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Mealey's California Section 17200

  • April 23, 2019

    Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, RESPA, Other Claims As Barred By Res Judicata

    LOS ANGELES — After holding that a borrower’s fourth lawsuit related to a property foreclosure was barred as a result of judgments entered in a previous lawsuit against the same parties, a California federal judge on April 19 granted a motion to dismiss her complaint without leave to amend (Faithie Parker v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 19-1017, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67332).

  • April 23, 2019

    Insured Sues Geico, Homesite In California Court For Failure To Defend

    LOS ANGELES — An insured on April 18 sued two insurers in a California court, asserting that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance agreement by failing to defend him in an underlying negligence lawsuit (Gaetano Mandala v. Geico Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 19STCV13501, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • April 19, 2019

    Judge Holds California Southern District Is Proper Venue For UCL, Other Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 16 declined to transfer a lawsuit filed by employees hired to participate in military role-playing exercises who allege that their employers violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code in relation to their pay, finding that convenience to the witnesses did not weigh in favor of a transfer (Ahmad Jamshid Abdul, et al., v. Workforce Resources, LLC, et al., No. 19-cv-00019, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65157).

  • April 17, 2019

    Judge Holds California Law Must Be Applied In Injury Case Against Nutribullet

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 12 denied a motion filed by the makers of blender products that argued that New Zealand law, rather than California law, should be applied to a consumer’s claims for compensatory and punitive damages in relation to injuries she suffered, holding that California’s interest in the case was greater because New Zealand does not allow litigation for compensatory damages and the state has a strong interest in deterring negligent conduct by businesses within the state (Elizabeth Flack v. Nutribullet, L.L.C., et al., No. 2:18-cv-05829, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64400).

  • April 16, 2019

    California Federal Judge Trims Claims In Class Suit Over Slack-Filled Fries

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 12 allowed a consumer suing over the opaque packing of sweet potato fries to proceed with claims under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) based on her nonfunctional slack fill theory of liability but granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss with prejudice as to the plaintiff’s claims based on her consumer deception theory of liability (Angela Kennard v. Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc., No. 18-4665, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63637).

  • April 15, 2019

    Judge Allows UCL, Other Class Claims Over Water Labeling To Proceed

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 12 denied a beverage company’s motion to dismiss claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws on behalf of a proposed statewide class of purchasers of a sparkling water drinks, holding that consumers adequately pleaded that purchasers of the drinks could likely be deceived into believing that the product contains all natural ingredients (Jessica Augustine, et al. v. Talking Rain Beverage Company Inc., No. 18-cv-2576, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63655).

  • April 15, 2019

    Judge Holds Assignee Did Not Assume Bathroom Pod Unit Maker’s Liabilities

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 11 denied a modular bathroom pod unit maker’s motion to dismiss counterclaims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and other causes of action, rejecting its arguments that the company is not the real party in interest (Steven Mitnick v. davisREED Construction, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-00747, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62846).

  • April 11, 2019

    Judge Enters Default On Musician’s Trademark, UCL Claims, Enters Injunction

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 8 entered a default judgment and granted an injunction in favor of a musician and against a concert promoter on claims for trademark infringement, violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action, ordering the promotor to return all domain names and social media accounts using the singer’s marks (James Todd Smith v. Guerilla Union, Inc., et al., No. 18-9902, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60309).

  • April 10, 2019

    Judge Orders Discovery In UCL, CLRA Case, Dismisses Entity For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on April 5 denied and granted motions to dismiss claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action against cosmetic companies, ordering jurisdictional evidentiary discovery to determine whether one entity was mistakenly listed on another company’s website (Kari Miller, et al. v. Peter Thomas Roth, LLC, et al., No. 19-00698, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59420).

  • April 9, 2019

    Poultry Company Asks Court To Dismiss UCL, FAL Claims For Lack Of Standing

    SAN FRANCISCO — A poultry company on April 1 moved a California federal court to dismiss a third amended complaint filed by nonprofit organizations, who allege that the company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and another state law by misleading consumers about its chicken products, arguing that the organizations failed to show that they suffered any injury and lack standing to sue (Organic Consumers Association, et al. v. Sanderson Farms Inc., No. 17-cv-03592, N.D. Calif.).

