Mealey's California Section 17200

  • 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.

  • November 21, 2023

    Google, Consumers, States Reach Final Settlement Of Play Store Antitrust Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — More than two months after announcing a tentative settlement of monopolization and unfair competition claims centering on Google Inc.’s Play Store, a group of consumers and a coalition of U.S. states, comprising the plaintiffs from two of the antitrust suits consolidated with one filed by Epic Games Inc., teamed up with Google on a notice of executed settlement, informing a California federal court that the parties had finalized the settlement.

  • November 21, 2023

    Judge Dismisses ‘Nonsensical’ Copyright Claims For Meta’s Use Of Books To Train AI

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 20 granted a motion to dismiss the bulk of claims brought by authors in two related putative class actions against Meta Platforms Inc. for copyright infringement based on its use of their written works to train its artificial intelligence software, calling the plaintiffs’ “derivative works” argument “nonsensical.”

  • November 20, 2023

    Judge Certifies Class Of Child Victims In Trafficking Suit Against Pornhub Owners

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 17 certified a class and subclass of victims who were in child sexual abuse material (CSAM) distributed through pornography websites, including Pornhub, that are owned by several Canadian and U.S. entities, writing that a class proceeding would lead to greater “efficiency” in the litigation of the victims’ claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), child trafficking laws and other statutes, and denied defense motions to exclude two experts.

  • November 17, 2023

    Panel Reinstates Builder’s Class Claims Against Concrete Seller For Deceptive Fees

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court’s judgment dismissing class claims brought by an individual who operates a construction company against a seller of concrete mix after finding the appellant sufficiently alleged a violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) based on allegedly deceptive fees.

  • November 17, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Unfair Practices Claims For Lender’s Inquiries About Ex

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge granted a mortgage lender’s motion to dismiss a woman’s suit accusing it of allegedly harassing her and accusing her of mortgage fraud in violation of the California debt collection law and unfair competition law (UCL) by sending her and her accountant questions about her former husband, alimony payments and finances, with the judge finding that debt collection claims don’t apply because she had no outstanding debt at the time.

  • November 16, 2023

    Los Angeles Targets J&J’s Advertising Of Asbestos-Tainted Talc Products

    LOS ANGELES — Johnson & Johnson and related entities marketed talc-based baby powder and Shower to Shower products to mothers and minorities despite knowing about the presence of asbestos, heavy metals and other contaminants that could not be removed, their link to ovarian cancer and the existence of potential alternatives without those risks, Los Angeles says in state court complaint alleging false advertising and unfair competition in violation of the California unfair competition law (UCL) and public nuisance.

  • November 16, 2023

    Class Complaint Accuses Citibank Of ‘Redlining’ Customers With Armenian Names

    LOS ANGELES — Citibank N.A. has expanded on its mid-20th century practices of “redlining” African-Americans seeking mortgages and now refuses to issue credit cards to and cancels active credit cards of customers with Armenian names, a California woman alleges in a class complaint filed in a federal court in her state.

  • November 15, 2023

    HIV/AIDS Sufferers Defend ACA Discrimination, UCL Claims In Drug Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Defendants didn’t need a court ruling to know that restricting access to HIV/AIDS drugs would discriminate against those suffering from the disease in violation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), while the California unfair competition law (UCL) permits recovery of unlawful profits accrued through unfair means, plaintiffs tell a federal judge in California in a Nov. 14 memorandum opposing dismissal (John Doe One, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy Inc., et al., No. 18-1031, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 15, 2023

    Insured’s Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit Dismissed For Failure To Prosecute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 14 dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against his homeowners insurer based on the insured’s failure to respond to the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and the insured’s failure to respond to the court’s order to show cause as to why the suit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.

  • November 14, 2023

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Over Added Sugars In Granola Cereal

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge dismissed without leave to amend a consumer’s putative class action accusing a granola maker of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by labeling its granola cereal products as “wholesome” and part of “a healthier lifestyle” while in fact they contain added sugars.

  • November 13, 2023

    Judge Partly Dismisses UCL Suit Claiming Protein Powder Contains DL Malic Acid

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge denied in part and granted in part a motion to dismiss a consumer’s lawsuit accusing a protein powder maker of violating the California unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly misleadingly labeling its products as containing no artificial flavors when the powders in fact contain DL malic acid.

  • November 10, 2023

    In IP Litigation Between Pharmacies, Both Sides Lose Daubert Challenges

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California has weighed in on competing motions to exclude expert testimony in a dispute over a compounding pharmacy’s alleged false advertising, unfair competition and copyright infringement, deeming the proposed experts for both sides “duly qualified” to render their opinions, which the judge said are based on “sufficiently reliable” methodologies.

  • November 10, 2023

    Borrowers Voluntarily Dismiss UCL Claim Against Mortgage Servicer, Beneficiary

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two borrowers who were facing foreclosure due to a severely delinquent loan filed notice in California federal court of voluntary dismissal of their claim against a mortgage loan servicer and beneficiary for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after a judge dismissed their other federal and California law claims on statute of limitations grounds and for failure to state a claim.

  • November 09, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Fraud Claims Against GM For EV Battery’s Fire Risk In 2 Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge in two predominately identical rulings granted motions filed by General Motors LLC (GM) to dismiss fraud claims brought against it by individuals who filed suit after GM issued a recall notice for certain Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles (EVs) due to a defect in the EVs’ batteries that may render the vehicles prone to spontaneous ignition and potentially cause a fire.

  • November 08, 2023

    Judge Modifies Class In Driver’s Suit Against GEICO For Unfair COVID Premiums

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 7 granted an insured’s motion to modify a previously certified class of automotive policy holders in the insured’s suit claiming that GEICO violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by profiting from a premium giveback program initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the judge agreeing based on evidence produced to change the class time period.

  • November 07, 2023

    Judge Denies Reconsideration In UCL Suit Against ‘Reef Friendly’ Sunscreen Maker

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Nov. 6 denied a sunscreen maker’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s denial of its motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misleadingly labeling its sunscreen as “reef friendly,” writing that a recent Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling it cited doesn’t change the legal standard the court applied.

  • November 06, 2023

    Split Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Suit Against Unlicensed Mortgage Lender

    SAN DIEGO — A split California appellate panel on Nov. 3 affirmed the dismissal of a couple’s putative class action against a mortgage lender that issued them a $550,000 home loan while unlicensed to issue loans in California, ruling that the couple failed to plead an injury establishing standing under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), while a dissenting justice said the couple’s UCL claims were sufficiently pleaded.

  • November 03, 2023

    U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Coinbase Appeal Over Arbitration Agreement Clauses

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 granted a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. regarding the enforcement and application of delegation clauses in determining who is tasked with resolving an arbitrability dispute.

  • November 03, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of UCL, Omission Claims In Intel MDL

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 2 affirmed the dismissal of consumers’ putative class claims in a multidistrict litigation against Intel Corp. accusing it of concealing security vulnerabilities in its microprocessors, including claims for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL), after finding that Intel didn’t have a duty to disclose the issues and didn’t make statements that would deceive a reasonable consumer.