WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 heard oral arguments on "[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis" (Comcast Corporation, et al. v. Caroline Behrend, et al., No. 11-864, U.S. Sup.).
Follow this link to view a complimentary copy of the complete Mealey's article.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 declined to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion affirming the dismissal of allegations of cable and satellite television subscribers that television programmers and distributors violated federal antitrust law by bundling channels because the subscribers failed to sufficiently allege injury to competition, as opposed to injury to consumers (Rob Brantley, et al. v. NBC Universal, Inc., et al., No. 12-171, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An ice cream distributor cannot recover restitution under the California unfair competition law (UCL) for sales it lost to an ice cream manufacturer who began distributing its own product, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 1 (Ice Cream Distributors of Evansville LLC v. Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Inc., et al., No. 10-17257, U.S. App., 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22558).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that numerous claims asserted by a time-share owner who alleged that resort properties contained mold and water damage failed, a California federal judge on Oct. 30 granted summary judgment in favor of a group of companies that own the resorts on all of the claims asserted against them (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.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155550).
SAN FRANCISCO - An apartment complex fails to allege actionable conduct by its lender under the California unfair competition law (UCL),Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, but a loan document purporting to exclude liability goes too far and cannot bar the claims, a federal judge held Oct. 26 in dismissing the claims with leave to amend (Three Crown Apartments v. PNC Bank, No. 12-3579, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154879).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman whose tablet computer underwent repairs and was given an extended warranty lacks sufficient injury to pursue California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 claims, a federal judge held Oct. 26 (Tina Baba, Ray Ritz and Jon Taylor, et al. v. Hewlett Packard Co., No. 09-5946, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154326).
RICHMOND, Va. - Two price-fixing complaints filed by the State of South Carolina on behalf of state residents against manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels may not be removed from state court and heard in federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 USCS § 1711, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 25 (AU Optronics Corporation, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 11-254, LG Display Co., Ltd, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 11-255, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22200). A complimentary copy of the opinion is available in the pdf attached below.
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 23 ruled that it will not reconsider its decision that a consumer who alleged that a New York City provider of electricity-generating capacity violated antitrust laws by engaging in a swap transaction lacks antitrust standing because he was an indirect purchaser and that his claims are otherwise barred by the filed-rate doctrine (Charles Simon v. KeySpan Corporation, et al., No. 11-2265, 2nd Cir.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19815.
Federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on Oct. 23 divided over whether to grant pharmaceutical manufacturers' motions to stay cases involving reverse-payment settlements between holders of a drug patent and generic manufacturers of the those drugs pending the U.S. Supreme Court's deciding whether it will hear an appeal of a similar case (In re Effexor XR Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 11-5479, 11-5661, 11-7504, 11-6985, 11-3523, 11-3116, 11-5590, D. N.J.; In re Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-995, D. N.J.; In re Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2332, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A gas station's California unfair competition law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, action against a fuel nozzle company requires individualized inquiry into who saw representations, as well as who made them, a federal judge held Oct. 22 in denying class certification (Castro Valley Union 76 Inc. v. Vapor Systems Technologies Inc., No. 11-299, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151734).
SAN FRANCISCO - A homeowner's default on his mortgage, not any procedural errors in naming an authorized agent or the filing of default and foreclosure documents, caused his injury, a federal judge held Oct. 22 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, claims (John P. McGough v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 12-50, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151737).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 23 granted final approval to a $10.5 million settlement between direct and indirect purchasers and Aland (Jiangsu) Nutraceutical Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of vitamin C, on claims that the manufacturer participated in an illegal cartel with other Chinese corporations to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C, including those to the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation [All Cases], No. 06-MC-1738, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152275).
NEW YORK - Merchants moved on Oct. 19 for preliminary approval of a class action settlement with Visa, MasterCard and a large number of banks that the proposed class alleges fixed the prices of interchange fees paid by merchants when customers use Visa and MasterCard credit cards, for $6.05 billion, an eight-month reduction in interchange fees worth $1.2 billion and modifications of the Visa and MasterCard rules (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation [All Cases], No. 05-MD-1720, E.D. N.Y.). View related prior history, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89275.
ATLANTA - An evenly divided en banc 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 affirmed a district court ruling that hedge funds that purchased promissory notes from CompuCredit Holdings Corp. did not violate federal antitrust law by making a collective demand on CompuCredit to pay above-market prices to redeem its notes early (CompuCredit Holdings Corporation v. Akanthos Capital Management, LLC, et al., No. 11-13254, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21909).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. (BIPI) was ordered by a federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia on Oct. 16 to search four backup tapes for responsive electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a subpoena duces tecum filed by the Federal Trade Commission because the company was unable to show that searching for the records would "unduly disrupt or seriously hinder normal operations of a business" (Federal Trade Commission v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 09-564, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148251).
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 a sufficient effect on interstate commerce, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 12 in dismissing the claim for lack of federal question subject matter jurisdiction (Connie Cherrone, et al. v. Florsheim Development, et al., No. 2:12-02069, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147433).
NEW YORK - State antitrust, consumer protection and unfair competition claims asserted by indirect purchasers of air freight shipping services against foreign airlines are expressly preempted by the Federal Aviation Act (FAA), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 11 (In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-5464, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21091).
SAN FRANCISCO - The federal judge in California overseeing the film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) antitrust litigation on Oct. 15 preliminarily approved a $30 million settlement between Toshiba Corp. and direct purchasers, vacating a jury award of $87 million in damages to the purchasers on their claims that Toshiba 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 (In re: TFT-LCD [Flat Panel] Antitrust Litigation [All Direct Purchaser Actions], MDL No. 3:07-md-1827 SI, N.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148033.
SAN DIEGO - A California judge on Oct. 11 found future harm from a data breach sufficient injury for the purposes of the "injury-in-fact" requirement of Article III of the U.S. Constitution but dismissed California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (In re: Sony Gaming Networks and Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Nos. MDL 11-2258, S.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON - A safety company's claim that a purchaser's alert containing misrepresentations damaged its reputation and sales sufficiently pleads a California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, claim at the pleading stage, a Texas federal judge held Oct. 10 (Diamond Offshore Co. v. Survival Systems International Inc., No. 11-1701, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145962).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A manufacturer's statements regarding the "full power and performance" and "ultra-reliable" nature of its computers make no specific claim regarding power and constitute puffery, a federal judge held Oct. 10 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims without prejudice (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., et al., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A woman's unfair competition law class action claims involving the alleged failure to disclose defects in heating pads involve common questions of functionality that differences in sizes and settings do not overcome, a federal judge held Oct. 5 in granting class certification for California consumers (Beverly Beck-Ellman, et al. v. Kaz USA Inc. and Kaz Inc., No. 10-2134, S.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on October 4 declined to dismiss allegations by a developer of technology used to locate mobile handsets against a standard-setting organization (SSO), concluding that the developer plausibly alleged that the SSO, acting through three of its corporate members as its agents, joined in a conspiracy to exclude the developer's technology from the SSO's standard (TruePosition, Inc. v. LM Ericsson Telephone Company, et al., No. 11-4574, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143611).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 2 denied a consumer permission to intervene to file an appeal challenging approval of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and electronic book publishers Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc. on the government's claims that e-book publishers and Apple Inc. conspired to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal antitrust laws (United States of America v. Apple, Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142670).
NEW YORK - Written statements of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, although relevant to the defenses of Chinese corporations accused of participating in an illegal cartel to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C to the United States, are not admissible, a federal judge in New York ruled Oct. 1 (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation [Animal Science Products, Inc., et al. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al.], Nos. 06-MD-1738, 05-CV-0453, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142558).