Mealey's California Section 17200

  • September 18, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Against Apple For IDevices’ Defects, Slowdown

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals split panel affirmed a federal judge’s dismissal for failure to state a claim a putative class suit claiming that Apple Inc. violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by concealing the fact that its software updates to fix security defects in iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple TVs (collectively, iDevices) significantly slowed their performance.

  • September 15, 2023

    California High Court Won’t Review UCL Mental Health Coverage Ruling

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review after a lower court published its opinion finding that two insureds adequately alleged standing under the California unfair competition law (UCL) and that the way the insurer handles mental health care results in shortages of that care.

  • September 14, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Class Suit Accusing Herb, Spice Maker Of Concealing Heavy Metals

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 13 granted an herb and spice maker’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state consumer protection laws by failing to disclose the presence of heavy metals in products as was discovered during independent testing by Consumer Reports.

  • September 14, 2023

    Brita Water Filters Fail To Remove PFAS, Plaintiff Claims In Putative Class Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A consumer filed a putative class action in California state court accusing a water filter maker of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state consumer protection laws by allegedly misrepresenting its products’ abilities to purify water when the products in fact do not remove contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

  • September 13, 2023

    Company Denies UCL Liability For ‘Incidental Presence’ Of PFAS In Smoothie Drinks

    SAN DIEGO — A beverage maker on Sept. 12 moved in California federal court to dismiss a putative class action accusing it 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, writing that the plaintiffs lack standing as they do not allege that it intentionally added PFAS to the products or that it intentionally deceived consumers.

  • September 13, 2023

    Award-Winning Writers Sue AI Developers For Unfairly Using Copyrighted Books

    SAN FRANCISCO — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, his wife and fellow author Ayelet Waldman and three other writers on Sept. 12 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Meta Platforms Inc. accusing it of copyright infringement and violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by integrating their copyrighted written works into a dataset it uses to train artificial intelligence software, days after they sued OpenAI for similar conduct.

  • September 12, 2023

    Class Claims OpenAI Violated UCL, Privacy Law In Training ChatGPT

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs in a putative class action say artificial intelligence ChatGPT trained on private and personally identifiable information from hundreds of individuals of all ages in violation of federal and state privacy laws and the California unfair competition law (UCL).

  • September 11, 2023

    Judge Won’t Dismiss Putative Class UCL Suit Against Orthotic Shoe Maker

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 8 granted in part and denied in part an orthotic shoe company’s motion to dismiss a putative class action brought against it by a customer who claimed its products provided her no pain relief, denying the motion as to the plaintiff’s claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • September 11, 2023

    Roblox Digital Good Purchaser Seeks Final Approval Of $10M Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A class action plaintiff moved in a California federal court for final approval of a $10 million settlement to resolve putative class claims that will return more than half of “Robux” that 8 million users of the Roblox online video game lost when the game deleted in-game digital items the users had purchased, allegedly in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • September 11, 2023

    Tesla Solar Roof Customers Again Seek Approval Of $6.08M Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — Solar roof customers who filed a class complaint in a federal court in California accusing Tesla Inc. of increasing the cost for solar roofs after customers sign contracts filed a renewed motion for preliminary approval of a $6.08 million settlement, arguing that they have provided the additional information regarding the claims and calculations the court requested.

  • September 11, 2023

    Some Google Assistant Class Members Agreed To Arbitrate Privacy Suit, Google Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif.  — In a reply brief supporting its motion to compel arbitration with certain class members in a suit over its Google Assistant (GA) feature, Google LLC disputes that it waived its right to seek arbitration, citing a conclusion to that end by the California federal court where three such suits were consolidated.

  • September 08, 2023

    L.A. Files UCL Suit Against Short-Term Rental Company For Hosting ‘Unruly Parties’

    LOS ANGELES — The city attorney’s office of Los Angeles County filed a lawsuit in state court accusing a short-term rental company of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and causing a public nuisance, saying it is violating local ordinances on short-term rentals and hosting parties that led to more than 250 calls to the police (People of the State of California v. Ultimate Host, LLC, et al., No. 23STCV19069, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • September 08, 2023

    Meta Pixel Privacy Suit Discovery To Include Files Of Zuckerberg, Executives

    SAN FRANCISCO — Meta Platforms Inc.’s searches for documents responsive to the discovery requests of the plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit over alleged sharing of patients’ protected health information (PHI) via Meta’s Pixel product will include searches of the files of six Meta executives, including its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, a California federal magistrate judge ruled, finding that their files were likely to include “unique, relevant information” that would not be available to other custodians who are junior employees.

