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Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Previous Case Bars Action Against Lender, Loan Servicer, Judge Holds

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a previous lawsuit filed by borrowers involved the same primary issues and parties, a California federal judge on May 24 dismissed a second lawsuit in which the borrowers asserted causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other claims as barred by res judicata (Thomas S. Lin, et al. v. Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, et al., No. 18-1153, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88075).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Previous Case Bars Action Against Lender, Loan Servicer, Judge Holds

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a previous lawsuit filed by borrowers involved the same primary issues and parties, a California federal judge on May 24 dismissed a second lawsuit in which the borrowers asserted causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other claims as barred by res judicata (Thomas S. Lin, et al. v. Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, et al., No. 18-1153, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88075).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Panel Overturns Ruling Enforcing Settlement Of Defective Windows Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - A California trial court erred when granting a plaintiff's motion to enforce the terms of a settlement agreement with the manufacturer of allegedly defective windows, a state appeals panel ruled May 24, holding that none of the settling parties had consented to the agreement in court or in a signed writing as required by California law (Theresa Teuma v. Marvin Lumber & Cedar Co., et al., No. A149733, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3631).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Grants Facebook's Emergency Stay Motion In Biometric Privacy Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The same day that a California federal judge denied Facebook Inc.'s motion to stay proceedings in a suit over its alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 granted the social network's emergency motion to stay trial court proceedings pending its appeal of a class certification ruling (Namesh Patel, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 18-80053, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Holds Bank's Response To Borrower Was Sufficient, Dismisses Complaint

SAN DIEGO - After finding that a bank's response to a borrower's qualified written request was sufficient and that missing information from loan modification documents would not stop foreclosure, a California federal judge on May 25 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action (Robert Vaughn v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al., No. 17-cv-2365, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88518).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Panel Vacates Decision After High Court Holds UCL Claim Was Not Preempted

SANTA ANA, Calif. - After a recent ruling in which the California Supreme Court held that a district attorney's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law asserted against a plastics maker in relation to an explosion that killed two employees were not preempted by federal occupational safety and health law, an appeals court vacated its earlier ruling granting the company's petition for writ of mandate and remanded the case to the trial court (Solus Industrial Innovations LLC, et al. v. The Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. G047661, Cal. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Holds Bank's Response To Borrower Was Sufficient, Dismisses Complaint

SAN DIEGO - After finding that a bank's response to a borrower's qualified written request was sufficient and that missing information from loan modification documents would not stop foreclosure, a California federal judge on May 25 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action (Robert Vaughn v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al., No. 17-cv-2365, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88518).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Apple Wins Stay, But Dismissal Motion Denied, In California Patent Case

SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by Apple Inc. that a patent owner failed to undertake an adequate pre-suit investigation - thereby justifying an award of sanctions - were turned away May 26 by a California federal judge, who found that the software giant failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the underlying complaint is not "well-founded" (Uniloc United States of America Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 18-362, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88534.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Panel Vacates Decision After High Court Holds UCL Claim Was Not Preempted

SANTA ANA, Calif. - After a recent ruling in which the California Supreme Court held that a district attorney's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law asserted against a plastics maker in relation to an explosion that killed two employees were not preempted by federal occupational safety and health law, an appeals court vacated its earlier ruling granting the company's petition for writ of mandate and remanded the case to the trial court (Solus Industrial Innovations LLC, et al. v. The Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. G047661, Cal. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California High Court: Public Social Media Posts Discoverable Under SCA

SAN FRANCISCO - The Stored Communications Act (SCA) prohibits a service provider from disclosing only communications that are private or for restricted audiences, the California Supreme Court held May 24, affirming in part an appeals court's reversal of an order requiring three social media provider to submit users' posts sought by two murder suspects, but remanding for a trial court to make additional findings and complete the record (Facebook Inc., et al. v. The Superior Court of San Francisco City and County, et al., No. S230051, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 3635).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California High Court: Public Social Media Posts Discoverable Under SCA

SAN FRANCISCO - The Stored Communications Act (SCA) prohibits a service provider from disclosing only communications that are private or for restricted audiences, the California Supreme Court held May 24, affirming in part an appeals court's reversal of an order requiring three social media provider to submit users' posts sought by two murder suspects, but remanding for a trial court to make additional findings and complete the record (Facebook Inc., et al. v. The Superior Court of San Francisco City and County, et al., No. S230051, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 3635).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Johnson & Johnson Loses Second Asbestos Trial; Punitives Push Award To $25.75M

WEST COVINA, Calif. - A California jury on May 24 added $4 million in punitive damages to an asbestos-tainted talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson, bringing the total verdict to $25.75 million, sources told Mealey's Publications. The company has now been hit with more than $142 million in damages a little more than a month (Joanne Anderson, et al. Borg Warner Corp., et al., BC666513, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Apple's Award Increased To $538 Million Following Smartphone Patent Retrial

