OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 10 denied a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on a consumer’s claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) based on her nonfunctional slack fill theory of liability in her lawsuit over the opaque packing of sweet potato fries (Angela Kennard v. Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc., No. 18-04665, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154421).
LOS ANGELES —A federal judge in California on Sept. 10 held that under California Insurance Code Section 533.5, a directors and officers liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying unfair competition and false advertising lawsuit brought against its insured by the California attorney general (Adir International, LLC, et al. v. Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, et al., No. 19-04352, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155321).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 9 held that all unfair competition law (UCL) claims are subject to a four-year statute of limitations even when the predicate statute’s limitations period is shorter, vacating a lower court’s order and directing the court to declare that the statute of limitations for the UCL claim predicated on Labor Code violations is four years (David Soto v. The Superior Court of San Bernardino County, et al. No. E071920, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5993).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 10 reversed a lower court’s order that sustained a demurrer without leave to amend a borrower’s claim alleging violation of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) but affirmed the court’s order sustaining the demurrer as to the unfair competition law (UCL) claim and seven other causes of action (Ronell D. Elwin v. Bank Of America, N.A. et al., No. H044007, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6031).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An insured failed to demonstrate any economic loss from entering into a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) and, thus, lacks standing to sue under California unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge ruled Sept. 12, finding that the RPA as part of a workers’ compensation program is not illegal and void (Pet Food Express Ltd. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-01211, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156198).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 denied Starbucks Corp.’s motion to dismiss a purchaser of a gummy candy product’s claims for fraudulent omission, breach of an implied warranty and violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and false advertising law (FAL) but granted Starbucks’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of an express warranty and negligent misrepresentation (Sandra Brown v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 18-2286, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150775).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 held that plaintiffs have adequately alleged violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) under the “unfair” and “unlawful” prongs, denying Walmart Inc.’s motion to dismiss the revised UCL claim in the first amended complaint (Alicia Cappello, et al. v. Walmart Inc., No. 18-06678, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148978).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a Sept. 9 minute entry, issued after a hearing, a California federal judge directed Google LLC to provide some documents related to its “Google Images” feature to the operator of an online photo repository that sued the tech giant for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to an advertising and marketing agreement (Dreamstime.com LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3:18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO — A majority of a California appeals panel on Sept. 5 found that a lower court properly sustained without leave to amend a mortgage servicer and loan beneficiary’s demurrer to a plaintiff’s third amended complaint alleging that the defendants conducted a "massive scheme" of wrongful and fraudulent business practices in connection with foreclosure proceedings on a residential property (Angelica Perales v. Select Portfolio Servicing, N.A., et al., No. D075087, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 59190).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 30 dismissed without leave to amend borrowers’ third amended complaint alleging that Wells Fargo Bank violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), finding that the borrower has failed to cure the second amended complaint's deficiencies (Ronnie L. Townsend, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 18-07382, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148821).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 entered judgment in favor of a bar, restaurant and nightclub operator after finding that a competitor infringed on its federal trademark rights under the Lanham Act, as well as its rights under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq. (Avenue Hospitality Group, LLC v. Avenue Restaurant and Music Lounge, No. 19-00687, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145841).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 granted an apartment complex manager’s motion to trim claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and California’s statutory right of publicity statute from a class complaint over an alleged unauthorized reposting of an Instagram photo, but denied a second motion to strike the class allegations, ruling that the motion may be refiled if class certification is sought (Jonathon Young, et al. v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, No. 18-2149, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149731).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 29 granted current and former loan servicers’ motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging violation of California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 and 17500 and other claims, finding that both the first amended complaint and the plaintiffs’ oppositions to the defendants’ motions to dismiss are “woefully lacking in substance” (Paul Phat Tran, et al. v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, et al., No 5:19-cv-00242, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147823).
LOS ANGELES — Three individuals on Aug. 26 sued Whole Foods Market Inc. in California federal court contending that they have been exposed to arsenic in bottled water sold at Whole Food that is incorrectly marketed as “pure” (David Berke, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Inc., et al., No. 19-7471, C.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Aug. 27 held that a lower court erred in finding that an employment practices liability insurance policy’s wage-and-hour exclusion bars coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought against the owner and operator of more than 250 Pizza Hut and Wing Street restaurants, finding that many of the underlying allegations are potentially subject to coverage (Southern California Pizza Co., LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, No. G056243, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5712).
PASADENA, Calif. — A petition for leave to appeal a class decertification order, where a motion for reconsideration was filed 20 days after the decertification order and the petition was filed 14 days after the motion for reconsideration was denied — without the benefit of equitable tolling based on a February decision by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court — was untimely, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 27 (Troy Lambert, et al. v. Nutraceutical Corp., No. 15-56423, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25839).
SAN FRANCISCO — On remand from the California Supreme Court, a state appellate panel on Aug. 22 stood by its previous ruling that a consumer cannot state an unlawful business practice claim against Costco Wholesale Membership Inc. because there has not been a legal finding that consumers are entitled to a refund for sales tax reimbursement that they paid on purchases of Ensure nutritional drinks (Larry Littlejohn v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, No. A144440, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5605).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 found that an insurer’s purported statements and conduct in denying an insured’s claim were not fraudulent or unfair under California's unfair competition law (UCL), affirming a lower court’s dismissal of an insured’s lawsuit without leave to amend (Deborah Quattrocchi, v. Allstate Indemnity Company, No. 18-15208, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24514).
SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling on summary adjudication and summary judgment motions in an employment discrimination and wage-and-hour violations dispute, a federal judge in California on Aug. 14 concluded that there is not enough evidence for a reasonable jury to determine that there was an implied contract regarding severance pay for purposes of claims under California Labor Code Sections and 201 and 203 and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Ian Iljas v. Ripley Entertainment Inc., No. 18-00136, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137596).
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 14 denied dueling motions for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising from claims that the defendants broadcast a closed-circuit boxing match “unlawfully” and without prior authorization (G&G Closed Circuit Events LLC v. Arturo Flores, et al., No. 18-001248, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137671).