SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on June 13 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a dispute over coverage for an individual dentist's claim for lost dental practice income due to a sewage backup (William A. Gilbert v. The Dentists Insurance Company, Inc., No. C075959, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4041).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a proposed settlement of class action claims seeking penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) did not leave the class members with a clear option for asserting their non-PAGA claims, a California federal judge on June 12 denied a joint motion for approval of the agreement (David Vargas v. Central Freight Lines Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-00507, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90070).
LOS ANGELES - An evidentiary hearing should have been held to determine whether a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer had sufficient information in 2010 to begin an investigation into whether a man committed insurance fraud by further damaging a tow truck, a California appeals panel ruled June 12 (Mark Jeffrey Tornow v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, et al., No. B271895, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 7th Div., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub LEXIS 4020).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 12 refused to strike a wine maker's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and another claim in relation to its alleged misuse of a trademark for a chardonnay, finding that the owner of the mark showed a probability of prevailing on its claims (JaM Cellars Inc. v. Vintage Wine Estates Inc., No. 17-01133, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90002).
SAN FRANCISCO - Following a one-day bench trial, a California federal judge on June 13 determined that a disability claimant submitted sufficient evidence showing that he was disabled under a plan's "own occupation" provision but failed to prove that he was disabled under the plan's "any occupation" standard (Robert Bosley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-00139, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90803).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals panel on June 12 reversed a lower court's finding that an insurer was entitled to rescind an "Owners, Landlords & Tenants Liability Coverage" insurance policy, finding that the insurer failed to satisfy its burden of showing that the insured made material misrepresentations on the insurance application (Victor Duarte v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co., No. A143828, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 9 granted in part and denied in part a retired bus driver's motion to conditionally certify a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Robert Estorga v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, No. 16-02668, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89200).
SAN DIEGO - Haeggquist & Eck on June 12 announced that it has joined other firms in prosecuting a class action lawsuit filed against Williams-Sonoma currently pending in a California federal court in which claimants assert that the retailer knowingly misrepresented thread counts on the packaging of several products (William Rushing v. Williams-Sonoma Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-01421, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on June 9 affirmed a trial court's ruling that a patient, who alleged that a health care provider violated her privacy when it submitted her private health records as exhibits to a complaint in a debt collection action, did not err when it refused to award her fees because she could not show a probability of prevailing on her claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Kathleen Leonard v. Retailer's Credit Association of Grass Valley, Inc., No. C079880, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3949).
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 vacated and remanded a summary judgment ruling in a groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a California water district against oil and gasoline companies on grounds that a district court's res judicata ruling was not appropriate because privity was not established (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation: Orange County Water District v. Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc. n/ka TMR Company, No. 15-3934, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10412).
LOS ANGELES - A company's failure to try to contain a memo containing confidential attorney-client advice for more than three years, even as it went "viral" in asbestos litigation, warrants denying a motion to seal, a California appeals court held June 8 (Elaine Margie Paulus, et al. v. J-M Manufacturing Company Inc., No. B269904, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
SEATTLE - A broker's sales of asbestos to a California company selling pipe in Washington state do not create specific jurisdiction, but on remand the trial court should consider recently revealed evidence and precedent in deciding that the state had jurisdiction, a majority of the Washington State Supreme Court held June 8 (Candance Noll, et al. v. American Biltrite Inc., et al., No. 91998-4, Wash. Sup.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on June 8 granted the voluntary dismissal of a coverage lawsuit between the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as assignee of certain claims by a failed bank, and an insolvent insurer's receiver (Thomas T. Hawker, et al. v. John D. Doak, insurance commissioner as receiver for Red Rock Insurance Co. f/k/a BancInsure Inc., No. 12-1261 E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88319).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 6 stayed a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for false advertising, referring the issue of whether the maker of Silk Almondmilk made misleading statements on its packaging about the ingredients of the milk to the Food and Drug Administration for review (Melanie Kelley v. WWF Operating Company, No. 1:17-cv-117, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86971).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 5 reversed a disability insurer's termination of long-term disability (LTD) benefits after determining that the insurer failed to properly consider the reports of the claimant's treating physicians when it found that the claimant was not disabled from the duties of her regular occupation (Lisa Gallegos v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-1268, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86123).
SAN FRANCISCO - The government contractor defense applies to commercial products, a California appeals court panel affirmed June 6 in refusing to revisit a previous finding in an asbestos case (Jay Wanlass v. Metalclad Insulation Corp., No. A143616, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
LOS ANGELES - Employers and premises owners are liable for foreseeable take-home asbestos exposures under recent California Supreme Court precedent, a state appeals court held June 5 in reversing its previous ruling (Wanda L. Beckering v. Shell Oil Co., No. B256407, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on June 2 affirmed a trial court's decision to impose $6,828,000 in civil penalties against an online retailer after determining that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) when it made untrue and misleading statements about pricing, finding that the trial court's penalty was not constitutionally disproportionate (The People v. Overstock.com Inc., No. A141613, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 506).