Mealey's California Section 17200

  • January 12, 2024

    Judge Dismisses With Prejudice UCL Suit Against Apple For ICloud Storage Fees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted Apple Inc.’s motion to dismiss a third amended putative class complaint brought by plaintiffs who claim that Apple “addicted” them to its free iCloud data storage service and then required them to pay once the data they stored exceeded its free tier, finding that they failed to plead any misrepresentations or fraudulent conduct.

  • January 12, 2024

    Arbitration Denied In Class Suit Against Walgreens Over Lidocaine Labeling

    CHICAGO — Walgreen Co., doing business as Walgreens, waived its right to arbitration in a putative class complaint alleging that the labels on certain lidocaine products are misleading when it did not assert an arbitrability defense until after its motion to dismiss was ruled on, a federal judge in Illinois ruled, denying the pharmacy chain’s motion to compel arbitration and stay.

  • January 12, 2024

    Borrower Seeks Preliminary Approval Of Junk Fees Pact In Nearly Decade-Old Case

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A mortgagor who filed a class complaint alleging unlawfully marked-up fees against Ocwen Financial Corp. and Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC (together, Ocwen) in 2014, in part under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), filed a motion in a federal court in California seeking preliminary approval of a class settlement that will provide fee reimbursements to nationwide settlement class members and fee reversals or credits to members of a California settlement subclass.

  • January 11, 2024

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Over Hand Sanitizer’s ‘Kills 99% Of Germs’ Label

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 10 granted CVS Pharmacy Inc. and its affiliate’s motion to dismiss two consumers’ putative class action claims accusing them of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and New York law, finding that under binding precedent the claims on a hand sanitizer product’s label that it “kills 99% of germs” are not misleading in light of information on the product’s back label.

  • January 12, 2024

    Citing Supplemental Notice Filing, Movants Press Opt-Out Issue Again In COI Hike Row

    PHILADELPHIA — Citing a motion pending in Pennsylvania federal court, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed consolidated appeals challenging denial of a request to extend the opt-out deadline in the class settlement of two similar cases over universal life insurance policy cost of insurance (COI) increases.

  • January 10, 2024

    Judge Compels Arbitration Of UCL Suit Accusing App Of Illegal Sportsbook Services

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a motion to compel arbitration of putative class claims against an app company accused of offering illegal sports gambling services in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • January 10, 2024

    California Federal Judge Dismisses Amended Foreclosure Suit, This Time With Prejudice

    CONCORD, Calif. — A federal judge in California has dismissed without leave to amend a lawsuit by homeowners alleging that their mortgage servicer violated federal and state statutes when it foreclosed on their property, finding that the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) claim in the second amended complaint remains time-barred and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for their various state law claims.

  • January 10, 2024

    Plaintiffs Amend Claims Accusing Google Of Data ‘Theft’ To Train AI Chatbot

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of previously anonymous putative class action plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in California federal court identifying themselves as a New York Times bestselling author and several users of Google LLC services, all now accusing Google of “data theft” and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), copyright laws and other statutes by using their data to train its artificial intelligence chatbot known as “Bard.”

  • January 09, 2024

    Panel Affirms $7,000 Costs Award To Manufacturer For Depositions That Didn’t Happen

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appellate court panel on Jan. 8 affirmed a trial court’s post-dismissal award to a mattress manufacturer of more than $7,000 in costs incurred seeking depositions from doctors to defend against claims that it sold a sagging mattress that worsened a consumer’s injuries, even though some depositions never occurred and the costs included service to a dead doctor.

  • January 09, 2024

    23andMe Faces Potential MDL After Breach Of 6.9M Customers’ Data

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two consumers filed a complaint in California federal court accusing 23andMe Inc. of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after the genetic testing company revealed that ancestral records for roughly 6.9 million customers were hacked and being sold online.  The breach is the subject of more than 30 lawsuits that the company is asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate.

  • January 08, 2024

    9th Circuit Denies Rehearing, Files Amended Opinion In FCA Drug Pricing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 denied a petition for a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc, issuing an amended opinion of its decision reversing a district court’s dismissal of a relator’s qui tam suit alleging violations of the federal False Claims Act (FCA) against pharmaceutical companies related to their alleged fraud by artificially inflating drug prices, finding “that the qualifying public disclosures here do not collectively disclose a combination of facts sufficient to permit a reasonable inference of fraud.”

  • January 08, 2024

    Pet Brush Maker May Subpoena Meta To Obtain Online Counterfeiters’ Identities

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of website operators accused of selling and advertising counterfeit goods lost their bid to quash a discovery subpoena on Meta Platforms Inc., with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff demonstrated that good cause exists to obtain the defendants’ identifying information for the purpose of serving them with its complaint for intellectual property infringement and unfair competition.

