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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • October 2, 2018

    In UCL Suit, Woman Claims J&J Sold Talc Despite Knowing About Dangers

    LOS ANGELES — In a Sept. 25 suit alleging violation of the California unfair competition (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), a woman suffering from ovarian cancer claims consumer talc company Johnson & Johnson continued selling the product despite decades of evidence detailing its risks and the existence of viable alternatives (Robin Huey v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 18-2056, C.D. Calif.).

  • October 2, 2018

    Class Complaint Accuses Ticketmaster Of Working With Scalpers

    SAN FRANCISCO — Ticketmaster LLC and Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (collectively, Ticketmaster) have failed to eliminate the scalping of tickets because they have actually helped the sale of tickets to the secondary market in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and common law of unjust enrichment, a California man alleges in his Sept. 28 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Allen Lee, et al. v. Ticketmaster L.L.C., et al., No. 18-5987, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 2, 2018

    Facebook Announces Breach Affecting 50 Million Users, Gets Sued For Negligence

    SAN FRANCISCO — The same day that Facebook Inc. announced a data breach affecting almost 50 million of its users’ accounts, two of the social network’s account holders on Sept. 28 filed a putative class action against it for unfair competition, negligence and deceit in California federal court (Carl Echavarria, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-05982, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 28, 2018

    California Injunction Barring Indian Woman’s Cigarette Sales Stays In Place

    SAN FRANCISCO — California cannot obtain injunctive relief under its unfair competition law (UCL) claim against a member of an Indian tribe for selling untaxed cigarettes from her reservation home, but the woman can be enjoined from selling cigarettes in violation of the state’s cigarette fire safety and Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) directory laws, a state appeals panel held Sept. 25 (The People ex rel. Xavier Becerra v. Ardith Huber, No. A144214, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 855).

  • September 28, 2018

    Panel Holds Court Erred In Dismissing Real Estate Investor’s UCL Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on Sept. 21 reversed a ruling dismissing an investor’s claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against her former attorney, holding that the trial court erred in finding that a UCL claim could not be based on a violation of the rules of professional conduct (Barbara Epis v. Scott C. Jolley, et al., No. A143387, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6469).

  • September 21, 2018

    Suit Alleging Auto Insurer Undervalued Total Loss Vehicles Will Move Forward

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insureds’ claims for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation and fraud against an auto insurer accused of undervaluing vehicles that were rendered a total loss will move forward against the insurer because the insured offered sufficient facts to support the claims, a California federal judge said Sept. 19 (Bobby Jones, et al. v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-6941, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160313).

  • September 21, 2018

    Judge Won’t Dismiss UCL Warning Claims In Asbestos-Talc Case

    LOS ANGELES — Saying that Johnson & Johnson demands too much at this stage, a federal judge on Sept. 18 denied a motion to dismiss California unfair competition law (UCL) claims alleging that the cosmetic talc maker failed to warn about the presence of asbestos in baby powder (Hermelinda Luna, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 18-4830, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 21, 2018

    Judge Strikes Majority Of Natural Gas Entity’s Defenses To Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Sept. 18 refused to dismiss an affirmative defense asserted by a natural gas company that consumers failed to give it adequate notice under California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), but dismissed the remainder of its affirmative defenses to a complaint in which the customers assert claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and other causes of action related to its procurement of natural gas (Emily Fishman, et al. v. Tiger Natural Gas Inc., et al., No. 17-05351, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159425).

  • September 19, 2018

    Customer Sues Credit Union In California Court Over Nonsufficient Funds Fees

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on Sept. 14 sued a credit union in a California state court, alleging that it breached a contract and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) when it charged customers multiple nonsufficient fund fees on a single transaction (Travis Hatfield v. NuVision Federal Credit Union, No. 2018-01018608, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • September 19, 2018

    California Panel Holds Modification Agreement Was Exempt Under Usury Laws

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 18 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a borrower’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims failed because a modification agreement entered into with the sellers was exempt under  usury laws (Jefferson G. Smith v. Mov Hok Tang, et al., No. C076532, Calif. App., 3rd Cir., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6355).

