Mealey's California Section 17200

  • December 21, 2023

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Suit Over Changes To Raisin Contract

    FRESNO, Calif. — The Fifth District California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment dismissing a grape grower and its associated dehydration company’s claims against a nonprofit agricultural cooperative for breach of contract and unfair business practices in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after it reorganized its business to begin obtaining its own dehydrating services for the production of raisins.

  • December 21, 2023

    Mortgagors Suing Over Data Theft May Seek Only Declaratory, Injunctive Relief

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida largely granted a motion to dismiss by loan servicers whose data was accessed and personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen, permitting the mortgagors to proceed only with their final claim for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

  • December 21, 2023

    On Remand, YouTube Again Seeks Dismissal Of ‘Fatally Flawed’ Kids Privacy Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand to California federal court after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected preemption defenses raised by YouTube LLC and Google LLC in response to putative class claims of privacy violations for the purported collection of minors’ personally identifiable information (PII), the defendants moved to dismiss the minor plaintiffs’ fourth amended complaint (FAC) for failure to state a claim.

  • December 20, 2023

    Amendments To Rule 702 For Expert Witness Testimony Go Into Effect

    Amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702, went into effect to clarify how courts should decide the admissibility of expert testimony.

  • December 19, 2023

    Air Purifier Makers Deny Making False Germ-Killing Claims To Prey On COVID Fears

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two manufacturers of air purifiers filed a motion in California federal court to dismiss consumers’ putative class claims that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by misleadingly marketing their products as capable of killing airborne pathogens during the COVID-19 pandemic, denying that they made such claims.

  • December 19, 2023

    Notice Of $25M Settlement Over Apple Family Sharing Distributed To Class Members

    LOS ANGELES — Notice of a $25 million settlement was recently distributed to putative class members who subscribed to Apple Inc.’s “Family Sharing” service after a California state court judge granted preliminary approval to the payment to settle claims that Apple violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by misrepresenting the terms of Family Sharing.

  • December 15, 2023

    Year-Old Class Certification Ruling Filed In Google Assistant Privacy Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Issuing the redacted version of a class certification ruling almost exactly a year after she partly granted the plaintiffs’ certification motion in a consolidated privacy class action over purported eavesdropping by Google LLC’s digital assistant, a California federal judge filed an accompanying order explaining that the delay was due to a clerical error.

  • December 13, 2023

    Stay Granted In Elder Abuse Suit Over Failure To Follow California Insurance Code

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 12 issued a stay in putative class action asserting claims for elder abuse and breach of contract related to a life insurer’s violations of provisions of the California Insurance Code by failing to provide notice of policies lapse or termination, finding that “good cause exists” to grant the stay pending the outcome of two Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals cases with “dispositive issues germane to this case.”

  • December 13, 2023

    Authors Amend Copyright Claim Against Meta For Using Books To Train AI

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three weeks after a California federal judge called their theory of copyright infringement “nonsensical,” 13 authors filed an amended putative class complaint against Meta Platforms Inc. dropping all claims except for a direct copyright infringement claim against Meta for using their copyrighted works to train its AI chatbots.

  • December 11, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Chinese Microwave Maker, U.S. Entity From Hot Handles Suit

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge granted a Chinese microwave manufacturer and its American subsidiary’s motions to dismiss a putative class action accusing them and other companies of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by selling defective microwave ovens with steel handles that became exceedingly hot, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish personal jurisdiction over these two defendants.

  • December 11, 2023

    Judge Overrules Demurrer To UCL Claim Against Tesla Insurance For Premium Hikes

    ALAMEDA, Calif. — A California state court judge denied in part a demurrer filed by Tesla Insurance Services Inc., the insurance unit of electric car-maker Tesla Inc., to a driver’s putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by charging drivers higher insurance premiums based on false “Collision Warning” alerts generated when the driver is driving safely.

  • December 11, 2023

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Suit Against Firm For Filing ‘Countless’ ADA Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel on Dec. 8 found that litigation privilege immunizes a law firm accused of operating a “shakedown scheme” by filing “countless” lawsuits against small businesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes in a suit brought by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

  • December 08, 2023

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Against Amazon For Fake Recycled Ink Cartridge Sales

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit accusing Amazon.com Inc. and its subsidiaries of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by permitting third-party sellers to post allegedly deceptive listings for recycled printer ink cartridges, thereby diverting business from authentic ink cartridge recyclers, after finding the claims barred by Amazon’s statutory immunity as an online publisher.

