LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 15 granted a petition for review in a district attorneys' case against a paper maker and stayed briefing pending resolution of whether delayed discovery applies in California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 cases, according to the docket (The People of the State of California v. E*Poly Star Inc., et al., No. S203477, Calif. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Aug. 15 in an unpublished decision affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action complaint alleging that insurance companies improperly sold health care coverage without informing members that maternity benefits were included and that health care coverage without those benefits was available from other carriers for less cost, finding that the defendants did not have a duty to disclose such information (Al Van Slyke v. California Physicians' Service, No.B234708, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5999).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 decided that the California Supreme Court must first rule on whether an employer may average an employee's commission payments over certain pay periods under California's compensation requirements before the federal appellate panel can rule on an account executive's appeal of her class complaint (Susan J. Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., No. 10-56846, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17322).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a 6-1 decision on Aug 16, the California Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of arbitration provisions included in covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) by developers of new common interest development projects, as long as such provisions are fairly drafted to ensure the rights of owner associations and individual owners (Pinnacle Museum Tower Association v. Pinnacle Market Development LLC, No. S186149, Calif. Sup.; 2012 Cal. LEXIS 7665).
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on Aug. 14 affirmed an award of damages to a woman who claims to have purchased a defectively constructed mobile home, concluding that expert testimony showed that numerous problems existed with the property (Connie McCausland v. Spencer's Manufactured Housing Inc., No. B233165, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5917).
LOS ANGELES - Two adult entertainment firms have sufficiently pleaded claims for conspiracy and monopolization against the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and a company that it contracted to be registry of the newly approved .XXX top-level domain (TLD) on the Internet, a California federal judge held Aug. 14, partly denying a motion to dismiss the firms' antitrust claims (Manwin Licensing International S.A.R.L., et al. v. ICM Registry LLC, et al., No. 2:11-cv-09514, C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the in chambers order available within the full Mealey's article.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting a defendant tabloid magazine summary judgment on claims of copyright infringement, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14, for "waving the news reporting flag is not a get out of jail free card in the copyright arena" (Noelia Lorenzo Monge and Jorge Reynoso v. Maya Magazines Inc. and Maya Publishing Group LLC, No. 10-56710, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California unfair competition law (UCL) action against nursing homes over staffing claims merely asks the court to decide whether misrepresentations exist; it would not force courts to regulate the health care industry, the First District California Court of Appeal held Aug. 15 (Cameron Shuts, et al. v. Covenant Holdco LLC, et al., No. A132805, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).
VENTURA, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Aug. 13 affirmed a trial court decision to award cost-of-proof sanctions to the plaintiffs in a construction defects action, concluding that the homeowners "proved each of the four requested matters by overwhelming evidence at trial, credited by the trier of fact in its statement of decision" (Dale Burow, et al. v. JTL Development Corp., et al., No. B232529, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5898).
SAN FRANCISCO - Patent plaintiff Apple Inc. on Aug. 13 sought a stay of a recent ruling by a California federal judge that partly denied the software giant's request to seal certain financial and marketing documents in its high-stakes smartphone trial with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15843.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 10 sent a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a restaurant server back to state court after determining that the defendants failed to prove federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Melissa Vigil, et al. v. HMS Host USA, Inc., et al., No. 12-2982, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112928).
LOS ANGELES - The estate of Michael Jackson is entitled to summary judgment on copyright infringement, cybersquatting and related claims against the operators of a website that featured a song, movie clips and images of the late entertainer, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 10, finding that the estate's claims were not precluded by a previous lawsuit and that the estate had established its rights in the disputed intellectual property (John Branca, et al. v. Howard Mann, et al., No. 2:11-cv-00584, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112574).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 9 refused to impose terminating sanctions or an adverse inference against the Securities and Exchange Commission for deleting nearly 5 million pages of documents it received from defendants in a stock options backdating lawsuit after finding that the deletion was a result of confusion between the agency and counsel for the defendants and that the defendants were unable to show that they were severely prejudiced by the loss of the information (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mercury Interactive LLC, et al., No. 07-cv-02822-WHA, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112224).
SAN DIEGO - California state courts are still bound by a state ruling permitting class arbitration because the U.S. Supreme Court, in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (131 S.Ct. 1740 $(2011$)), did not directly rule on the class arbitration issue in the context of unwaivable statutory rights, a state appeals court panel ruled Aug. 9 (Truly Nolen of America v. The Superior Court of San Diego County, No. D060519, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5850).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 10 denied a motion to dismiss the sole remaining claim, violating the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), in the class complaint filed against an online video provider accused of wrongfully disclosing viewers' video selections and personal identification information to third parties (In Re Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. 11-3764, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112916).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 10 granted a motion to dismiss a shareholder derivative lawsuit against Google but ordered the company to respond to the shareholder's demand letter within six months (Judy Wang, Derivatively on Behalf of Google Inc. v. Larry Page, et al., No. 12-cv-01785, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113073).
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for a failed bank, sued a real estate appraiser for alleged negligence, a federal judge in California on Aug. 10 granted the FDIC's motion to dismiss the appraiser's counterclaims (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Eric K. Hsing, No. 12-01530, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The October settlement fund allocation trial in the Oakland Bay Bridge Skyway project personal injury litigation coordinated in the Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court has been canceled, and an order to disperse the disputed $1.4 million settlement fund was filed Aug. 10 under seal (Welding Products Cases, No. JCCP004368, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.). View related prior history, 2010 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8964.
LOS ANGELES - Finding that claimed trade dress in a series of washroom accessories is invalid, a California federal judge on Aug. 8 deemed a defendant not liable on all claims levied against it (Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. v. American Specialties Inc., No10-6938, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111465).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 9 granted U.S. Bank N.A.'s motion to dismiss a suit brought against it in its capacity as receiver for a failed bank and arising from allegedly wrongful conduct related to a residential loan (Bernie O. Malixi, et al. v. U.S. Bank N.A., et al., No.12-01749, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112318).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 9 affirmed that insurers involved in an environmental contamination coverage suit must pay the full limits of their policies and that the policies can be stacked to provide coverage to the State of California for the long-tail environmental claims associated with the Stringfellow Acid Pits Superfund site (State of California v. Continental Insurance Co., et al., No. S170560, Calif. Sup.; 2012 Cal. LEXIS 7324).
SAN FRANCISCO - A $147.2 million damage award for patent infringement rendered in July by a California federal jury was tossed Aug. 8 "as against the clear weight of the evidence" (Mformation Techs Inc. v. Research in Motion Ltd., No. 08-4990, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 7 awarded $67,384.64 in sanctions against former college athletes for failing to take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue discovery burdens on three nonparties in the athletes' lawsuit accusing video game manufacturer Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) of conspiring with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to use the former athletes' names and likenesses in products without compensation in violation of the Sherman Act (In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-cv-01967, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110824).
SAN FRANCISCO - A coverage dispute between Visa Inc. and its technology, media and professional liability insurer was dismissed in California court on Aug. 7 after the parties reached a settlement (Visa Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., No. CGC-11-509839, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A putative synthetic marijuana product marketed as "Newprot" infringes on the manufacturer of Newport brand menthol cigarettes, a Virginia federal judge said Aug. 7 in an opinion that awarded the tobacco company attorney fees (Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al. v. California Imports, LLC, et al., No. 3:10cv817-JAG, E.D. Va., Richmond Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110871)