SAN FRANCISCO - Following five days of deliberation, jurors empaneled before U.S. Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California on May 24 returned a verdict in favor of Apple Inc., awarding the software giant $538,641,616 in connection with infringement of three design and two utility patents (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California University, Campus Gynecologist Hit With Sexual Abuse Class Suit

LOS ANGELES - A former University of Southern California (USC) student filed a class complaint on May 21 in a California federal court accusing the university, the university's board and the school's campus gynecologist, George Tyndall, M.D., of violating the trust of a class of female students treated by the doctor who is accused of sexually abusing students over the course of three decades (Lucy Chi, et al. v. University of Southern California, et al., No. 18-4258, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Magistrate Judge Recommends Dismissal Of Condo Purchaser's UCL Case

DENVER - A Colorado magistrate judge on May 21 granted dismissal in favor of a hotel company and its subsidiaries, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over a borrower's causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in relation to an alleged failure to provide notice of his right to rescind (Jason Brooks v. Tarsadia Hotels, et al., No. 17-cv-03172, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84396).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Majority Won't Reconsider Denial Of States' Motion To Intervene In Dispute With DOL

NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 denied a motion by California, New York and Oregon to reconsider their motion to intervene in a majority ruling that reversed a Texas federal court's decision rejecting business groups' challenges of the U.S. Department of Labor's "fiduciary rule" and vacated the rule in toto (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., American Council of Life Insurers, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, et al. v. R. Alexander Acosta, et al., No. 17-10238, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Federal Jury Rules In Favor Of Chemical Company In Groundwater Case

LOS ANGELES - A federal jury in California on May 17 issued a take-nothing judgment in favor of a chemical company that had been sued by the city of Pomona, Calif., which alleged that the company was liable for contaminating the city's drinking water with perchlorate (Pomona v. SQM North America Corporation, No. 11-167, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Won't Query Copyright Office Over Registrations

SAN DIEGO - In two orders issued May 21, a California federal judge refused to issue a request that the Register of Copyrights reconsider registrations issued to Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP for "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" ("Go!") and "Sneetches" but granted a defendant judgment on the pleadings with regard to Seuss' related allegations of trademark infringement (Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP v. ComicMix LLC, et al., No. 16-2779, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84986, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84985).

Mealey's Insurance - Class Suit Fails To Allege Covered Disparagement Claim, California Panel Affirms

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on May 21 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an underlying consumer class action alleging that a shampoo manufacturer insured falsely advertised its hair products as "organic" does not trigger a covered disparagement claim under its insurance policy (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Vogue International, LLC, et al., No. A150921, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3467).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Golden State Warriors Fan Voluntarily Dismisses App Eavesdropping Class Action

OAKLAND, Calif. - After engaging in arbitration, a New York woman filed a stipulation in California federal court May 17, voluntarily dismissing a putative class action under the Electronic Communications Privacy App (ECPA) against National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors and a technology firm, disposing of her allegations of eavesdropping via the team's smartphone app (LaTisha Satchell v. Signal360 Inc., et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - States Seek Reconsideration Of Motions To Intervene In DOL Fiduciary Rule Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - California, New York and Oregon on May 16 moved for reconsideration of a majority of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' denial of their motion to intervene in a dispute over the U.S. Department of Labor's "fiduciary rule," contending that they will suffer "grave harm" as a result of the majority's March 15 decision to vacate the fiduciary rule (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., American Council of Life Insurers, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., Indexed Annuity Leadership Council, et al. v. R. Alexander Acosta, et al., No. 17-10238, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Courier Asserts UCL, PAGA Claims Against Delivery Service In California Court

SAN FRANCISCO - A delivery courier on May 15 filed a class action complaint against a same-day delivery courier service in a California state court, alleging that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code when it misclassified employees as independent contractors (Raef Lawson v. Deliv Inc., No. 566577, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Courier Asserts UCL, PAGA Claims Against Delivery Service In California Court

SAN FRANCISCO - A delivery courier on May 15 filed a class action complaint against a same-day delivery courier service in a California state court, alleging that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code when it misclassified employees as independent contractors (Raef Lawson v. Deliv Inc., No. 566577, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Courier Asserts UCL, PAGA Claims Against Delivery Service In California Court

SAN FRANCISCO - A delivery courier on May 15 filed a class action complaint against a same-day delivery courier service in a California state court, alleging that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code when it misclassified employees as independent contractors (Raef Lawson v. Deliv Inc., No. 566577, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Evidence Lacking Against Asbestos-Talc Defendant, California Court Says

LOS ANGELES - Factually devoid discovery responses and questionable chain of custody over allegedly asbestos-tainted talc samples sinks a man's case, a California appeals court affirmed May 16 (John Wittman v. Coty Inc., No. B286135, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).