OAKLAND, Calif. - A California man and New York woman filed a class complaint on May 17, accusing Mars Inc. of deceptively packaging its Uncle Ben's rice products in boxes containing up to 50 percent empty space to make buyers think they are getting a better value (Eric Lankenau-Ray, et al. v. Mars, Inc., No. 16-2660, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 16 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, Google Inc. argues that the U.S. Supreme Court needs to review an underlying grant of class certification in a suit over Google's AdWords program brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), to resolve a circuit split over whether individual damage calculations in class actions can be calculated using generalized proof (Google Inc. v. Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al., No. 15-1101, U.S. Sup.).
PASADENA, Calif. - An objector to the attorney fees awarded in a $9.5 million antitrust class action settlement has standing to appeal the denial of his own request for fees; however, the objector is not yet owed fees as the district court's award was vacated, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 11 (Stephen Stetson, et al. v. Seth Bryan Grissom, et al., Nos. 13-57061 and 13-57159, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8638).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a May 9 motion in California federal court, Facebook Inc. seeks to dismiss trade secrets and unfair competition claims against it related to its development of data centers, asserting that the defendants did not make reasonable efforts to protect their purported trade secrets and that they did not sufficiently allege damages or consumer-based unfair actions (BladeRoom Group Limited, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 5:15-cv-01370, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court panel on May 9 reversed a trial court order striking class action allegations from a complaint filed against wireless telephone carriers alleging violations of the California unfair competition law (UCL) (Angela Rel, et al. v. Pacific Bell Mobile Services, et al., No. A144349, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3364).
SAN FRANCISCO - Homeowners adequately identify allegations of misleading and deceptive statements made by a mortgage company regarding how payments would be treated during a transition period when the loan was transferred between mortgage companies, a California federal judge ruled May 4 (Peter Mazonas, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 16-00660, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59424).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a May 3 minute order, a California federal magistrate judge granted Apple Inc.'s motion to quash a subpoena served on it by the merchant plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against credit card companies and issuing banks related to purportedly fixed intercharge fees (In re Payment Card Intercharge and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, No. 3:16-mc-80069, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 2 declined review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming a federal district court's ruling that denied a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit based upon the damages methodology used (Robert Ludlow, et al. v. BP PLC, No. 15-952, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman who says she received "multiple" unsolicited text messages from Facebook Inc. that were intended for the prior holder of her cell phone number, filed a putative class complaint against the social network operator April 26 in California federal court, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 26 dismissed a lawsuit against Whole Foods Market Inc., ruling that the plaintiffs failed to allege that the company made affirmative misrepresentations or actionable omissions regarding the advertising of its meat products (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, et al. v. Whole Foods Market California Inc., et al., No. 15-4301, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 vacated a $2.3 million class counsel fee in a dental implant settlement, finding that the district court denied the defendant due process by examining attorney timesheets and cost records in camera (Jason M. Yamada, D.D.S., et al. v. Nobel Biocare Holding AG, et al., No. 14-55236, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7122).
LOS ANGELES - A department store failed to supply evidence supporting its claim that the amount in controversy in a class suit by sales managers, who allege that they were not reimbursed for certain business expenses, exceeded $5 million, a California federal judge ruled April 18, sending the case back to state court (Nazanin Tehrani v. Macy's West Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-7286, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51713).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 15 granted Apple Inc.'s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action involving smartphones (Thomas A. Palmer v. Apple Inc., No. 5:15-cv-05808, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51823).
SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge on April 15 asked for additional briefing on how to handle differences between California consumer protection laws and those of other states in a UCL, Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., suit over an alleged misrepresentations about a joint supplement (Vincent D. Mullins, et al. v. Premier Nutrition Corp., No. 13-1271, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51139, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51140).
SAN DIEGO - In an opinion filed April 5, a California federal judge granted partial summary judgment to a hair dryer manufacturer in a class action alleging that one of its products is defective and causes fires (Cynthia L. Czuchaj, et al. v. Conair Corp., No 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46693).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an April 1 amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, technology giant Intel Corp. urges the high court to grant a petition for certiorari by Google Inc. in a class complaint over Google's AdWords program brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), arguing that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in permitting certification of a class where "individualized differences in damages" were improperly ignored in favor of "the application of a statistical formula approximating the injury suffered by an average" class member (Google Inc. v. Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al., No. 15-1101, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 31 dismissed senior citizens' class claims that a "continuing care retirement community" senior living center violated the unfair competition law (UCL) by improperly assessing and managing the two fees residents are required to pay to live at the center (Burton Richter, et al. v. CC Palo Alto Inc., et al., No. 5:14-cv-00750, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44912).
SAN DIEGO - On a motion to dismiss, a California federal judge on March 30 allowed an amended unfair competition law (UCL) claim to proceed in a case alleging that plaintiffs were unlawfully overcharged for advertising services on Google (Worldwide Travel v. Travelmate US Inc., No. 14-cv-00155, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43942).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on March 29 denied Exergen Corp.'s motion to dismiss a putative class action alleging deceptive labeling and packaging of the Exergen Temporal Thermometer in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Julie Piro and Michael Hall, et al. v. Exergen Corp., No. 15-cv-118334, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41176).
ORANGE, Calif. - A California appeals panel on March 28 affirmed summary judgment for Lowe's Home Centers LLC (LHC) on a consumer's class action bid for injunctive relief under the state unfair competition law (UCL) enjoining LHC from continuing to sell unvented space heaters for indoor use (Matthew Burger v. Lowe's Home Centers LLC, No. G049771, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2329).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Plaintiffs cannot point to sufficiently specific advertisements or claims made by Apple Inc. regarding the iPhone's Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, a federal judge in California held March 25 in dismissing unfair competition law (UCL), Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., claims with prejudice (David Yastrab, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-1974, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 22 denied a health supplement maker's motion for summary judgment in a class action arising over the advertising and sale of a glucosamine-based supplement (Dragan Vasic, et al. v. Patenthealth LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-849, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37305).
SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on March 18 affirmed a ruling that a man who sued after being denied a loan modification did not state a valid claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL), Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Jonah Mechanic v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. D067080, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2013).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on March 18 found an appeal filed by a couple unhappy with their residential mortgage loan situation was not timely filed and fails to state a claim against one defendant (Erik Rueppel, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. H040953, H041779, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1982).