  • September 18, 2018

    Health Insurer Says ERISA Preempts, Pleading Deficiencies Defeat UCL Claim

    LOS ANGELES — An out-of-network substance abuse services provider’s claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the provider fails to adequately plead its California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, an insurer tells a California federal judge in a reply Sept. 14 (Miriam Hamideh Ph.D., et al. v. Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3044, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 17, 2018

    Judge Holds Claims Over Right To Rescind Condo Purchase Likely To Fail

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 14 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation that claims asserted by the purchaser of a condominium unit for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws should be dismissed, holding that Colorado was an improper venue and that it was unlikely that he would succeed on the merits of the claims (Jason Brooks v. Tarsadia Hotels, et al., No. 17-cv-03172, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157102).

  • September 14, 2018

    Judge Dismisses California Law Claims Related To Alleged Treatment Of Chickens

    SAN FRANCISCO — After finding that claims asserted by a group of nonprofit organizations against a poultry company in relation to how it raises and treats its chickens were not pleaded with the required particularity, a California federal judge on Sept. 11 granted the company’s motion to dismiss their claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law with leave to amend (Organic Consumers Association, et al. v. Sanderson Farms Inc., No. 17-cv-03592, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23713).

  • September 14, 2018

    Judge Holds Drink Maker Must Allege More Facts To Support UCL, FAL Claims

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Sept. 13 dismissed claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law asserted by a maker of a Kombucha drink, who alleges that another maker misrepresents that the drink does not contain alcohol, but granted it leave to amend the claims to show why it delayed filing the case and to provide other details to support its allegations (Tortilla Factory, LLC v. Better Booch, et al., No. 2:18-cv-02980, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156617).

  • September 13, 2018

    Bank Seeks Review Of Whether State Escrow Law Preempts National Banking Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bank of America N.A. (BANA) on Aug. 15 filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that it review a decision in which a federal appeals court held that the National Bank Act (NBA) did not preempt California escrow interest law (Bank of America, N.A. v. Donald M. Lusnak, No. 18-212, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 12, 2018

    DA Opposes Petition In High Court, Argues UCL, FAL Claims Were Not Preempted

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California district attorney on Sept. 7 filed an opposition to a petition for writ of certiorari filed by companies sued in relation to an explosion that killed employees, arguing that the state’s high court properly held that claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) are not preempted by federal occupational safety and health law (Emerson Electric Co., et al. v. Superior Court of California, Orange County, et al., No. 17-1713, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 12, 2018

    Purchaser Alleges She Was Improperly Charged Renewal Fees For Fitness Service

    LOS ANGELES — A purchaser of a fitness service on Aug. 20 sued a media company and others, asserting claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law and other claims, asserting that they charged automatic renewal charges to her payment method without obtaining her consent (Lisa Friedman v. Jillian Michaels, et al., No. BC717341, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • September 11, 2018

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss LegalForce’s UCL, Lanham Act Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 7 refused to dismiss a legal company’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action in relation to their allegation that an individual is falsely advertising that he is an attorney, holding that dismissal for failure to state a claim would be premature at the present stage of the case  (LegalForce RAPC Worldwide P.C. v. Chris DeMassa, No. 18-cv-00043, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153179).

  • September 11, 2018

    Borrower Lacks Standing To Assert UCL, Other Claims, Federal Judge Holds

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that a borrower failed to allege that a foreclosure proceeding had been commenced or that she had suffered an actual harm, a California federal judge on Sept. 7 dismissed her claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims against lenders and a trustee with leave to amend (Debra Lynn Medford v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 2:17-cv-01783, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153183).

  • September 6, 2018

    Judge Orders Attorney To Pay Sanctions For Failure To Comply With Discovery Order

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 22 ordered that counsel for a group of participants in a tax certificate investment program who allege that the association that held the program violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) pay sanctions for failing to comply with the court’s order compelling discovery in the case (Kerry Boulton, et al. v. U.S. Tax Lien Association, LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-2384, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120193).