Mealey's California Section 17200

  • October 16, 2019

    Insured Objects To Costs After Finding It Failed To Show Economic Loss

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An insured filed objections on Oct. 3 to $10,978.46 as part of the costs issued by a California federal judge following his ruling that the 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) (Pet Food Express Ltd. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16- 01211, E.D. Calif.).

  • October 15, 2019

    Facebook’s Anti-SLAPP Motion In App Maker’s UCL Suit Properly Denied, Panel Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO — Citing an unjustified delay by Facebook Inc. in moving to dismiss an app developer’s claims against it under California’s Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, a California appeals panel on Sept. 30 affirmed denial of that notion, permitting claims against the social network under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) to proceed (Six4Three LLC v. Facebook Inc., et al., Nos. A154890 and A155334, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6616).

  • October 14, 2019

    Judge Grants Apple’s Motion To Dismiss UCL, Other Claims In False Advertising Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 11 granted Apple Inc.’s motion to dismiss 10 claims in a putative class action alleging that it falsely advertised that its computer screens were of the “highest quality” even though they contained a “critical defect” that it knew about, rejecting the plaintiffs’ contention that Apple’s fraudulent omissions makes it liable under the California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Kim Ahern, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 18-07196, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177425).

  • October 14, 2019

    Federal Judge Stays UCL Suit Pending FDA Finding On Whether Cream Is ‘New Drug’

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 8 stayed a consumer’s lawsuit alleging L'Oréal’s USA Inc.’s marketing and sale of an eye repair cream is “unlawful” under California's unfair competition law (UCL) pending a determination by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding whether the cream is a “new drug” that must undergo approval (Kristen Brinkerhoff v. L'Oréal USA, Inc., No 18-2034, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175711).

  • October 14, 2019

    Judge:  Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment On UCL, Other Claims Against IBM

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California held on Oct. 11 that there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment in favor of International Business Machines Corp. on certain claims in a software sales representative’s suit alleging that IBM owed him unpaid commissions (David Swafford v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 18-04916, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177346).

  • October 10, 2019

    Judge Mostly Denies Dismissal Of UCL, Other Claims In Adverse Employment Dispute

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 7 dismissed without prejudice a Catholic high school’s former employee’s unfair competition law (UCL) claim based on a violation of California Labor Code Section 203 but allowed the remainder of his UCL claim, four other claims and his request for punitive damages to proceed in the adverse employment action (Torrey Eason v. The Roman Catholic Bishop Of San Diego, et al., No. 19-577, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173964).

  • October 09, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL, Breach Of Contract Claims In Suit Over Proprietary Information

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 26 granted a California company’s motion to dismiss a New York company’s California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract claims but allowed claims for trade secret misappropriation and replevin to proceed in a dispute over proprietary information (ValveTech, Inc. v. Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., No. 17-6788, W.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165556).

  • October 09, 2019

    Federal Judge Tosses UCL, Other Claims In Suit Against Insurer, Insurance Agent

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 24 held that a plaintiff relies on “vague allegations” to support his claim that an automobile insurer and a broker engaged in unfair and fraudulent business practices, dismissing with leave to amend the plaintiff’s complaint asserting that his automobile insurance policy for his 1966 Ford Fairlane was inadequate (Terry Guy Overfelt v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, LLC, et al., No. 19-04297, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165787).

  • October 09, 2019

    Plaintiffs Fail To Establish Standing Under UCL, Magistrate Says, Allows Leave To Amend

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Sept. 24 granted a property management company’s motion to dismiss class action claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the plaintiffs have failed to allege an economic injury that establishes standing under the UCL (Maryrose Limson, et al. v. Bridge Property Management Company, No. 19-02795, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163573).

  • October 09, 2019

    Panel Reverses, Remands To Provide Opportunity To Plead Successful UCL Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on Oct. 1 held that a lower court should have allowed a plaintiff to pursue her request for medical records in an amended complaint, reversing and remanding for a lower court to grant the plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint including a claim under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Kamlesh Banga v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. A151758, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6648).

  • October 07, 2019

    9th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Woman’s Fraud Suit Against Mortgage Lender

    PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 24 upheld the dismissal of a woman’s lawsuit accusing her mortgage lender of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) when providing her with an adjustable-rate loan in 2006, finding that she knew when the lender made allegedly misleading statements during the four-year statute of limitations (Kathleen Angel Eisenberg v. Citibank N.A., No. 17-56233, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 28851).

  • October 01, 2019

    Panel Reverses Denial Of Request For Default Judgment In Forgery Suit Against Lender

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals court panel on Sept. 20 reversed a judgment that dismissed borrowers’ breach of contract, fraud and unlawful business practices lawsuit and denied their request for a default judgment, remanding for the lower court to enter a $25,000 default judgment plus a newly calculated sum of interest against a mortgage lender and its vice president (Michael Long, et al. v. Paul Financial, LLC, et al., No. G056108, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6267).

  • September 26, 2019

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss UCL, FAL Suit Over Silk Coconutmilk’s Product Label

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 13 denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss a putative class action alleging that a product label’s “cholesterol free” description creates a misleading impression about the product’s health-promoting benefits, concluding that “there simply is no doubt that plaintiff has stated a plausible claim that the labels are misleading” (Donovan Marshall v. Danone US, Inc., No. 19-01332, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160200).

  • September 23, 2019

    Panel Affirms Ruling In Suit Alleging Predatory Mortgage Lending Practices

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 17 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of mortgage lenders and their officers in the borrowers’ lawsuit alleging that the defendants conducted a deceptive marketing campaign to promote “teaser” interest rates for residential loans for unsophisticated borrowers and charged unreasonable fees in connection with the loans (Salma Merritt, et al. v. Countrywide Financial Corp., et al., No. H041560, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6204).

  • September 20, 2019

    Panel: Counterclaims Properly Dismissed As Superseded By Trade Secret Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not abuse it’s discretion in dismissing a medical technology company’s counterclaims for unfair business practices and unjust enrichment against its competitor in the health care professional clothing industry without leave to amend because those counterclaims are superseded by California’s uniform trade secrets law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 16 (Strategic Partners Inc. v. Vestagen Protective Technologies Inc., Nos. 17-56789, 17-56897 and 18-55156, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27819).

  • September 20, 2019

    Battery Technology Company Sues Chinese Competitor In Trade Secret Dispute

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A manufacturer of new battery technologies sued its Chinese competitor on Sept. 16 in California federal court, alleging that the competitor engaged in a scheme to poach one of the manufacturer’s key employees and misappropriate the company’s confidential and trade secret information for its lithium-ion battery separators in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Celgard LLC v. Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co. Ltd. [US] Research Institute, et al., No. 19-5784, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 19, 2019

    Individual Issues Found In Putative Class Suit Over Pop Warner Head Injuries

    LOS ANGELES — Individual issues predominate when it comes to claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) brought by two mothers whose sons played Pop Warner tackle football and were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) postmortem, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 11, denying class certification of those two claims against the football program (Kimberly Archie, et al. v. Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., et al., No. 16-6603, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 16, 2019

    UCL, CLRA Claims Survive Motion For Judgment On Pleadings In Slack-Filled Fries Suit

    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).

  • September 16, 2019

    D&O Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Attorney General’s UCL, FAL Suit

    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).

  • September 16, 2019

    All UCL Claims Are Subject To 4-Year Statute Of Limitations, Panel Rules

    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).