MINNEAPOLIS - Class certification has been denied as premature in a suit alleging that an unsolicited fax violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), but a Minnesota federal judge on March 12 refused to rule out eventual certification (Sandusky Wellness Center LLC, a Ohio limited liability company, individually and as the representative of a class of similarly situated persons, Plaintiff, v. Medtox Scientific Inc., et al., No. 0:12-cv-02066, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33794).
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - A putative class action suit alleging unfair trade practices in the marketing and execution of residential mortgages that went into foreclosure has been dismissed by a South Carolina federal judge, who said March 12 that the court did not have jurisdiction over the claims (Janet C. Stalvey, et al. v. American Bank Holdings Inc., et al., No.: 4:12-527-MGL, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33811).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on March 12 refused to order a dispute alleging unfair competition or violation of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secret Act (KUTSA) stemming from a stock purchase agreement (SPA) into arbitration, saying the contract at issue is insufficiently specific to require the plaintiffs to submit to arbitration (Germains Seed Technology Inc. v. R&R Manufacturing Inc., et al., No. 2:12-cv-02737-CM, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33674).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on March 11 found admissible expert survey testimony and said a trial was necessary to determine whether a couple's money-making advice products violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (Federal Trade Commission, et al v. Russell T. Dalbey, et al., No. 11-cv-1396-RBJ-KLM, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33126).
SAN FRANCISCO - A data-mining company's unfair-prong California unfair competition law (UCL) action seeking continued access to Twitter Inc.'s complete data set invokes no federal law and belongs in state court, a federal judge held March 6 (PeopleBrowsr Inc., et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 12-6120, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31786).
SAN FRANCISCO - The sheer amount of juice a child would need to drink to obtain advertised brain benefits forms the basis of a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 8 in partially reversing judgment against a consumer (Mauricio Chavez, et al. v. Nestle USA Inc., No. 11-56066, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman adequately supports California unfair competition law (UCL) claims alleging that a company overstated the speed and privacy benefits of its software, a federal judge held March 7 (Rose-Mai Robichaud, et al. v. Speedy PC Software, No. 12-4730, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31039).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 affirmed the dismissal of Citigroup and other financial institutions from two putative class actions that alleged that the financial institutions violated antitrust law by withdrawing support for the auction rate securities (ARS) market, concluding that the plaintiffs did not allege a plausible conspiracy (Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Maryland, et al. v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., Nos. 10-0722-cv, 10-0867, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4591).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Dow Chemical Co., the sole remaining defendant in multidistrict litigation againstpolyether polyol products (PPPs) manufacturers accused of price fixing, moved on March 5 to vacate a $400,049,039 jury verdict in favor of a class of direct purchasers, enter judgment in favor of Dow, decertify the class or, in the alternative, order a new trial (In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation $(Polyether Polyol Cases$), MDL No. 1616, Civil No. 2:04-md-01616-JWL, D. Kan.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 denied objectors' petitions for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of the court's Dec. 20 order upholding the approval of a settlement of a class suit accusing Sirius XM Radio Inc. of various violations in connection with the 2008 merger of the only two providers of satellite radio, XM and Sirius (Carl Blessing, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., Nos. 11-3696, 11-3729, 11-3834, 11-3883, 11-3908, 11-3910, 11-3916, 11-3965, 11-3970, 11-3972, 2nd Cir.).
ATLANTA - A customer of Nielsen Media Research Inc. failed to establish that it was an efficient enforcer of antitrust laws because it did not demonstrate that any potential competitors were willing and able to provide local television viewership ratings in the Miami area, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 4 in affirming that the customer lacked antitrust standing (Sunbeam Television Corp. v. Nielsen Media Research, Inc., No. 11-10901, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4452).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A man's claim that his lender lacked interest in a securitized loan fails to allege sufficient injury under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a state appeals court held Feb. 28 (Gary Sroka v. Bank of America, N.A., No. G047005, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1505).
