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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • September 4, 2018

    Employee: Supreme Court Lacks Jurisdiction To Hear Federal Arbitration Act Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear an employer’s appeal of a class arbitration ruling because the original, two-part decision by the trial court was not appealable; however, if the high court decides to reach the merits, it should hold that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) doesn’t preempt state law, an employee argues in his respondent brief filed Aug. 30 in the high court (Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Frank Varela, No. 17-988, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 30, 2018

    Statements About Singer’s Identity Were Not Actionable Under UCL, Panel Holds

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Aug. 28 reversed a ruling in favor of a consumer who asserted claims for violation of California’s unfair competition (UCL) and consumer protection law in relation to statements made about the identity of the singer on a Michael Jackson album, holding that the statements were subject to full protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and fell outside the scope of an actionable unfair competition or consumer protection claim (Vera Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment, et al., No. B280526, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2).

  • August 30, 2018

    Judge Rejects ‘Unusual’ Arguments In Support Of Remand Of Asbestos-Talc UCL Case

    LOS ANGELES — Asbestos-talc plaintiffs’ stance that they lack necessary injury for federal standing and that California is the real party in interest in their action is unusual but ultimately futile, a federal judge in California held Aug. 23 in denying remand of a California unfair competition law claim (Hermelinda Luna, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 18-4830, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144641).

  • August 29, 2018

    Judge Holds Discovery On Revenue Information Is Not Relevant To UCL Claim

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 24 partially denied a consumer’s request for discovery related to a surcharge added by a restaurant to its bills, holding that how the restaurant spent the surcharge was not relevant to determining her claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Kathleen Holt v. Noble House Hotels & Resorts Ltd., et al., No. 17-cv-2246, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145566).

  • August 29, 2018

    Woman Alleges Solar Entities Forged Signature, Asserts UCL Claim In State Court

    SAN DIEGO — A woman who alleges that solar services entities fraudulently signed her signature on a solar power purchase agreement on behalf of her neighbor sued the companies on Aug. 22 in a California court, asserting claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law, financial elder abuse and other causes of action (Ivelisse August v. Vivint Solar Inc., No. 201800042289, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

  • August 24, 2018

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of VidAngel’s UCL, Antitrust Claims Against Studios

    SAN FRANCISCO — A video-filtering service provider failed to establish its counterclaims under the Sherman Act or California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against the studios suing it for copyright infringement, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 17, affirming a trial court’s dismissal of the counterclaims (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 17-56665, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22986).

  • August 22, 2018

    Fresno DA Asserts UCL Claim, Seeks Injunction Over Abandoned Storage Tank

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California district attorney, on behalf of the people of California, on Aug. 17 sued a property owner and company in state court, asserting a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and seeking injunctive relief in relation to environmental violations caused by an abandoned underground tank (The People of California v. Subhash Maden, No. 18CECG03089, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).

  • August 22, 2018

    Judge Holds Dispute With Lab That Tested Rice Cookers Must Be Arbitrated

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 20 dismissed a complaint for the third time, in which an importer and marketer of a rice cooker asserted claims for negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), holding that it was required to arbitrate its dispute with an independent testing laboratory (Sherwood Marketing Group, LLC v. Intertek Testing Services, N.A., No. 3:17-cv-00782, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141026).

  • August 21, 2018

    Judge Dismisses Claims Related To Advertisement Of BelVita Products

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 17  partially granted a motion to dismiss claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and advertising laws asserted by consumers who allege that they relied on a product maker’s representations about the ingredients and benefits of its breakfast bars with leave to amend, holding that some of the claims were preempted and that they failed to adequately allege warranty claims (Patrick McMorrow, et al. v. Mondelez International Inc., No. 17-cv-02327, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140078).

  • August 16, 2018

    Judge Denies New Trial On Contract, Bad Faith Claims Against Insurer

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 1 denied a life insurer’s request for a new trial or judgment as a matter of law on breach of contract and bad faith claims and denied its motion to strike a reinsurance underwriter’s testimony (DCD Partners LLC, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-03238, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135792).

