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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • 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).

  • 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).