INDIANAPOLIS - Student-athletes who brought a putative class action against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, alleging that three NCAA bylaws violated federal antitrust law, failed to define a legally cognizable market, a federal judge in Indiana ruled March 1 in dismissing the complaint (John Rock, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 1:12-cv-1019, S.D. Ind.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29034).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Home purchasers who sued a subdivision's developer, builder and seller, alleging that the defendants manipulated the market value of the homes in the subdivision in violation of the Sherman Act, failed to allege market power in the relevant market sufficient to allege a per se illegal tying arrangement, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 28 in dismissing the claim(Connie Cherrone, et al. v. Florsheim Development, No. 12-02069, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27967).
LOS ANGELES - Saying plaintiffs claiming economic injury from allegedly defective anti-lock brake systems must demonstrate more than a "creative damages theory," a federal judge on Feb. 28 dismissed California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (In re: Toyota Motor Corp. Hybrid Brake Marketing, Sales, Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 10-2172, C.D. Calif.).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Falsification by a notary of dates on foreclosure documents, resulting in a loss of more than $151,000 in the sale of a house, invalidates that sale, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Feb. 28, reversing the Court of Appeals in part and restoring a jury's award (Dianne Klem v. Washington Mutual Bank, et al., No. 87105-1, Wash. Sup.; 2013 Wash. LEXIS 151).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - American Express Co. (AmEx) told the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27 in oral arguments that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a mandatory class action waiver clause in AmEx's standardized service contract violated the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and erred in denying AmEx's motion to compel arbitration of merchants' antitrust claims under the Sherman Act (American Express Company, et al. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, et al., No. 12-133, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A woman's California unfair competition law (UCL) labeling action against three food manufacturers satisfies the injury standard for products she purchased, and the majority of the claims survive preemption, a federal judge held Feb. 25 (Susan Ivie, et al. v. Kraft Foods Global Inc., Cadbury Adams USA LLC and Back To Nature Food Co., No. 12-2554, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25615).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 22 granted a stay of the U.S. Department of Justice's action alleging that Anheuser-Busch InBEV SA/NV's (ABI) proposed acquisition of the remainder of Grupo Modelo that it does not own would substantially lessen competition in the market for beer in the United States (United States of America v. Anheuser-Busch InBEV SA/NV, et al., No. 13:127, D. D.C.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California appeals court on Feb. 22 denied a petition for rehearing after previously finding that state law capping notary charges at $10 per signature does not bar charging fees for additional services (Brent Hutton v. Fidelity National Title Co., Nos. F063318, F063922, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several drug companies told the U.S. Supreme Court in their merits briefs on Feb. 21 that the court should analyze antitrust challenges to reverse-payment settlements of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug under the scope-of-the-patent test, rather than treating them as presumptively unlawful, as proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et al., No. 12-416, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - The holding company of a vitamin C manufacturer must defend claims against it in litigation alleging that Chinese corporations participated in an illegal cartel to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C to the United States, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 20 in finding that the holding company's summary judgment motion was untimely filed (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(Animal Science Products, Inc., et al. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al.$), No. 05-453, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23277).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on Feb. 20 awarded $400,049,039 to a class of direct purchasers of polyether polyol products (PPPs) on their price-fixing claims against Dow Chemical Co., the sole remaining defendant in multidistrict litigation against PPP manufacturers (In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation $(Polyether Polyol Cases$), MDL No. 1616, Civil No. 2:04-md-01616-JWL, D. Kan.).
NEW ORLEANS - Although there is not yet any controlling authority regarding the sufficiency of a trademark application to obtain relief under 15 U.S. Code Section 1120, a Louisiana federal judge found Feb. 19 that an application alone cannot be the basis for viable claims under the statute (Southern Snow Manufacturing Co. Inc., et al. v. SnoWizard Holdings Inc., No. 06-9170, E.D. La.).
NEW YORK - An admitted past participant in an alleged bid-rigging scheme lacks antitrust standing to seek damages from alleged co-conspirators for losses arising from the termination of its contract for refusing to continue to participate, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 14 (Gatt Communications, Inc. v. PMC Associates, L.L.C., et al., No. 11-1111, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3186).