Mealey's California Section 17200

  • July 08, 2020

    Insurer: Insureds Failed To Plead Covered Losses Under Policy Provisions

    SAN FRANCISCO — The owners of two San Francisco restaurants have failed to state any claim for relief in arguing that their insurer breached the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and acted in bad faith when it denied coverage for losses the restaurants suffered as a result of stay-at-home orders issued in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic because they have failed to sufficiently show that their losses fall within the policies’ business income or civil authority additional coverages, the insurer argues in a June 29 motion to dismiss in California federal court (Nari Suda LLC v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co., No. 20-3057, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Judge Approves California Competition Law Balance Billing Class Settlement

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on June 30 granted final approval of a California unfair competition law class action settlement resolving claims that patients who visited in-network hospitals were subject to balance billing after receiving treatment from out-of-network providers (Renee MacLaughlan Bozarth, et al. v. Envision Healthcare Corp., et al., No. 17-1935, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117294).

  • July 01, 2020

    Mask Maker Files Suit To Combat ‘Exploitation’ Of Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic

    LOS ANGELES — A provider of renewable energy, clean transportation and design and manufacturing services and its subsidiary that is the exclusive seller of Build Your Dreams (BYD) health care products in North America filed an unfair competition, trademark dilution and trademark infringement lawsuit in a California federal court on June 22, alleging that “bad actors” used their “brand recognition and trademarks to deceive and harm the public” and that the consequences of counterfeit respirator masks “can literally be deadly” (BYD Company Ltd, et al. v. Alexander Khazai, et al., No. 20-5530, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 01, 2020

    California Panel:  Errors In Consideration Of Declarations In Wage, UCL Suit

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A trial court failed to carry out its duty to carefully consider the declarations from current and former employees submitted by an employer in support of its opposition to class certification in an employee’s lawsuit alleging violations of California’s Labor Code and the unfair competition law (UCL), a split California appellate panel ruled June 26, reversing orders denying motions to strike the declarations and for class certification (Sofia Wilton Barriga v. 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, No. E069288, Calif., App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 586).

  • June 26, 2020

    Black YouTube Users Sue For Discrimination Over Targeting, Restricting Videos

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A group of creators of Black-themed content on YouTube LLC’s online video-sharing platform filed a punitive class complaint in California federal court on June 16, claiming that the company engages in “knowing and intentional” race discrimination by targeting and restricting videos on the basis of “race, identity or viewpoint” (Kimberly Celeste Newman, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 5:20-cv-04011, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 24, 2020

    Dollar Tree Hit With Class Complaint By Employee Over COVID-19 Response

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dollar Tree Stores Inc. created a public nuisance and engaged in unfair business practices in violation of California law by failing to properly provide safety equipment, cleaning products and training to employees in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, an employee alleges in a class complaint filed June 10 in a California state court (Kiyana Esco, et al. v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., et al., No. 2020-00280479-CV, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

  • June 18, 2020

    Albertsons Price-Gouged Customers In The Midst Of Pandemic, Complaint Alleges

    SAN FRANCISCO — Albertsons Cos. Inc. took advantage of customers by gouging prices of essential items being highly sought following stay-at-home orders due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), one California customer alleges her June 3 class complaint filed in a federal court in California (Eleisha Redmond, et al. v. Albertsons Companies, Inc., et al., No. 20-3692, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 17, 2020

    2 Appeals Filed Following Dismissal Of Fantasy Sports Players’ Class Action

    NEW YORK — Participants in fantasy baseball contests who filed a class complaint accusing Major League Baseball (MLB) and two teams of fraud, negligence, unjust enrichment and violation of California and other states’ consumer protection laws by harming fans participating in such contests through DraftKings Inc. filed a notice of appeal on June 12 in a federal court in New York after their motion to alter, amend or vacate the dismissal of their class complaint was denied on June 5 (Kristopher R. Olson, et al. v. Major League Baseball, et al., No. 20-632, S.D. N.Y.).

  • June 16, 2020

    Insured: Insurer ‘Unreasonably’ Adjusted, ‘Unjustifiably’ Denied Wildfire Claim

    LOS ANGELES —A homeowner on June 11 sued her insurer in a California court for breach of contract, bad faith and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the insurer unreasonably adjusted and unjustifiably denied her claim for home and personal property damage caused by the 2018 Woolsey fire (Tracey Bregman v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 20-00792, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • June 15, 2020

    Federal Judge Issues Discovery Order On Tenants’ UCL Suit Over Late Fee

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on June 9 held that defendants have waived attorney-client privilege as to all attorney-client communications regarding the legal advice from outside counsel and in-house counsel concerning the legality of a late fee in a lawsuit alleging that the defendants violated California’s Civil Code Section 1671(d) and Business and Professions Code Section 17200 by charging tenants the greater of $50 or 5 percent of their outstanding balance for late rent payments (Javanni Munguia-Brown, et al. v. Equity Residential, et al., No. 16-01225, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101784).

