Shareholder: Directors And Officers Of Education Company Agree To Settle Case

LOS ANGELES - A shareholder asked a federal court in California on July 16 to preliminarily approve a settlement with a company's directors and officers in which new corporate governance provisions are created to assure that the company will accurately report its financial results (Benjamin L. Padnos v. Xiqun Yu, et al., No. 11-cv-08973, C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the brief in support of preliminary approval of settlement available within the full article.

Judge: Investor Properly Pleaded Falsity, Scienter In Securities Class Action

LOS ANGELES - A retirement system has properly pleaded falsity and scienter in making its federal securities law claims against a Chinese company and others, a federal judge in California ruled July 12 in denying the company's motion to dismiss (Larry Brown v. China Integrated Energy Inc., et al.,  No. 11-2559, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97128).

Judge Dismisses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Insurance Broker

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 12 dismissed an insured's breach of fiduciary duty claim against an insurance broker regarding the broker's role in handling insurance applications on a policy that an insurer is seeking to rescind (James River Insurance Co. v. DCMI Inc., et al., No. 11-06345, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96808).

Judge Refuses To Certify Class Related To Alleged Mold At Resort Properties

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 13 denied a motion for certification of a putative class action filed by the owner of a time-share that allegedly contained water leaks and mold, finding that individual issues predominated over the common issues of the proposed class (Hermengildo ("Jay") Martinez, on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. The Welk Group, et al., No. 09-2883, S.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full article.

Judge: Alleged Misstatements Contained Cautionary Language In Securities Suit

SAN DIEGO - A pension trust fund has failed to show that a specialized laboratory service provider and certain of its executive officers misrepresented the company's business condition in violation of federal securities law because it has not shown that the defendants' alleged misrepresentations were not forward-looking statements with the requisite cautionary language, a federal judge in California ruled July 12 (Construction Workers Pension Trust Fund - Lake County and Vicinity v. Genoptix Inc., et al., No. 10-2502, S.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.

California Appeals Court Applies 'Cel-Tech' Test To Unfair Competition Law Claims

SAN DIEGO - A couple simply ignores appellate rulings applying a different standard in California unfair competition law (UCL) cases than they wish to have applied and fails to demonstrate that they can meet that standard, a state appeals court held in an opinion published July 16 (Robert W. Wilson, et al. v. Brian Hynek, et al.,  No. D057620, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 809).

Shareholder Says Google Board Refused To Investigate Her Presuit Demand

OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiff in a shareholder derivative suit against directors and officers of Google Inc. tells a California federal court in a July 12 brief that she has shown that Google's board of directors wrongfully refused her presuit demand (Judy Wang, Derivatively on Behalf of Google Inc. v. Larry Page, et al., No. 12-cv-01785, N.D. Calif.).

Aetna Settles Employees' Class Action Claims In California

FRESNO, Calif. - Aetna Inc. will pay more than $1 million to settle class action claims of hourly workers in California for unpaid wages under an agreement approved July 12 by a federal magistrate judge in that state (Michael Gong-Chun, et al., v. Aetna Inc., et al.,  No. 1:09-cv-01995, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96828).

Bank Of America Settles Credit Protection Claims For $20M

SAN FRANCISCO - Bank of America Corp. (BOA) has agreed to pay $20 million to settle claims that it deceptively enrolled customers in a credit protection plan that required them to pay monthly fees without their consent, according to a document BOA filed July 12 in a multidistrict litigation in a California federal court (In re: Bank of America Credit Protection Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation, No. 11-md-02269, N.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47182.

Judge: Subscription Consumers Lack Standing, Reliance Under Competition Law

SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who sued a website owner for purchases made through a third party lack constitutional or statutory standing and the required reliance required by the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held June 9 (Sharon Gentes, et al. v. Trend Micro Inc., et al., No. 11-5574, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.

Parties Announce Settlement In C6 Flood Damage Action; Jury Dismissed July 10

SANTA ANA, Calif. - The jury in the Merced County, Calif., hexavalent chromium contamination-related flood damage claims trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California was dismissed July 10 because the parties presented the court with a settlement; the details were not disclosed (Raul Valencia Abarca, et al. v. Merck & Co., et al., No. 07-388, E.D. Calif.).

Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Attorney Fees For Debt Collector Defendant

LOS ANGELES - A federal magistrate judge in California on July 9 denied a defendant debt collector's motion for attorney fees following the award of summary judgment in favor of the collector in a suit in which it was alleged to have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq., in its attempts to collect on debt arising from the plaintiffs' loans (Thomas Davis, et al. v. Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. et al., No. 11-1963, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94532).

Judge Orders Tribe To Pay Insurer's Receiver Fees In Contract Dispute

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 6 ordered an Indian tribe to pay $525 to the receiver of an insolvent workers' compensation insurer following an entry of a $4.6 million default judgment in a breach of contract action (Mike Kreidler, insurance commissioner for the state of Washington and as receiver for Cascade National Insurance Co. in liquidation v. Mainstay Business Solutions, a federally-authorized division of Blue Lake Rancheria Economic Development Corp., No. 12-1154, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93905).