  • April 9, 2019

    Judge Holds Bread Crumb Label Could Be Misleading, Denies Motion

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 4 denied a retailer’s motion to dismiss a consumer’s claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws, holding that a reasonable jury could find that a statement made on the retailer’s bread crumb packaging regarding trans fat content constitutes a misleading advertisement and unfair business practice (Shavonda Hawkins v. The Kroger Co., No. 15cv2320, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59249).

  • April 8, 2019

    Google AdWords User Appeals Dismissal Of Unfair Competition Suit To 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Asserting that Google LLC induces customers to use its AdWords program by misrepresenting the amount of valid clicks they will receive on their advertisements, a small business owner tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 29 brief that his unfair competition and false advertising claims were wrongly dismissed without proper consideration of Google’s misrepresentations and his experts’ evidence of click fraud (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 18-17035, 9th Cir.).

  • April 3, 2019

    California Appeal Panel: Death Knell Order Is Not ‘Trial’ For Dismissal Statute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A death knell order dismissing class claims is not a “trial” for the purposes of the five-year dismissal statute established in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 583.310, and an appellate decision reversing a death knell order does not trigger the three-year extension under Section 583.320, subdivision (a)(3), a California appellate panel ruled March 29 in a case alleging violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), noting that both matters were issues of first impression (Angela Rel, et al. v. Pacific Bell Mobile Services, et al., No. A152225, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 290).

  • April 3, 2019

    Judge Holds Consumer’s UCL Claims Related To Trans Fat In Cookies Are Preempted

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on March 29 granted a cookie seller’s motion to dismiss a consumer’s class action claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to the inclusion of trans fats in its products, holding that the claims were preempted by federal law (Troy Backus v. Biscomerica Corporation, No. 16-cv-03916, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54609).

  • April 1, 2019

    Judge Remands Discrimination Lawsuit, Holds Greyhound’s Removal Was Untimely

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on March 28 granted a motion to remand a proposed class action in which a consumer alleges that a bus line has a policy that allows for discriminatory immigration inspections on its buses in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws, holding that the bus company’s removal was untimely and that the damages do not exceed the jurisdictional requirement for removal (Rocio Cordova v. Greyhound Lines Inc., No. 19-cv-00442, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53330).

  • March 28, 2019

    Judge Holds Attorney Solicited Class Members, Violated UCL, CLRA

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 26 found that an attorney breached his fiduciary duty and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) when he solicited and paid someone a fee to organize condominium owners to pursue an underlying class action, granting judgment for the purchasers and ordering that the attorney pay them $12 million in restitution for attorney fees (James Estakhrian, et al. v. Mark Obenstine, et al., No. 11-3480, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50828).

  • March 27, 2019

    Panel Holds UCL, Other Claims Fail, Affirms Order Granting Anti-SLAPP Motions

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on March 22 affirmed a trial court’s decision granting motions filed by a debt collector and a health care provider to strike a debtor’s complaint because it was related to an underlying collection action filed against her and holding that her claims for violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), malicious prosecution and conversion all failed on the merits (Elisa Mejia v. Retailers Credit Association of Grass Valley, Inc., et al.,  No. C078461, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1959).

  • March 22, 2019

    Attorney General Sues Arby’s, Alleges Franchise Agreements Violate UCL

    LOS ANGELES — The California attorney general on March 19 sued a fast-food chain in a California court, alleging that violates the state unfair competition law (UCL) by including a provision in its franchise agreements that restricts franchisees from soliciting employees from the restaurant or its other franchisees (California ex rel. Xavier Beccara v. Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., No. 19STCV09397, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • March 21, 2019

    Judge Allows Fraud, Other Claims Over Updated Dispatch System To Proceed

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on March 19 granted a technology company’s motion to dismiss a public communication center’s claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) but held that the center’s remaining claims related to allegations that the company misrepresented its capabilities when it entered an agreement for the creation of an updated dispatch system were adequately pleaded at the present stage of the case (Sacramento Regional Public Safety Communications Center v. Tyler Technologies, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-1792, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45250).

  • March 20, 2019

    Judge Holds California Law Governs Employment Action, Grants Partial Dismissal

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 15 dismissed a former employee’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and intentional interference with leave to amend but refused to dismiss his claim for declaratory relief, holding that an actual controversy exists as to whether his former employer threatened to sue him under a noncompete provision after his position was terminated (Stephen D. Healy v. Qognify, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-06318, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44111).