  • January 05, 2024

    Bedsheet Maker Inflated Thread Counts By 500% On False Labels, Plaintiffs Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three consumers on Jan. 4 filed a putative class action in California federal court against the manufacturer of “Beautyrest” and “Madison Park” brand bedsheets, accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by labeling and advertisings its products as having high thread counts when the products are in fact made with 20% or less of the advertised thread count.

  • January 04, 2024

    Apple, Epic Defend Their Certiorari Bids Over UCL Antitrust, National Injunction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that on Jan. 12 it will consider related petitions for certiorari filed by Epic Games Inc. and Apple Inc. that both sprung from the companies’ disputes over Apple’s alleged antitrust violations under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and a trial court’s imposition of a nationwide injunction barring some of the purported anti-competitive practices.

  • January 03, 2024

    Judge Denies PetSmart Worker’s Motion To Certify Appeal Of Arbitration Order

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 2 denied a PetSmart LLC employee’s motion to certify an interlocutory appeal of the court’s prior order compelling arbitration of her claims that the pet store violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by advertising pet groomer training as free in its job listings, writing that her claims are not exempt from a binding arbitration agreement because she does not seek public injunctive relief.

  • January 03, 2024

    Domino’s Truck Drivers Urge High Court Denial Of FAA Exemption Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Domino’s Pizza LLC truck drivers (D&S drivers), found by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to be exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in their class case alleging unreimbursed business expenses and violation of California’s unfair competition law, filed a response brief, after initially waiving their right and then being asked to file one, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Domino’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

  • January 03, 2024

    Judge Won’t Dismiss UCL Suit Against Fish Oil Seller Over Misleading ‘2X’ Label

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 2 granted in part and denied in part a dietary supplement maker’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misleadingly labeling its fish oil supplement product as “2X” even though it does not contain twice the ingredients of its similar product that is not labeled 2X.

  • January 03, 2024

    Amici Ask Supreme Court To Uphold Delegation Clause In Arbitration Agreement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce headed up a diverse coalition of organizations on the third of three amicus curiae briefs filed in support of Coinbase Inc. as the U.S. Supreme Court decides the priority and enforceability of a delegation clause when deciding the arbitrability of claims against the cryptocurrency firm.

  • January 03, 2024

    Google Browsing History Data Suit Stayed While Settlement Is Finalized

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two days after Google LLC and the plaintiffs suing it for the surreptitious interception and collection of their internet browsing history jointly filed notice of a preliminary settlement of privacy and unfair competition claims, a California federal judge granted the parties’ request to stay the case and vacate a pending trial date while they finalize the agreement.

  • January 03, 2024

    Workers, Walmart Reach $5.2M Class Settlement In COVID-19 Screening Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. — Workers who sued Walmart Inc. in a federal court in California alleging that the retailer’s policy requiring nonexempt workers in California to undergo a COVID-19 screening each shift without pay violated state and federal wage-and-hour laws as well as California’s unfair competition law filed a motion for preliminary approval of a $5.2 million class settlement.

  • January 02, 2024

    Comcast Can’t Compel Arbitration Of Subscriber’s Promo Rates Suit, Panel Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Sixth District California Court of Appeal on Dec. 29 affirmed a trial court’s denial of a telecommunications services provider’s petition to compel arbitration of a subscriber’s claims against it for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly using secretive promotional rates to mislead subscribers about the costs of its services after finding that the subscriber seeks public injunctive relief.

  • January 02, 2024

    Panel Reverses Anti-SLAPP Dismissal Of UCL Suit Against Student Loan Collector

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel reversed and remanded a trial court’s dismissal of a student loan borrower’s putative class action against a debt collector for violating the state’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly seeking to collect on loans with documents it manufactured to establish ownership over the loans.

  • December 22, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Minor’s Suit Against Roblox Due To No Controversy

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 21 affirmed the dismissal of a minor’s putative class action against video game company Roblox Corp. for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) based on its handling of minors’ request for refunds of “Robux,” its in-game currency, finding that he presented no evidence that he requested a refund or was denied one by Roblox.

  • December 22, 2023

    Gift Card Issuer Removes UCL Suit Over Drained Cards To Federal Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A banking entity removed to California federal court a complaint brought against it by the San Francisco city attorney on behalf of California accusing it of violating the state’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to provide sufficient security for pre-loaded debit cards that it sold in stores and were frequently drained before being used by customers, arguing that removal is proper because the state is not the real party in interest.

  • December 21, 2023

    Nationwide Class Approved, But Final Settlement Isn’t, In Macy’s Thread Count Cases

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 20 certified a nationwide class of consumers suing over bedsheet thread counts as identified in a settlement agreement between a department store and shoppers but declined to grant final approval of the agreement after identifying issues with the proposed recipient of the cy pres distribution.