EPA, 4 Companies Agree To $14.6M Settlement For Groundwater Cleanup

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 9 announced that it had reached a $14.6 million settlement with four companies to clean up groundwater contaminated with the pesticide DDT and synthetic rubber at two Superfund sites in Torrance, Calif. (United States of America v. Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, et al, No. 90-cv-03122, C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the proposed consent decree available within the full article.

California Judge's Tentative Ruling Awards Guards $89.7M For Missed Rest Breaks

LOS ANGELES - A California judge in a tentative ruling issued July 6 awarded $89.7 million in back wages, interest and waiting time to a class of approximately 15,000 security guards who were denied off-duty rest breaks (Jennifer Augustus v. American Commercial Security Services, et al., No. BC336416, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.). Subscribers may view the tentative ruling  available within the full article.

Worker's Claims Over 23 Cents In Lost Overtime Pay Survive Summary Judgment

SAN FRANCISCO - A former Office Depot Inc. employee who says that the company's failure to include $50 incentive bonuses in workers' regular pay rates caused him to lose out on 23 cents of overtime pay in the six months he worked there has properly pleaded class action claims, a California federal judge held July 6 in denying the company summary judgment and granting class certification (Howard David Provine v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 11-00903, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93881).

Breach, Bad Faith Claims Tossed For Failure To Show Policy Covered Fraud Charges

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Three former officers of a now-bankrupt company failed to meet their burden to establish that a directors and officers (D&O) policy held by the firm provided coverage for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought against them by creditors, a California federal judge ruled July 5, granting summary judgment to the insurance provider on bad faith and breach of contract claims against it (Michael J. Dobson, et al. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 8:11-cv-00192, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93823).

Federal Magistrate Judge Dismisses Class Action Targeting Credit Card Rates

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on July 5 dismissed a putative class action alleging that U.S. Bank violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by charging and collecting usurious interest rates on credit cards, agreeing with the bank that the plaintiff's claim was already litigated in a state court action (Michael A. Carnacchi v. U.S. Bank National Association ND, et al., No. 11-6339, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93874).

Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Insurers' Suit Seeking $326M From United States

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 9 denied the United States' motion to dismiss a negligence lawsuit filed by Smithfield Foods Inc. and its insurers seeking $326 million under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for fire damages to Smithfield's pork-processing plant (Smithfield Foods Inc., et al. v. United States of America, No. 2:12CV2254, C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the civil minutes available within the full article.

Federal Judge Levies $31.8M Civil Penalty Against Alleged Ponzi Schemer

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in a California on July 5 granted summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a suit in which the CFTC alleged that Gordon A. Driver operated a $14.3 million Ponzi scheme, and the judge ordered Driver and related defendants to pay $31.8 million in civil penalties (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Gordon A. Driver, et al., No. 09-0578, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93038).

Directors And Officers Claim Shareholders Failed To Cure Complaint Defects

OAKLAND, Calif. - Google Inc. and certain of its directors and officers argued in a California federal court on July 6 that an amended shareholder derivative complaint should be dismissed because the shareholders allegedly failed to cure defects from an earlier version of the complaint (In re Google Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 11-cv-4248, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the brief in support of motion to dismiss available within the full article.

California Judge Won't Stay Injunction In Samsung Patent Case

SAN FRANCISCO - A July 1 preliminary injunction will remain in place while patent infringement defendants Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Samsung Electronics America Inc. (Samsung, collectively) appeal to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a California federal judge ruled July 3 (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 12-630, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.

Judge: Constitutional Standing Applies To Federal Court Competition Law Cases

SAN FRANCISCO - Constitutional standing requirements, not the statutory requirements found in the California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, apply to federal actions, and the lack of likely future injury bars consumers' actions against a service process company, a federal judge in California held July 3 (Ruby Nell Freeman v. ABC Legal Services Inc., et al., No. 11-3007 related to Nos. 11-3542, 11-3805, 11-3824, 11-5152, 12-0624, 12-0642, 12-0644, 12-0678, 12-1693, 12-1696, 12-1904, 12-1911, 12-1914, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92404).

Jury Finds Toshiba Liable For $87 Million In Direct Purchaser LCD Antitrust Trial

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal jury in California on July 3 awarded $87 million in damages to direct purchasers of film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD), finding that Toshiba Corp. engaged in a conspiracy with other manufacturers to raise and fix the price of TFT-LCD panels and certain products containing those panels imported into the United States for more than 10 years, resulting in overcharges to the purchasers, in violation of the Sherman Act 15 U.S.C.S. § 1 et seq..(In re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation (All Direct Purchaser Actions), MDL No. 3:07-md-1827 SI, N.D. Calif.).

Judge: Competition Law Claims In Amended Complaint Against Bank Fail

SAN FRANCISCO - A woman's "high-level statements" in her amended complaint against a bank fail to satisfy the pleading standard of the state's unfair competition law (UCL), a California judge held July 2 (Maria G. Sosa v. Bank of New York Mellon Trust, No. 12-00144, N.D Calif.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.