LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Landscaper: Reinsurer's Service Of Suit Over Arbitration Award Was Defective

LOS ANGELES - A landscape company says in its June 10 reply brief to a California federal court that service of suit was defective regarding a reinsurer's petition seeking confirmation of a $82,130.44 arbitration award (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. O'Connell Landscape Maintenance Inc., No. 18-00683, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Magistrate Judge Dismisses UCL, HBOR Claims Against Wells Fargo

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on June 7 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) with leave to amend, holding that she failed to plead sufficient facts to show that a lender violated the laws in relation to a loan modification (Julie Galvez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-cv-06003, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96300).

Mealey's Health Law - Judge Denies General Practitioner's Motion To Vacate Fraud Conviction

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 8 denied a general practitioner's motion for acquittal on charges of health care fraud, finding that the spreadsheets and explanation of benefit (EOB) documents presented by the government constituted sufficient evidence showing that the doctor submitted fraudulent claims to insurance companies (United States of America v. Vilasini Ganesh, et al., No. 16cr00211, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97028).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Data Analytics Firm Says Ticketmaster Ruling Does Not Affect CFAA Case

SAN FRANCISCO - In a June 6 response brief, a data analytics firm tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a recent California federal court ruling in favor of Ticketmaster LLC is not applicable to the present appeal regarding access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-16783, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Magistrate Judge Dismisses UCL, HBOR Claims Against Wells Fargo

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on June 7 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) with leave to amend, holding that she failed to plead sufficient facts to show that a lender violated the laws in relation to a loan modification (Julie Galvez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-cv-06003, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96300).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Settlement In Principle Reached In Long-Running YouTube Fair Use Case

OAKLAND, Calif. - One year after a YouTube user was denied certiorari on questions of fair use and good faith surrounding the takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a California federal magistrate judge announced in a June 6 minute entry that the parties in the 11-year old case had "reached in principle" a settlement of the remaining issues (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 4:07-cv-03783, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies General Practitioner's Motion To Vacate Fraud Conviction

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 8 denied a general practitioner's motion for acquittal on charges of health care fraud, finding that the spreadsheets and explanation of benefit (EOB) documents presented by the government constituted sufficient evidence showing that the doctor submitted fraudulent claims to insurance companies (United States of America v. Vilasini Ganesh, et al., No. 16cr00211, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97028).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows UCL, Warranty Claims Over Single-Serve Coffee Filters To Proceed

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 5 refused to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of warranty asserted by a consumer who alleges that a coffee filter's label was misleading, finding that she pleaded sufficient allegations in support of her claims against the seller and maker of the filter (Gina Beckman v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-02249, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95414).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer: Motion To Dismiss Suit Over Arbitration Award Is Improper

LOS ANGELES - In a dispute seeking confirmation of a $82,130.44 arbitration award, a reinsurer argues in a June 4 motion in California federal court that a landscape company's motion to dismiss is "procedurally and substantively improper" (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. O'Connell Landscape Maintenance Inc., No. 18-00683, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - JPMDL Centralizes Facebook Data-Sharing Suits In California Federal Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A growing list of class actions against Facebook Inc. over the sharing of millions of social network users' personal data by a third-party app developer will be centralized in California federal court, the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled June 6, granting a motion to transfer by two of the plaintiffs (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 2843, JPMDL).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Court: UCL Claim Escapes ERISA Preemption, But Not Summary Judgment

LOS ANGELES - Intentional tort claims escape ERISA preemption, but the failure to allege that insurance defendants denied payments specifically to assist a competing provider dooms a chiropractic care provider's unfair competition law (UCL) claim, a California appeals court held in an opinion published June 1 (Port Medical Wellness Inc. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. B275874, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court: UCL Claim Escapes ERISA Preemption, But Not Summary Judgment

LOS ANGELES - Intentional tort claims escape ERISA preemption, but the failure to allege that insurance defendants denied payments specifically to assist a competing provider dooms a chiropractic care provider's unfair competition law (UCL) claim, a California appeals court held in an opinion published June 1 (Port Medical Wellness Inc. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. B275874, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Mars Had No Duty To Disclose Child Labor; 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal

PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a chocolate products maker had no duty to disclose on its labels the existence of child and slave labor in its supply chain, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed dismissal of a purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws for failure to state a claim (Robert Hodson v. Mars Inc., et al., No. 16-15444, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15013).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California School District, Water Company Sue Dow, Others For Water Contamination