  • September 07, 2023

    Solicitor General Asks High Court Not To Hear National Bank Act Preemption Cases

    WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. solicitor general urged the Supreme Court in an amicus curiae brief to deny petitions for writs of certiorari on the grounds that lower courts failed to apply the proper assessment of the degree to which the National Bank Act (NBA) preempts state laws in two unrelated appeals regarding whether lenders are required to pay interest on mortgage escrow accounts.

  • September 06, 2023

    Panel Reduces Punitives In $7.8M Embezzlement Verdict Against Apartment Managers

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on Sept. 5 deemed a roughly $5 million punitive damages award issued against the managers of seven Los Angeles apartment buildings for embezzlement in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) “excessive as a matter of law” and reduced it by more than $1.2 million, while affirming the court’s roughly $2.5 million compensatory damages award.

  • September 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Nixes ‘Punchbowl’ Trademark Holding In Light Of Jack Daniel’s Ruling

    PASADENA, Calif. — The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent trademark dilution decision in Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc. v. VIP Products LLC led a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel to vacate its ruling in a dispute between two online-based companies over the “Punchbowl” trademark and designate the case for reargument.

  • September 05, 2023

    Judge Remands Fired ByteDance Engineer’s Suit, Dismisses Partial Copyright Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 1 remanded to state court claims brought by a former engineer that ByteDance Inc., the owner of the TikTok social media app, violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly scraping other social media apps’ content and creating fake users to boost its platform, but dismissed the engineer’s claims against ByteDance to the extent they are preempted by federal copyright law.

  • September 01, 2023

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Accusing Supplement Maker Of Deceptive ‘5 Calories’ Claim

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Aug. 31 dismissed with leave to amend a consumer’s putative class action lawsuit accusing a nutrition company of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting the caloric count of its products for failure to specifically allege if her testing of the products for caloric value was compliant with Food and Drug Administration regulations.

  • August 30, 2023

    2nd Circuit: Access Codes Are Coupons; Incentive Payments Not Per Se Unlawful

    NEW YORK — A trial court employed the wrong legal standard when it approved a settlement between The New York Times and subscribers in a case over auto renewals and erred in finding that the access codes provided as part of the settlement were not coupons under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled; however, the appellate panel reiterated its holding in Melito v. Experian Marketing Solutions, Inc. and ruled “that incentive awards are not per se unlawful.”

  • August 29, 2023

    Judge:  Borrower Can Amend Suit Against Bank For Notice Of Default During COVID

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 28 refused to dismiss a borrower’s claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) against her bank for causing a notice of default on her loan while her application for loan assistance filed during the coronavirus pandemic was pending, dismissed her claim for violation of Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) regulations and granted her leave to amend.

  • August 29, 2023

    Judge Nixes Ana De Armas Fans’ Deceptive Trailer Suit Under Anti-SLAPP Law

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 28 dismissed without leave to amend a putative class action brought by two fans of actress Ana De Armas who accused a Hollywood studio of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by deceiving them into paying to watch a film in which the actress does not appear by including her in the film’s trailer, finding that the plaintiffs’ claims fall under the state’s anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) law.

  • August 29, 2023

    AI Companies Say ‘Fair Use’ Protects Chatbot From Copyright Holders’ Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — OpenAI Inc. and affiliated companies that developed the ChatGPT AI program on Aug. 28 moved to dismiss the bulk of two putative class actions filed against them by writers and copyright holders including comedian Sarah Silverman, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to plead copyright infringement as OpenAI never distributed “derivative works” and was allowed under “fair use” to train its chatbot with large datasets of text.

  • August 25, 2023

    9th Circuit Allows Appeal Of RICO TPP Class Certification For Actos Cancer Risk

    LOS ANGELES — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a petition by two pharmaceutical companies for permission to appeal a decision by a district court to certify a national third-party payer (TPP) class of entities that paid for the diabetes drug Actos.

  • August 24, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Class Suit Accusing Carmaker Of Inflating ‘Destination’ Fees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge dismissed with leave to amend a putative class action lawsuit accusing a car manufacturer of artificially inflating “destination charges” that purchasers must pay in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after finding that the fees are disclosed to customers.

  • August 24, 2023

    Negligence, UCL Claims Against Wells Fargo For $22,500 Account Hack Dismissed

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge mostly granted a motion by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. to dismiss an account holder’s claims related to a purported theft of funds from his bank account by hackers, finding that the plaintiff did not sufficiently plead most of his claims against the financial institution, including allegations of negligence and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL).