Mealey's Bankruptcy - California Employee Retirement Group Objects To Debt Plan Filed By City Of Stockton

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the arm of the State of California that provides retirement benefits to state employees, on Feb. 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California opposing the plan of adjustment filed by the bankrupt City of Stockton, contending that the city's plan inappropriately treats the CalPERS pension plan as an executory contract (In Re: City of Stockton, Calif., No. 12-32118, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plaintiffs In California Suit Testify About Quality Of Their Teachers

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge presiding over the trial in the lawsuit filed by California students against the state challenging teacher employment laws and alleging that they cause grossly ineffective teachers to remain employed on Feb. 11 heard from the lead named plaintiff and two other plaintiffs about their educational experiences in California (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. BC484642, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Top Court Rejects Challenge To Criticism Of Asbestos Lawyer

LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Feb. 11 denied a petition seeking review of an appeals court's ruling that a lawyer overstated the effect of an order directing the deletion of website pages during an asbestos trial, according to its docket (Christie Steiner, et al. v. The Superior Court of Santa Barbara Co., Volkswagen Group of America, et al., No. S.215209, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Directors: Shareholder Did Not Show Presuit Demand Would Have Been Futile

SAN FRANCISCO - A group of company directors in a shareholder derivative suit told a federal court in California on Feb. 7 that a shareholder has failed to show particularized facts why presuit demand upon the board would have been futile (Ralph Saraceni v. Andrew M. Miller, et al., No. 13-cv-03880, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: On 3rd Attempt, Consumer Successfully Pleads Computer Power Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer adequately alleges that a computer manufacturer knew or should have known that its power supplies could not support high-performance components but continued to allow consumers to upgrade to such devices, a federal judge held Feb. 5 in allowing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit: Deaf Group's Unruh Act Suit Preempted By Anti-SLAPP Statute

SAN FRANCISCO - A deaf rights organization's class action concerning captioning on the website of Cable Network News Inc. (CNN) "targets conduct in furtherance of [the network's] free speech rights and falls within the scope of" California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 5, reversing in part a lower court's judgment (Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness Inc., et al. v. Cable News Network Inc., No. 12-15807, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2215; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2219).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing of CAFA Trigger In State Darvon Cases

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 said it agreed to an en banc rehearing of a panel ruling that a petition to coordinate Darvon/Darvocet/propoxyphene cases in California state court is not a request for a joint trial that triggers removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Judith Romo, et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 13-56310, Margalit Corber, et al. v. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 13-56306, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Transfer Venue Of Insurer's Coverage Action Over Defects Claim

HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Feb. 6 refused to transfer an insurer's coverage action regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying construction defect case to a California federal court (Arrowood Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. Paul Ryan Associates Inc. and North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 13-00505, D. Hawaii; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15388).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Orders Insured To Submit To Appraisal Of Claim

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 4 ordered an insured to submit to an appraisal of its claim for coverage of work completed after a Legionella bacteria outbreak contaminated its facility's water supply (Arcadia Gardens Management Corp. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, No. 13-8635, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14059).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 9th Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing of CAFA Trigger In State Darvon Cases

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 said it agreed to an en banc rehearing of a panel ruling that a petition to coordinate Darvon/Darvocet/propoxyphene cases in California state court is not a request for a joint trial that triggers removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Judith Romo, et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 13-56310, Margalit Corber, et al. v. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 13-56306, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge: On 3rd Attempt, Consumer Successfully Pleads Computer Power Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer adequately alleges that a computer manufacturer knew or should have known that its power supplies could not support high-performance components but continued to allow consumers to upgrade to such devices, a federal judge held Feb. 5 in allowing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Deaf Group's Unruh Act Suit Preempted By Anti-SLAPP Statute

SAN FRANCISCO - A deaf rights organization's class action concerning captioning on the website of Cable Network News Inc. (CNN) "targets conduct in furtherance of $(the network's$) free speech rights and falls within the scope of" California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 5, reversing in part a lower court's judgment (Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness Inc., et al. v. Cable News Network Inc., No. 12-15807, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2215; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2219).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Expert Witness Testifies In California Teacher Employment Suit

LOS ANGELES - The effectiveness of teachers is measurable, as is the impact those teachers have on their students, Thomas Kane, a professor of education and economics at Harvard University, testified Feb. 6 during the ninth day of the trial in the lawsuit California students filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against the state challenging teacher employment laws and alleging that they cause grossly ineffective teachers to remain employed (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. BC484642, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Request To Certify Finding Of Liability In Contamination Case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 5 denied a mining company's request to certify for interlocutory appeal his findings of fact and conclusions of law in which he held that the company was liable for cleanup costs at a Superfund site, after finding that the company seeks to challenge every aspect of his decision (United States of America, et al. v. Sterling Centrecorp Inc., et al., No. 08-cv-02556-MCE-DAD, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14311).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Dismissal Of Civil Conspiracy Claims Against Insurance Agencies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 5 declined to dismiss civil conspiracy claims against insurance agencies filed by competing agencies that allege that the companies used their trade secrets to lure away customers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, et al. v. Steele Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 13-00784, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14357).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Woman May Amend Competition Law Action Over Loan Modification

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On remand, a woman may attempt to allege that her lender violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) by putting her in a nonconforming trial loan modification, a California appeals court held Feb. 5 (Svetlana Nersesyan v. Bank of America, N.A., No. C071934, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Couple's Accounting Claim, Allows UCL Claim In Foreclosure Action

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss a couple's claim for accounting but found that the plaintiffs sufficiently stated claims for alleged violations of California Civil Code Section 2923.6 and the unlawful prong of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Sally Rosenfeld, et al. v. NationStar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-4830-CAS-CWx, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14034).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Woman May Amend Competition Law Action Over Loan Modification

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On remand, a woman may attempt to allege that her lender violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) by putting her in a nonconforming trial loan modification, a California appeals court held Feb. 5 (Svetlana Nersesyan v. Bank of America, N.A., No. C071934, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - City Of Stockton, Calif., Plans Tax Hike To Raise $28M For Debt Adjustment Plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The bankrupt City of Stockton, Calif., on Feb. 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California supporting the confirmation of its financial plan, which it says will raise $28 million annually in new revenue based on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase (In Re: City of Stockton, Calif., No. 12-32118, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Couple's Accounting Claim, Allows UCL Claim In Foreclosure Action

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss a couple's claim for accounting but found that the plaintiffs sufficiently stated claims for alleged violations of California Civil Code Section 2923.6 and the unlawful prong of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Sally Rosenfeld, et al. v. NationStar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-4830-CAS-CWx, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14034).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Alternative Energy Company Element Solar LLC Files For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES - Alternative energy company Element Solar LLC on Feb. 5 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, citing debts of $195,666.92 (In Re: Element Solar LLC, No. 14-10232, Chapter 7, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Prius Mileage Competition Law Case

PASADENA, Calif. - There was nothing deceptive in an automaker's use of Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimates, and the California unfair competition law (UCL) imposes no duty to disclose lower, internal estimates, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 5 (Tracy Gray, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Toyota Motor North America Inc., No. 12-55362, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Class Certification Over Home Depot Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - The existence of five contracts handling fee disclosures differently, contested store signage and oral representations creates individualized issues and required denying class certification of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed Feb. 3 (Benjamin Berger, et al. v. Home Depot USA Inc., DBA The Home Depot, No. 11-55592, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2059).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court: Asbestos Case Proceeds Based On Man's Testimony Of Work With Gaskets

LOS ANGELES - Testimony that a man applied and removed Warren Pumps LLC gaskets and packing overcomes its summary judgment motion, a California appeals panel held Jan. 31 in finding that contradictory evidence only goes to the weight of the testimony (Donald Kent, et al. v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. B243832, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 732).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Asbestos Case Proceeds Based On Man's Testimony Of Work With Gaskets

LOS ANGELES - Testimony that a man applied and removed Warren Pumps LLC gaskets and packing overcomes its summary judgment motion, a California appeals panel held Jan. 31 in finding that contradictory evidence only goes to the weight of the testimony (Donald Kent, et al. v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. B243832, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 732).