  • August 14, 2018

    California High Court Holds CashCall’s Interest Rates Were Unconscionable

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 13 held that high interest rates on consumer loans issued by CashCall Inc. violated California finance law and that the borrowers stated a claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) based on their allegation that an interest rate on the loan of at least $2,500 was unconscionable (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., No. S241434, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 5749).

  • August 13, 2018

    Former Employee Alleges Experian Violated UCL, FEHA In California Court

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former employee of Experian Information Solutions Inc. on Aug. 3 sued the company in a California court, asserting claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA) in relation to the termination of his employment (Peter Bolin v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., et al., No. 2018-01010103, Calif. Super., Orange. Co.).

  • August 10, 2018

    Judge Refuses To Remand UCL, Employment Action To California Court

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 8 refused to remand a former employee’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and wage-related causes of action to a state court, holding that the federal amount-in-controversy requirement of $5 million was met (Ricardo Vergel De Dios v. Gerard Roof Products, LLC, et al., No. 18-01163, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134689).

  • August 9, 2018

    Federal Judge Allows UCL, Other Claims Against LG Electronics, Best Buy To Proceed

    MINNEAPOLIS — A California federal judge on Aug. 7 denied the majority of a motion filed by an electronics company and retailer to dismiss claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), Minnesota and New Jersey laws and other claims, holding that a consumer sufficiently alleged facts to show that he suffered an injury by unknowingly purchasing a television that was of lesser quality than what was advertised (Ivan Villa Lara v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., et al., No. 17-5222, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132583).

  • August 8, 2018

    Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, HBOR Claims, Allows Amendment

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 6 dismissed a borrower’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (HBOR) and other claims with leave to amend, finding that he failed to plead facts showing that a loan servicer and trust did not have the authority to foreclose on the property (Keyhan Mohanna v. Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-02563, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132053).

  • August 7, 2018

    Employee Sues Technology Firm, Asserts Wage Claims, Violations Of UCL

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former nonexempt employee on Aug. 2 sued a technology services company in a California court, asserting claims for violation of the California labor code and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), seeking unpaid wages (Maria G. Villasenor v. Solugenix Corp., No. 2018-01009771, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).

  • August 7, 2018

    Judge Remands Restaurant Owner’s Trademark, UCL Claims To California Court

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that a restaurant owner is not asserting a federal trademark infringement claim, a California federal judge on Aug. 2 remanded its claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and common-law trademark infringement to state court (Early Morning Inc. v. Eliud Moreno, et al., No. 2:18-cv-00483, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130116).

  • August 2, 2018

    Panel Says Court Erred In Holding UCL Claim Was Not Subject To Arbitration

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — After holding that company directors and officers were sued as agents of a company that entered an arbitration agreement in relation to the formation of another entity, a California appeals court on July 31 reversed a lower court’s decision that a former owner of the company’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action were not subject to arbitration (Kyle Fjelstad v. Eric Collins, et al., No. G054836, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5255).

  • August 2, 2018

    Purchasers Of Fitbit Devices Reach Preliminary Class Action Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 1 entered an order preliminarily approving a settlement agreement of class action claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (DUTPA) in relation to alleged misrepresentations about sleep-tracking devices, pursuant to which Fitbit Inc. will pay class members a cash payment and provide them with a nonexpiring voucher (James Brickman, et al. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02077, N.D. Calif.).

  • August 1, 2018

    Used Car Seller, Shell Reinsurer Allegedly Behind Fraud Schemes

    FRESNO, Calif. — A used-vehicle seller and its affiliates, including an illegal shell reinsurance company, are accused by a California man in a July 17 complaint in a state court of being behind three fraudulent schemes in the sale of used vehicles and violating California’ unfair competition law (UCL) (Gustavo Diaz-Samaniego v. Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company Fresno Inc., et al., No. 18CECG02632, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).