  • June 15, 2020

    Federal Magistrate: Plaintiff Fails To Allege UCL Claim Based On ‘Unfair’ Prong

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on June 4 found that because the operator of an online driver’s education school’s factual allegations against a competitor do not rise to a violation of either the Sherman or the Cartwright act, those same claims cannot give rise to a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim based on the "unfair" prong (The Distance Learning Company v. Derick Gene Maynard, et al., No. No. 19-03801, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99256).

  • June 15, 2020

    Panel Reverses Ruling As To HSSCA, UCL Claims Against Gym’s Billing Agent

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on June 11 found that a lower court erred in sustaining a fitness facility’s software and billing provider’s demurrer as to a plaintiff’s class action claims for declaratory relief and violations of California’s Health Studio Services Contract Act (HSSCA) and unfair competition law (UCL), reversing a lower court’s ruling in part in a lawsuit alleging that the provider refused to cancel a health studio services contract based on the plaintiff’s disability (Ana-Maria Morar v. ABC Financial Services, Inc., No. A153508, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3609).

  • June 15, 2020

    Magistrate: Federal Enclave Doctrine Bars Labor Code, 172 Claims Against Employer

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on June 5 held that a concrete finisher’s California Labor Code and unfair business practices claims against his former employer are barred by the federal enclave doctrine because they stem from work that was performed on six federal enclaves (David Jimenez v. Haxton Masonry, Inc., No. 18-07109, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99251).

  • June 12, 2020

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud, UCL Claims Against Attorney

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on June 11 held that an attorney’s pleadings failed to allege a basis to establish that a fiduciary relationship exists between attorneys representing opposing parties in trust proceedings, nor do they “suggest any other legal footing for” his breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, contempt, breach of a settlement agreement and an alleged oral stipulation and unfair business practices causes of action (Jeffrey L. Licht v. John M. Gantus, No. G057394, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3631).

  • June 12, 2020

    Judge:  2nd Amended Complaint Fails To Cure Deficiencies Of UCL Claim Against BMW

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal court entered judgment in favor of BMW of North America LLC on June 11, one day after dismissing the plaintiff’s second amended complaint alleging an unfair competition law (UCL) violation based on BMW’s alleged refusal to provide data that one of its dealerships extracted from her vehicle, finding the plaintiff failed to cure the deficiencies of the UCL claim (Gretchen Key v. BMW of North America, LLC, No. 19-03366, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101723).

  • June 09, 2020

    Class Action: Policy ‘Specifically’ Covers Trip Cancellation Due To Quarantine

    LOS ANGELES — A class action complaint for breach of contract, bad faith and violations of California Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 and 17500 was filed against a travel insurer in a California federal court on June 2, alleging that the insurance policy “specifically provides coverage benefits for trip cancellation due to various stated occurrences, including ‘Being hijacked or Quarantined’” (Richard Robbins v. Generali Global Assistance, Inc., et al., No. 20-04904, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 08, 2020

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Suit To Allow Plaintiff To Plead Wrongful Foreclosure

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals court panel on May 26 reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a borrower’s lawsuit against banks over their right to sell her house to recover on a delinquent mortgage loan, finding that her complaint asserts facts that could support a legal theory of recovery if leave to amend was granted (Nora Masoud v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. D075582, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3224).

  • June 08, 2020

    Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss UCL, Wage Claims In Employment Dispute

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on May 27 granted an employer’s motion to dismiss claims for failure to properly pay sick leave wages but refused to dismiss claims for failure to pay all wages due on separation and unfair business practices (Angela Flores v. Dart Container Corporation, et al., No. 19-00083, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93524).

  • June 01, 2020

    UCL, FAL Suit Alleges Sale Of Fraudulent ‘At Home’ COVID-19 Tests And ‘Disinfectants’

    LOS ANGELES — The people of California on May 26 sued a wellness company, seeking to enforce California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) for the company’s alleged sale of fraudulent “at home” COVID-19 tests and “disinfectants” “designed to take advantage of, and profit from, the fear, anxiety, and misinformation arising from the global pandemic” (The People of the State of California v. Wellness Matrix Group, Inc., et al., No. 20-19955, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • May 26, 2020

    Woman Says Walmart’s Sale Of Roundup Violates California’s Unfair Competition Law

    LOS ANGELES — A woman filed a putative class action lawsuit against Walmart Inc. in California federal court on May 22, contending that its sale of the herbicide Roundup is in violation of the state’s unfair competition law because the store sold Roundup despite knowledge that it may cause cancer (Sherry Hanna v. Walmart Inc., No. 20-1075, C.D. Calif.).