  • December 08, 2023

    Limitation In Disability Income Policy Is Ambiguous, Claimant Tells 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A district court erred in finding that a disability income insurer correctly reduced the claimant’s disability income benefits according to the terms of the disability income policy because the policy’s monthly benefit limitation is ambiguous and, therefore, must be construed in favor of the claimant, a disability claimant says in an appellant brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal.

  • December 07, 2023

    Court Dismisses Mortgage Borrower’s Suit Against Lender For Modification Dispute

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 6 docketed an order granting a mortgage borrower’s request to voluntarily dismiss her lawsuit accusing a lender of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by not contacting her for years after her loan went into default following a modification request, one day after the magistrate recommended dismissing her suit.

  • December 07, 2023

    San Francisco Says Online Companies Are Violating Flavored E-Cigarettes Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit in California state court against three e-cigarette distributors based in California that the office claims are violating San Francisco’s bans on e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco by selling flavored e-cigarette products online and shipping the products into the city, seeking penalties under California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • December 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Reverses, Remands $5.2M Settlement Of Tinder Age-Bias Class Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 reversed and remanded a $5.2 million settlement to resolve claims accusing a dating app of discriminatory age-based pricing in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), ruling in favor of objectors who contended that the class representative was inadequate.

  • December 06, 2023

    Google, YouTube Subscriber Agree To Dismiss UCL Suit Over Automatic Renewals

    SANTA CLARA, Calif — A California state court judge entered a stipulated order dismissing with prejudice a plaintiff’s putative class complaint accusing Google LLC and YouTube LLC of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and automatic renewal law (ARL) based on its renewals of YouTube Premium and YouTube music memberships after the court sustained a defense demurrer to the complaint.

  • December 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of UCL, Libel Claims For Anti-Qatar Disinformation

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a district court’s order striking claims against several entities and individuals for allegedly violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and committing trade libel by spreading disinformation online casting the state of Qatar in a negative light, while also affirming the dismissal of the defendants’ counterclaims.

  • November 30, 2023

    Gym Fee Dispute Stemming From COVID-19 Lockdowns Dismissed Without Prejudice

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 29 granted the motions of a fitness and health company and its wholly owned subsidiary gym network and a health insurer to dismiss a putative class complaint brought by a gym member alleging breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, negligent representation and violations of California law in continuing to charge fees for gym memberships during COVID-19 lockdowns when the gyms could not be accessed.

  • November 30, 2023

    In GitHub AI Copyright Suit, Parties Told To Meet, Confer Not Move To Compel

    SAN FRANCISCO — While a California federal court mulls a second round of motions from OpenAI Inc., GitHub Inc. and Microsoft Corp. seeking dismissal of claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to allegations of improper attribution in the development of an artificial intelligence tool, a magistrate judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery responses in favor of a directive for the parties to meet and confer about discovery disputes.

  • November 30, 2023

    9th Circuit:  Class Suit Against Shopify Failed To Show Personal Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — 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 failed to establish the trial court’s specific personal jurisdiction over the processor, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, affirming dismissal.

  • November 29, 2023

    Judge Partly Dismisses UCL Suit Accusing Chocolate Maker Of Concealing Lead, Cadmium

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a putative class action brought against a chocolate maker by three consumers who accuse it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by representing its chocolate products as containing “No weird ingredients” when the products in fact contain allegedly unsafe amounts of lead and cadmium.

  • November 29, 2023

    Judge Finds No Standing To Sue For Frozen Funds From Sanctioned Russian Bank

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted three American payment processing companies’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by retaining more than $645,000 in funds that a woman sought to transfer from a Russian bank that was placed under sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine, finding that she lacks standing and dismissing the claims without leave to amend.

  • November 28, 2023

    Mothers Say Section 230 Doesn’t Bar UCL Suit Against Roblox For ‘Illegal Gambling’

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two mothers bringing putative class claims in California federal court against Roblox Corp., the operator of an online video game platform played by millions of children, filed a brief opposing its motion to dismiss, urging the court to reject its defense that federal law bars their claims or that it provided only “neutral tools” to third-party companies that allegedly operated gambling games on Roblox.