Mealey's California Section 17200

  • February 08, 2024

    Judge Certifies Class Accusing Rust-Oleum Of Mislabeling Products As ‘Non-Toxic’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge granted a motion to certify a class of consumers accusing Rust-Oleum Corp. of deceiving consumers in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by labeling its KRUD KUTTER cleaning products as “non-toxic” and “Earth friendly.”

  • February 08, 2024

    Judge Rules In Apple’s Favor In Challenge Brought By Heartbeat App Developer

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge entered final judgment in favor of Apple Inc. after entering a sealed order granting Apple’s motion for summary judgment on claims that it violated federal antitrust law and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly violating its patents for heart rate tracking technology tailored for the Apple Watch to monopolize the market.

  • February 07, 2024

    Cigna: ERISA Plans Bar Algorithm Health Care Claims; UCL Claims Lack Specificity

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insureds’ cannot demonstrate denial of claims based solely on review by an algorithm or that the use of such a tool would violate the provisions of their Employee Retirement Income Security Act plans, the insurer tells a federal judge in California in a motion to dismiss while arguing that the plaintiffs fail to plead their California unfair competition law (UCL) claims with requisite specificity.

  • February 05, 2024

    Panel:  Senior Challenging $52,000 Solar Panel Loan Not Required To Arbitrate

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California appellate panel affirmed a judge’s refusal to compel arbitration of a senior citizen’s lawsuit against a solar panel installation company and an affiliated lending company for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws, finding that no valid arbitration agreement was entered and that the woman did not appear to have signed or understood that she had entered a $52,000 loan contract.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge Denies Mortgage Servicer’s Motion To Dismiss Loan Modification UCL Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part a mortgage loan servicer’s motion to dismiss a suit accusing it of improperly denying a borrower’s loan modification applications, finding that the plaintiff’s claims are not time-barred because she now alleges that she recently discovered that the servicer sent her statements with errors that contributed to the principal balance on her loan.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge: Apple’s Suit Against Alleged Hackers Belongs In California, Not Israel

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge denied two Israeli technology companies’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by Apple Inc. based on a forum non conveniens defense, finding that Apple’s claims that the defendants violated federal and California law by allegedly developing malware to hack into Apple’s servers and consumer products may be heard in California.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge Partly Dismisses Suit Against Walmart Over Malic Acid In ‘Natural’ Products

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part Walmart Inc.’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by deceptively labeling certain store-brand “Great Value” products as containing “natural” flavor when they are allegedly flavored with synthetic malic acid.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge: No Coverage Owed For Unfair Competition Suit Brought Against Insured

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California concluded that an insurer has no duty to defend its furniture delivery company insured against an underlying misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition lawsuit brought by a competitor, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit.

  • February 02, 2024

    Judge Limits Experts, Certifies Class Action For Deceptive ChapStick Label Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted a motion to certify a class action asserting California unfair competition law (UCL) violations for deceptive labeling of certain ChapStick products and agreed to exclude dueling experts after finding their testimony irrelevant.

  • February 02, 2024

    Judge Remands Deceptive Marketing Suit Against ‘Kars 4 Kids’ Charity

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge remanded to state court a lawsuit brought against the “Kars 4 Kids” charity and related entities by a plaintiff who claims that he was deceived into making a donation based on his belief the charity was nonsectarian and nationwide when it in fact primarily benefits Orthodox Jewish children in New York and New Jersey, finding that the amount in controversy is below the minimum required amount for diversity jurisdiction.

  • February 01, 2024

    Calif. Federal Judge Grants Partial Summary Judgment In Pipeline Rupture Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — Two companies that formerly operated an oil pipeline that ruptured and contaminated residential property in Southern California are entitled to summary judgment on several claims, including breach of written easement contracts brought by the owners of property that the pipeline crosses, a California federal judge found in partly granting the companies’ motion for partial summary judgment.

  • February 01, 2024

    Airline And Insurer Agree To Dismiss UCL, Bad Faith Suit Over Passenger’s Coma

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 31 entered an order of dismissal after an airline and two insurers entered a joint stipulation requesting dismissal of the airline’s suit accusing one insurer of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and bad faith based on an allegedly improper denial of coverage for a separate lawsuit brought against the airline by the family of a quadriplegic man who fell into a coma while traveling, which recently settled for $30 million.

  • January 30, 2024

    Judge Denies Summary Judgment In Mislabeling Class Suit Against Rust-Oleum

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge denied Rust-Oleum Corp.’s motion for summary judgment on putative class claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by labeling its KRUD KUTTER cleaning products as “non-toxic” and “Earth friendly,” finding that genuine disputes of fact remain as to whether consumers would be deceived by the labels.

