Mealey's California Section 17200

  • May 20, 2024

    Judge Denies TRO Barring Foreclosure Sale By Servicer Accused Of Violating UCL

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 17 denied a borrower’s application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the imminent foreclosure sale of his home, finding it unlikely that he will succeed on his claims against a borrower for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly misinforming him about his ability to obtain a COVID-19 forbearance plan.

  • May 20, 2024

    App Players Urge 9th Circuit To Rehear Challenge To UCL Suit’s Arbitrability

    LOS ANGELES — A group of consumers filed a petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking it to reconsider its ruling that the consumers must arbitrate claims against a company for allegedly falsely advertising discounts on in-game purchases in its “Game of Thrones” mobile app game.

  • May 17, 2024

    9th Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing Of Data Privacy Suit Against Shopify

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a petition for rehearing en banc of its decision affirming the dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of a putative class complaint accusing a payment processor of violating California privacy and unfair competition laws by concealing that it was collecting, storing and sharing consumers’ personal information.

  • May 16, 2024

    Judge Allows Consumer Defect Suits Against Gas Stove Makers For Air Pollutants

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part three gas stove makers’ motions to dismiss putative class actions brought against them by customers who claim that they were deceived into purchasing gas stoves without knowing that the products may emit harmful air pollutants, allowing the bulk of their claims, including for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), to proceed.

  • May 16, 2024

    Consumer Dismisses UCL Suit Against Juice Company For PFAS In Smoothies

    SAN DIEGO — Two consumers on May 15 filed a notice in California federal court of voluntary dismissal of their lawsuit accusing a beverage maker of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by concealing the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in its fruit juice smoothie products.

  • May 16, 2024

    California Says Insurers, Valuation Companies Conspire To ‘Lowball’ Vehicle Claims

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California district attorney on behalf of the state filed an amended complaint in state court against a group of insurance and valuation companies for allegedly violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws for engaging in a criminal and civil conspiracy to “systematically and pervasively underpay claims” for totaled cars.

  • May 16, 2024

    Attorney Fees, Partial Service Awards Granted After $10.5M Thread Count Settlement

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio awarded class counsel $3.5 million in attorney fees and more than $200,000 in expenses for representing consumers who settled claims with a department store over sheet thread counts for $10.5 million and partially awarded the requested incentive payments for the named plaintiffs, citing Internal Improvement Fund Trustees v. Greenough, one of the cases pointed to by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals when it ruled in Johnson v. NPAS Sol’ns, LLC that class representatives are precluded from receiving personal compensation from the settlement fund.

  • May 15, 2024

    Chamber Of Commerce Backs 9th Circuit Rehearing In Meta Advertising Fraud Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In affirming the certification of a damages class in a suit alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment by Meta Platforms Inc. related to its online advertising services, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority weakened the requirements for class certification in fraud cases, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says in an amicus curiae brief supporting Meta’s bid for rehearing on this “issue of exceptional importance.”

  • May 15, 2024

    Black Lives Matter Entity Says Nonprofit Won’t Return More Than $33M In Donations

    LOS ANGELES — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. (BLM GNF) filed a complaint in California state court accusing another nonprofit, Tides Foundation, of “egregious mismanagement” of more than $33 million in charitable funds that BLM GNF says Tides refuses to return and continues to profit off of, in violation of California’s banking laws and unfair competition law (UCL).

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Juice Company’s Suit Alleging Fraud Before Asset Sale

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted a food production company’s motion to dismiss a complaint accusing it of fraud by allegedly making phony sales to improve its performance records before the sale of certain assets to a juice company, finding that the plaintiff’s fraud-related claims including for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) were not pleaded with sufficient specificity.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Says Plaintiffs In Loot Box Gambling Suit Failed To Allege Injury

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 9 found that two video game players who brought California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against a Finnish developer for illegal gambling based on in-game “loot box” sales lacked standing due to failure to allege a cognizable injury.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Borrowers’ Claims Against Loan Servicer

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of borrowers’ suit against their mortgage loan servicer, finding that a breach of contract claim and a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing are time-barred and that the couple failed to state claims for violations of the California unfair competition law (UCL) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

  • May 10, 2024

    Data Scraper Prevails In Spat With X Corp., Judge Finds Copyright Preemption

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal in full, with leave to amend, was granted May 9 in a breach of contract and unfair competition action by X Corp., with a federal judge in California declaring that “the extent to which public data may be freely copied from social media platforms, even under the banner of scraping, should generally be governed by the Copyright Act,” and not by “conflicting, ubiquitous” terms of use.

