27 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that a loan servicer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the plaintiffs cannot establish a UCL claim by borrowing statutory violations from both HBOR and the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) (Jeffrey E. Finsand, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al., No. H045052, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8628).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Four former users of the now-defunct Google Plus social network filed a motion in California federal court on Jan. 6, seeking preliminary approval of a $7.5 million settlement with Google LLC of unfair competition, privacy and negligence class claims over two 2018 data leaks that exposed users’ personally identifiable information (PII) to third-party app developers (In re Google Plus Profile Litigation, No. 5:18-cv-06164, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court panel on Dec. 23 affirmed a ruling denying a lawyer and law firm’s motion to strike allegations brought against them by Allstate Insurance Co. over an alleged insurance fraud scheme, finding that demand letters sent by the defendants to the insurer are not protected activity under California law (People of the state of California, ex rel. Allstate Insurance Co. v. Kelly L. Casado, et al., No. B288742, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 7th Div., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8572).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 2 said that a landlord evicted a tenant for failure to pay rent and not because of his race and that the tenant did not demonstrate that the landlord failed to accommodate his disability, granting the landlord’s motion for summary judgment on all claims, including violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Rodney Green, Sr. v. Mercy Housing, Inc., et al., No. 18-04888, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 977).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 20 dismissed a declaratory judgment counterclaim of false advertising alleged in a dispute over co-authorship of the documentary “Sign My Name to Freedom” (Focal Point Films LLC, et al. v. Arjot Sandhu, No. 19-2898, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 219314).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 10 refused to dismiss claims for violation of California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in a foreclosure dispute but noted that the UCL claim may proceed only under the unfair and unlawful prongs (Frederick James Beatty v. PHH Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 19-05145, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213794).