  • January 30, 2024

    9th Circuit Stays Mandate Reversing Court’s Dismissal In FCA Drug Pricing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a 90-day stay of the mandate reversing and remanding a district court’s dismissal of a relator’s qui tam suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) against pharmaceutical companies related to their alleged fraud by artificially inflating drug prices.

  • January 30, 2024

    Amici Tell Justices Coinbase Cannot Enforce Arbitration Provision

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A trio of scholars, a voluntary bar association and a consumer advocacy organization filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 29 supporting a group of sweepstakes entrants who contend that unlawful lottery and unfair competition class claims against Coinbase Inc. are not barred by an arbitration provision because a subsequent forum selection clause within the sweepstakes’ rules established that they did not consent to the superseded arbitration provision.

  • January 26, 2024

    Consumer Seeks Rehearing In Appeal Alleging Arrowhead Water Labels Are Deceptive

    PASADENA, Calif. — A consumer filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking rehearing of her appeal challenging the dismissal of her lawsuit accusing a bottled water company and two retailers of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misleading consumers into believing the water is sourced from mountain springs.

  • January 25, 2024

    Judge: Google Waived Right To Compel Arbitration In Digital Assistant Privacy Row

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Conducting a totality of the circumstances review, a California federal judge concluded that Google LLC waived its right to seek arbitration of putative class claims over alleged eavesdropping by the Google Assistant (GA) app, denying the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, which was filed after four years of “substantial motion practice,” discovery and class certification.

  • January 22, 2024

    UCL Suit Over Misleading ‘Characterizing Flavor’ Label Partly Dismissed By Judge

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge largely granted a food company’s motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by deceptively labeling granola products with fruits and other ingredients that have a characterizing flavor, when in fact the products’ flavor comes from alternate ingredients.

  • January 19, 2024

    Minor ‘Apex Legends’ Player Not Required To Arbitrate UCL Claim, Panel Says

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appellate panel affirmed a trial court’s denial of a video game developer’s motion to compel arbitration of a minor’s putative class action claims that it violated the state’s unfair competition law (UCL) by deceptively inducing minors into paying for digital currency to purchase in-game items, finding the arbitration agreement not applicable after the minor disaffirmed his contract with the developer.

  • January 18, 2024

    Calif. Supreme Court Won’t Review Denial Of Arbitration In Uber, Lyft Wages Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Jan. 17 denied petitions for review filed by Uber Technologies Inc. and its subsidiaries and Lyft Inc. seeking to challenge the denial of their attempt to compel arbitration of claims brought against them by the state for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.

  • January 17, 2024

    Tax Prep Software Firm Says Competitor Misstates AI Comparison, Pricing

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge on Jan. 16 expedited a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction in a new lawsuit claiming that misrepresentations about a tax preparation software’s artificial intelligence abilities and pricing violate California’s unfair competition and false advertising laws.

  • January 17, 2024

    Confusion Doesn’t Save Mortgage Claims, Servicer Tells 9th Circuit

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Borrowers’ contract claims are time-barred where they knew that a problem existed with their loan but failed to further investigate, and confusion over who serviced the product cannot form the basis of statutory or implied covenant claims, a mortgage services company tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • January 16, 2024

    Epic, Apple Denied Certiorari In UCL Antitrust Dispute Over App Store, Fortnite

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Epic Games Inc. and Apple Inc. saw their competing petitions for certiorari denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 16, with the high court declining to consider questions about the Sherman Act and injunctive relief in the companies’ respective claims for monopolistic behavior, contractual duties and unfair competition in the sale of apps and related items for mobile devices using Apple’s operating system (iOS).

  • January 16, 2024

    Judge Says PFAS Cases Related To Tampon Products Fail To State A Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 12 dismissed two related cases that had been combined, ruling that the plaintiffs did not plausibly allege that the defendants’ tampon products contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and that the allegations were “insufficient to state a plausible claim for relief.”

  • January 16, 2024

    Per Jack Daniel’s Ruling, 9th Circuit Reverses In ‘Punchbowl’ Trademark Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC “altered the law that governed” when it previously found that an online news service’s use of the “Punchbowl” mark did not dilute a party-planning firm’s trademark, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Jan. 12, leading it to, after rehearing, issue a revised opinion reversing a trial court’s dismissal and remanding for further consideration under the traditional likelihood of confusion test.