SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Oct. 7 found that a lower court erred in finding that a property insurer could not recover its alleged $331,000 in expert witness fees in a coverage dispute where a jury found that the policy did not cover property damage caused by a California landslide (Lars Rouland, et al. v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co., No. G047919, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 799).
SAN DIEGO - An insurance broker owed no duty to procure prior completed work coverage for an insured, a California appeals panel affirmed Oct. 4, also finding that a claim filed by an insurer assigned to the rights of the insured is barred by the superior equities doctrine (San Diego Assemblers Inc. v. Work Comp For Less Insurance Services Inc., No. D062406, Calif. App., Div. 1; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7103).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Oct. 7 denied certification of eight state classes for borrowers who entered into and complied with the terms of Trial Payment Plans (TPPs) with Citimortgage Inc. after April 2009, finding that variations in the deadlines for when the loan servicer was required to either provide a permanent loan modification or a denial of the application present an individual issue that predominates over class-wide questions (In re: Citimortgage Inc. Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Litigation, No. 11-ml-2274, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Oct. 4 found that a woman's putative class claims alleging unfair competition, false advertising and related claims against Skype Inc., over its claims of "unlimited" calling plans, were adequately alleged, reversing and remanding a lower court's dismissal (Melissa Chapman, et al. v. Skype Inc., No. B241398, Calif. App., 2nd. Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 794).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 30 in an unpublished opinion that although a health plan participant was not entitled to benefits based on the insurer's delay in processing her claim, the participant might be entitled to attorney fees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act if the filing of the instant lawsuit caused the insurer to pay the claim (Selina Bryant v. Cigna Healthcare of California, Inc., et al., No. 11-57249, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19966).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 1 granted a for-profit college's request for a transfer of venue in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that a number of factors weigh in favor of relocating the action to a California federal court (Frank Erickson v. Corinthian Colleges Inc., et al., No. 13-4308, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142113).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Sept. 30 denied a California man's motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing a dietary supplement company of making false and misleading statements about its product (Andrew Nilon, et al. v. Natural-Immunogenics Corp., et al., No. 12-930, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141728).
LOS ANGELES - California law does not impose a duty on premises owners to protect employees from secondhand exposure occurring offsite, a state appeals court held Oct. 2 (Alberta Swanson, individually and as successor, etc. v. Simpson Timber Co., No. B244266, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The City of San Bernardino Professional Firefighters Local 891 on Sept. 30 filed a statement arguing that the city should not be permitted to delay negotiating with the union to resolve problems with working conditions imposed on the firefighters by the city council. The union says the conditions violate California labor law (In Re: City of San Bernardino, No. 12-28006, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on Sept. 30 granted an insurer's motion to transfer an insured's lawsuit seeking coverage for an employment discrimination claim to a California federal court (Andrews International Inc., et al. v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. 12-00775, D. Del.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141589).
FRESNO, Calif. - A judge's comments and other evidence provided sufficient basis for the conclusion that a law firm lacked a viable asbestos action, a California appeals panel held Sept. 30 in allowing a car dealership to pursue malicious prosecution claims (Tulare SAG Inc. v. Keller, Fishback & Jackson, et al., No. F064726, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
SAN DIEGO - Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. on Oct. 1 agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations brought by the federal government claiming that the lender violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by discriminating against borrowers based on their race and national origin, according to a consent decree filed in California federal court (United States of America v. Plaza Home Mortgage Inc., No. 13cv2327-H, S.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Oct. 1 held that an insurer has no duty to defend its nonprofit residential community association insured against an underlying lawsuit initially seeking injunctive relief but no compensatory damages, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (San Miguel Community Association, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. G047738, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).
LOS ANGELES - Saudi business group Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros. Co. (AHAB) on Oct. 1 agreed to settle its $9 billion suit in a California federal court alleging that former The International Banking Group Corp. CEO Glenn Stewart orchestrated a Ponzi scheme, with terms of the settlement including Stewart's agreement to be interviewed by AHAB about the events and transactions at issue (Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Co. v. Glenn Stewart, No. 11-2596, C.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A woman does not allege that a car sales company deceived her into an automobile contract or that she paid more as a result of the contract, a California appeals court held Sept. 25 (Tiffini Harrelson v. CarMax Auto Superstores California LLC, No. E054435, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6912).
LOS ANGELES - The attorney representing bankrupt GGW Brands LLC, the company that makes adult videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Sept. 27 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California arguing that he should not have to disgorge compensation he has received from GGW because he has provided "valuable" services to the bankruptcy estate (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 25 order denying a social media aggregator firm's motion to reconsider a 2012 ruling that found it guilty of spam and computer fraud violations against Facebook Inc., a California federal judge also determined that the company's CEO "authorized and directed" the illegal activities, making him personally liable under the statutes (Facebook Inc. v. Power Ventures Inc., et al., No. 5:08-cv-05780, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137890).
LOS ANGELES - A unanimous Second District California Court of Appeal, Division Seven, panel on Sept. 24 overturned in part a trial court order dismissing personal injury and property damage claims against the prior owner of a Los Angeles County oil and gasoline tank farm and county agencies that operated a low-income public housing complex on the site; the trial court erred when it concluded that the claims are barred by the statute of limitations, according to the panel (Doris Alexander, et al. v. Exxon Mobil, et al., No. B242458, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 789).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of shareholders asked a California federal court on Sept. 23 to give final approval to a settlement with directors and officers of a company that implements certain corporate governance changes (In re OCZ Technology Group, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 12-cv-05556, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A company's claim that a competitor misrepresents its products as being manufactured in the United States, costing a competitor business, satisfies the standing requirement of the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held Sept. 23 (Storm Manufacturing Group Inc. v. Weather Tec Corp., et al., No. 12-10849, C.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A man pursuing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims may pursue claims for products he never purchased as long as the alleged misrepresentations on those products are "substantially similar" to those he purchased, a federal judge held Sept. 23 (Chad Brazil, et al. v. Dole Food Co. Inc., Dole Packaged Foods LLC, No. 12-1831, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136921).
LOS ANGELES - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of GGW Brands LLC, the producer of adult videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Sept. 24 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California contending that the motion to dismiss the bankruptcy of GGW Marketing filed by GGW Brands founder Joseph Francis "is a rehash of the arguments and evidence already examined and ruled upon" by the Bankruptcy Court (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - State food labeling laws avoid preemption only when they are identical; "substantially identical" laws are not exempt, a California appeals court held Sept. 25 (Mary L. Simpson v. The Kroger Corp., et al., No. B242405, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on Sept. 24 affirmed a lower court's finding that a homeowners insurer owes no additional coverage to its insured for damage arising from an October 2007 wildfire (Vincent Guy Adamo v. Fire Insurance Exchange, No. D062361, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 767).
LOS ANGELES - Truck drivers' claims arising from the charging and markup of liability insurance are preempted, but they may recover under the California unfair competition law (UCL) based on a motor carriers' charging of workers' compensation fees, an appeals court held in an opinion published Sept. 20 (Salvador Rodriguez, et al. v. RWA Trucking Co. Inc., No. B241727, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).