  • May 09, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Consumer’s ‘Slack-Fill’ UCL Suit Against Supplement Maker

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit against a nutritional supplement maker for allegedly selling its products with a deceptively large container containing a relatively small amount of product after finding that the court lacked equitable jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ putative class claims.

  • May 09, 2024

    Ad Customers Accuse Reddit Of ‘Click-Through Fraud’ In Class Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A tech company on May 8 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Reddit Inc., operator of a popular social media platform, accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract by allegedly charging fraudulent fees per click on digital advertisements to it and other companies while allowing fraudulent clicks on its platform.

  • May 09, 2024

    Judge Tosses Class Action Alleging Ovulation Kits Are Deceptively Labeled

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge dismissed without leave to amend a putative class action alleging that at-home ovulation test kits were deceptively labeled in violation of New York and California false advertising laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after finding that the women who purchased the tests failed to show that a reasonable consumer of the products would be deceived.

  • May 09, 2024

    Magistrate Denies Motion For Indicative Relief In FCA Suit Alleging Overcharging

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge denied a relator’s motion for an indicative ruling that pursuant to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision in United States ex rel. Silbersher v. Valeant Pharms. Int’l, Inc., a similar False Claims Act (FCA) suit brought by the same relator, the magistrate judge should grant the relator “relief” from the judgment on appeal to the Ninth Circuit after dismissing his claims that pharmaceutical companies overcharged the federal government and states under Medicare and Medicaid.

  • May 08, 2024

    Judgment Entered Dismissing UCL Suit Against OnlyFans For Automatic Renewals

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 7 entered judgment dismissing a putative class action against two entities that own and operate the adult entertainment website OnlyFans after granting a motion to dismiss claims that the company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to notify subscribers that they would be automatically charged monthly for subscriptions to various OnlyFans models.

  • May 06, 2024

    Consumer, Farming Company Settle UCL Suit Over Agricultural, ESG Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A farming company and a consumer on May 3 filed a notice of settlement in California federal court stating that they have resolved the consumer’s putative class claims arguing that the company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly deceiving the consumer into purchasing its products based on allegedly misleading claims about its agricultural practices made in an environmental, social and governance (ESG) report.

  • May 03, 2024

    On Remand, Judge Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Google For Banner Ads

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California dismissed with prejudice putative class claims brought against Google LLC by two website owners for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws in relation to Google’s former practice on its Android search app of superimposing its logo and a “Related Pages” banner on the plaintiffs’ websites, which featured links to competitors’ websites.

  • May 03, 2024

    2nd Circuit Affirms Expert Exclusion, Summary Judgment In Food Labeling Case

    NEW YORK — A district court properly excluded testimony from experts retained by a class of consumers who alleged that an “All Natural” claim on snack foods and granola bars is deceptive or misleading, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 2, and because they failed to show that the company’s label would deceive a reasonable consumer, the court affirmed summary judgment and found that arguments that the court erred in decertifying the class are moot.

  • May 02, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Consumer’s UCL Suit Against Herbal Cough Drop Maker

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge granted a cough drop maker’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed without prejudice a putative class action filed against it by a consumer who claimed that it deceptively advertises its cough drops as offering herbal and medicinal benefits in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • May 01, 2024

    Judge Awards $300,000 In Attorney Fees 3 Years After Retail Voucher Settlement

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on April 30 granted in part plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees arising from a 2021 voucher class settlement agreed to by a children’s clothing retailer that was accused of advertising false “original” prices when discounting its merchandise in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws.

  • May 01, 2024

    Consumers, Chocolate Company File Joint Motion To Dismiss Heavy Metals Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A chocolate company and three consumers on April 30 filed a joint motion in a federal court in California to voluntarily dismiss the consumers’ putative class action lawsuit accusing the chocolate company of concealing the presence of heavy metals in its chocolates, shortly after a judge denied the chocolate company’s motion for reconsideration of a previous order denying its motion to dismiss.

  • May 01, 2024

    9th Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal With Prejudice Of UCL Asbestos-Talc Claims

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Plaintiffs in a class action “littered” a fifth amended complaint with descriptions of advertisements, but many appear unrelated to the asbestos-talc claims underpinning the California unfair competition law (UCL) allegations or lack the necessary evidence of reliance, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in an unpublished memorandum affirming summary judgment for the defendants.