SAN FRANCISCO - A California school district and a water company on June 4 filed two separate complaints against The Dow Chemical Co. in California state court, contending that it and other chemical companies are liable for contaminating the local groundwater with 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP) (Superior Mutual Water Company v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566968, Rio Bravo-Greeley Union School District v. The Dow Chemical Company, et al., No. CGC-18-566967, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

Mealey's Health Law - Court: UCL Claim Escapes ERISA Preemption, But Not Summary Judgment

LOS ANGELES - Intentional tort claims escape ERISA preemption, but the failure to allege that insurance defendants denied payments specifically to assist a competing provider dooms a chiropractic care provider's unfair competition law (UCL) claim, a California appeals court held in an opinion published June 1 (Port Medical Wellness Inc. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. B275874, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge OKs Use Of Company Employees As Experts

SAN DIEGO - Two nonretained experts for a company that makes auto transmissions can offer opinions as experts, rather than as lay witnesses, even though they both work for the company, which is trying to fend off product liability class claims, a California federal judge decided June 4 (Carlos Victorino, et al. v. FCA US LLC, No. 16-cv-1617, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93776).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investor Found To Have Failed To Plead Securities Claims With Particularity

OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 4 ruled that the lead plaintiff in a securities class action failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in arguing that a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company and certain of its senior executives concealed from investors certain adverse events observed in a phase III clinical trial for the company's hepatitis B drug in violation of federal securities laws (In re Dynavax Securities Litigation, No. 16-6690, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93831).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Mars Had No Duty To Disclose Child Labor; 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal

PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a chocolate products maker had no duty to disclose on its labels the existence of child and slave labor in its supply chain, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed dismissal of a purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws for failure to state a claim (Robert Hodson v. Mars Inc., et al., No. 16-15444, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15013).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Again Reverses Trade Dress Functionality Finding

SAN FRANCISCO - For the second time in three years, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 5 vacated and remanded a California federal judge's finding that the use of the color bright green for foam ear plugs is functional and thus unprotectable as trade dress (Moldex-Metrix Inc. v. McKeon Products Inc., No. 16-55548, 9th Cir, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15064).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Won't Disqualify Counsel In 'Twit' Trademark Case

SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by a trademark infringement plaintiff to disqualify counsel for Twitter Inc. on the basis of a prior relationship with the plaintiff surrounding patent litigation which never materialized were rejected June 1 by a California federal judge (TWiT LLC v. Twitter Inc., No. 18-341, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92321).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Magistrate Judge Approves Settlement Of UCL, Fraud Claims Over Trailer Sales

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on June 1 ordered a truck sales company and its owner to show cause as to why sanctions should not be issued against them for failure to pay a settlement agreement and recommended that the agreement in settlement of another company's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action be approved (Golden State Truck Sales Inc., et al. v. Bay Trailer Sales LLC, et al., No. 2:16-cv-580, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92306).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Means-Plus-Function Findings Not Adequately Supported, Federal Circuit Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's determination that three claims of two patents are invalid as indefinite, based upon findings that the claims recite means-plus-function terms without sufficient corresponding structure, were vacated June 1 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in a loss for Apple Inc. (Zeroclick LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 17-1267, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14581).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Objection To Liquidator's Allowance Of Administrative Expense Claims

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on June 1 upheld the California Insurance Guarantee Association's (CIGA) objection to a petition by the liquidator for three insolvent insurers for the allowance of claims for administrative expenses of certain state insurance guaranty associations (Illinois, ex rel., Jennifer Hammer v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., et al., No. 1-17-0996, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div., 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 320).

Mealey's Insurance - California Majority: Claims Against Employer Allege Occurrence Under CGL Policy

SAN FRANCISCO - In answering a question of "exceptional importance" from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a majority of the California Supreme Court on June 4 found that third-party claims against an employer for negligent hiring, retention and supervision of its employee qualify as an "occurrence" under the employer's commercial general liability (CGL) policy (Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation, et al. v. Ledesma and Meyer Construction Company, Inc., et al., No. S236765, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 4063).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Investor Voluntarily Dismisses Infringement, UCL Claims Related To Patents

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 31 voluntarily dismissed an inventor's trade dress and patent infringement claims asserted against a company and its owners in relation to an allegedly copied patent for glassware features, but granted his request to dismiss his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) without prejudice to refiling (Elliot Kremerman v. Open Source Steel, LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-953, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171735).