SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge on June 17 recommended entering default judgment and an injunction against a California company and its CEO after finding that a bakery products company stated valid false advertising, copyright infringement and unfair business practice claims under federal law and the state unfair competition law (UCL) (Back Shop Tiefkuhl GmbH, v. GN Trade, Inc., et al., No. 12-0540, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82500).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California man's claims that a bank's mortgage lending practices violate the state's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because he did not plead any facts to support allegations that the bank engaged in unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts or practices, a federal judge held June 13 in granting the bank's motion to dismiss the claims (Edward Lawrence v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-1272, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81278).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Two homeowners cannot pursue a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim that their mortgage lenders' unfair business practices caused them to default on their loan because the homeowners fail to allege that they suffered any economic injury, a federal judge held May 30 (Scott Paulhus and Lynette Paulhus v. Fay Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 14-736, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74227).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by an inventor that Microsoft Corp. violated California's unfair competition law, Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (UCL), when it "deliberately" encouraged others to infringe his patent and "obstructed and unfairly competed with" his business were dismissed by a California federal judge on May 23 as preempted by the Patent Act (Antonio Medina v. Microsoft Corp. et al., No. 14-143, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New York federal judge on May 20 agreed to strike a claim for impermissible indirect wage deduction brought under New York state law from a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation filed against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. (together, MSSB), finding that the plaintiffs voluntarily paid for their business expenses (In Re Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-3121, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69710).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and certain of its current and former executive officers have agreed to pay $57 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the company's business condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed by lead plaintiffs on March 31 (In re Hewlett-Packard Co. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1404, C.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON - A federal jury in Texas on March 25 awarded $52 million in compensatory damages to steel distributor MM Steel LP on its claims that its competitors and steel producers conspired to put it out of business by engaging in a group boycott in violation of federal antitrust law (MM Steel, LP, et al. v. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-01227, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 heard arguments in two cases that will decide whether for-profit, secular businesses have to provide contraceptive services as part of their health insurance packages to employees even if they oppose such measures on religious grounds (Kathleen Sebelius, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al., No. 13-354, U.S. Sup.; Conestoga Woods Specialties Corp., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-356, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A putative class action against a job-matching website partly survived a dismissal motion, a New York federal judge ruled March 12, finding claims for breach of contract and a violation of New York General Business Law adequately pleaded (Barbara Ward, et al. v. TheLadders.com Inc., No. 1:13-cv-01605, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32617).
LOS ANGELES - A homeowner's claims against his burglar alarm company that its early termination fee is a fraudulent and deceptive business practice and violates California's unfair competition law are pleaded sufficiently enough to state a claim for fraud, a panel of the Second District California Court of Appeal held March 12 in reversing and remanding a trial court's judgment sustaining a demurrer to the homeowner's complaint (Sean Jaquez v. Protection One Alarm Monitoring, Inc., et al., No. B245829, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A divided Alabama Supreme Court on Jan. 24 held that a trial court erred in submitting a claim for intentional interference with business relationship to a jury in a health care network dispute, saying the defendants had no obligation to do business with the plaintiff health care provider (Alabama Psychiatric Services, et al. v. A Center for Eating Disorders, No. 1110703, Ala. Sup.; 2014 Ala. LEXIS 9).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A trial court acted in accordance with Virginia law governing the "unmasking" of anonymous Internet speakers, the majority of a Virginia Court of Appeals panel held Jan. 7, affirming the lower court's order compelling Yelp Inc. to comply with a subpoena duces tecum by a business owner seeking to discover the identities of the writers of several online business reviews that are purportedly false and defamatory (Yelp Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Inc., et al., No. 0116-13-4, Va. App.; 2014 Va. App. LEXIS 1).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 15 dismissed without prejudice a man's lawsuit challenging the foreclosure of his home after finding that his state law claims, including his cause of action brought under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, are preempted by the Home Owners Loan Act (HOLA) (Jason Deschaine v. IndyMac Mortgage Services, et al., No. 13-1991 WBS CKD, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163203).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 6 ordered a fund manager to pay nearly $7.8 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties for misrepresenting the investment activity of three funds he was managing in violation of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Small Business Capital Corp., et al., No. 12-3237, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159227).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 30 partially dismissed a court-appointed receiver's lawsuit against a bank for alleged violations of state and federal securities laws, ruling that the receiver failed to state a claim for relief (Thomas A. Seaman v. California Business Bank, et al., No. 13-2031, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155919).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Oct. 18 dismissed a woman's lawsuit against Bank of America N.A. accusing the lender of violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, after finding that her claims were barred by the statute of limitations (Crystal Gater v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 13 C 3267, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149872).
DAYTON, Ohio - Non-party Community Insurance Co., doing business as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem), must produce certain documents regarding its deliberations not to contract with a medical center in the medical center's lawsuit claiming that it was denied contracts with managed care providers as a result of a purported conspiracy involving other hospitals to exclude the medical center from the marketplace in violation of federal antitrust law, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Oct. 16 (The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, LLC v. Premier Health Partners, et al., No. 3:12-cv-26, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148839).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 3 granted a preliminary injunction to five retailers who sued the New York attorney general and other officials challenging the constitutionality of Section 518 of the New York General Business Law, which prohibits sellers from imposing credit card "swipe fees," saying the "virtually incomprehensible distinction between what a vendor can and cannot tell its customers offends the First Amendment $(to the U.S. Constitution$) and renders section 518 unconstitutional" (Expressions Hair Design, et al. v. Eric R. Schneiderman, et al., No. 13-3775, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143415).
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.).