LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Oct. 29 affirmed a jury's finding holding John Crane Inc. 70 percent liable for a man's mesothelioma, affirmed a $14.5 million punitive damages award against the company and rejected the argument that the Navy's status as a sophisticated intermediary prevented liability (William Pfeifer, et al. v. Aurora Pump Co., et al., No. B232315, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Oct. 24 affirmed a decision that awarded fees, finding that a woman who claimed that she was exposed to mold while working for a school district was the prevailing party in the litigation and was entitled to the fees (Christina Garcia v. Governing Board of Bellflower Unified School District, No. B247320, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 853).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 25 granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement in a dispute filed by Internet virtual world participants over "ownership" of virtual land and items (Evans, et al. v. Linden Research, Inc., et al., No. 11-1078, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153725).
LOS ANGELES - A trademark dispute between two brothers that spilled over into California court will proceed without a temporary restraining order (TRO), a federal judge ruled Oct. 28 (Brian Lichtenberg, et al. v. Alex and Chloe Inc., et al., No. 13-6837, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 25 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by cafe employees who allege that they were denied overtime pay and meal and rest breaks (Nicola Covillo, et al. v. Specialtys Cafe, et al., No. 11-594, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153724).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Oct. 28 found that the doctrine of equitable subrogation provides an insurer with a claim to a portion of interpleaded funds, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (American Equity Insurance Co. v. Browne George Ross, No. B243367, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3).
SAN FRANCISCO - A liquidator for an insolvent insurer properly denied as untimely a claim for additional payment for legal services provided to an insured, a California appeals panel affirmed Oct. 25 (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. Golden Eagle Insurance Co. and Ron Leaf, No. A136197, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7693).
SAN FRANCISCO - California's rule prohibiting arbitration of public injunctive relief claims runs afoul of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 28 in reversing a ruling denying arbitration of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Kevin Ferguson, et al. v. Corinthian Colleges Inc., et al., No. 11-56965, 9th Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Whirlpool Corp.'s alleged misrepresentation of its refrigerators' compliance with Energy Star program requirements supports unfair and fraudulent claims under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held Oct. 25 (Kyle Dei Rossi and Mark Linthicum, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 12-125, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153682).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 24 granted a supplemental motion for class certification in an antitrust suit accusing high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153752).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 23, because lead plaintiffs have pleaded sufficient facts to survive a motion to dismiss (Pawel L. Kmiec v. Powerwave Technologies Inc., et al., No. 12-0222, C.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153031).
LOS ANGELES - The bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of GGW Brands LLC, the parent company for the maker of adult videos that carry the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Oct. 23 denied the company's motion to have its affiliate GGW Marketing LLC dismissed from bankruptcy (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 25 granted in part and denied in part Umpqua Bank's motion for judgment on the pleadings in a putative class action alleging that the bank illegally reordered customers' debit card transactions in order to maximize profits, finding that some of the plaintiff's claims are preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA) (Amber Hawthorne, et al. v. Umpqua Bank, No. 11-6700, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153697).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 23 dismissed a personal injury case involving a shooting in a National Football League stadium parking lot, ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction over the parties (Daniel Long v. Forty Niners Football Company LLC, No. 13-2919, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 22 refused to dismiss a putative class action alleging that Nordstrom Inc. violated the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1974 by requesting customers' email addresses to send unsolicited marketing materials, predicting that the California Supreme Court would find that an email address constitutes "personal identification information" under the statute (Robert Capp v. Nordstrom Inc., No. 13-0660, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151867).
SAN FRANCISCO - Inconsistencies in allegations of website exposure between complaints do not warrant dismissal of a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim challenging the advertising of Splenda, a federal judge held Oct. 21 (Barbara Bronson, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc. and McNeil Nutritionals Inc., No. 12-4184, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151842).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 23 reversed a federal judge in California's decision to remand a mass tort action brought by more than 100 plaintiffs, finding that the suit was properly removed under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), and ordered the dismissal of the claims brought by all but the leading plaintiff because the allegations do not share common questions of fact or law (Carla Visendi, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-16747, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21505).
LOS ANGELES - The Second District California Court of Appeal on Oct. 23 upheld summary judgment for a property owner named as the defendant in a premises liability action, disagreeing with the plaintiff's contention that a dangerous condition existed on the property (Yanira Garcia Ramirez Castellon v. U.S. Bancorp, No. B245651, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 848).
SAN DIEGO - Despite prevailing at a 2013 jury trial, a copyright infringement plaintiff was denied a permanent injunction Oct. 21 by a California federal judge (Brighton Collectibles Inc. v. Pedre Watch Company Inc., No. 11-637, S.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California gave final approval to the settlement of a shareholder derivative suit on Oct. 17, finding that the settlement was in the best interest of the shareholders and the company (In re OCZ Technology Group, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 12-cv-05556, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The First District California Court of Appeal on Oct. 17 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny arbitration in a medical malpractice action involving the death of a nursing home resident, agreeing that the patient's son did not sign key portions of an arbitration agreement (James Nagel v. Napa Nursing Center Inc., et al., No. A134947, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7471).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A homeowner has sufficiently established that issues of material fact exist as to whether her insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in denying her claim related to removing bats from her home, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 18, denying the insurer's summary judgment motion (Alexandra Nicholson v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2:11-cv-03018, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150394).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 18 granted final approval of a $1.7 million settlement ending a wage-and-hour suit filed by temporary health care workers placed in various California facilities during labor disputes (Shameka Bolton, et al. v. U.S. Nursing Corp., et al., No. 12-4466, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150299).
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on Oct. 16 ordered a California trial court to reconsider a motion for certification of a class of telecommunication technicians arguing that they were improperly denied overtime and meal and rest breaks (Lorenzo Benton, et al. v. Telecom Network Specialists, Inc., No. B242441, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 828).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Fourth District California Court of Appeal on Oct. 16 determined that a trial court correctly ruled that an automobile manufacturer did not have a duty to defend or indemnify a car dealership named as a defendant in a fatal unintended acceleration accident case (El Cajon Luxury Cars Inc. v. Toyota Motor Corp., No. G047010, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7391).