LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Remands To Allow For Amendments On Animal Research Claims

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on July 5 reversed and remanded a case filed by an animal welfare organization that asserted that a research facility violated California's unfair competition law in relation to its research on goats and rabbits to allow for an amendment to include allegations regarding other species (Stop Animal Exploitation Now v. Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc., No. H039770, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5017).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Action Alleges Snapchat Exposes Minors To Adult Content

LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Action Alleges Snapchat Exposes Minors To Adult Content

LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Class Action Alleges Snapchat Exposes Minors To Adult Content

LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Termination Of Benefits Was Reasonable, California Federal Judge Determines

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 5 determined that a disability claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's benefits because the administrator identified two reasonable jobs within the proper zone that could be performed by the claimant (William Barnett v. Southern California Edison Company Long Term Disability Plan, No. 12-130, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86828).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge: Insurer Hasn't Shown That Judicial Estoppel Should Be Invoked

FRESNO, Calif. - Summary judgment is not warranted in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insurer has failed to show that the doctrine of judicial estoppel should be invoked and has failed to show that no genuine issue of material fact exists related to claims made by insureds in suing the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled July 5 (Halonda Naff, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 15-0515, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86854).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Volkswagen To Pay Additional $86M To California Over Emissions Defeat Devices

SAN FRANCISCO - Volkswagen AG agreed on July 7 to pay an additional $86 million in civil penalties to the state of California to resolve allegations that the car manufacturer installed "defeat devices" in its 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles to evade emissions, according to an unopposed motion to enter a partial consent decree filed in California federal court (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, People of the State of California v. Volkswagen AG, et al., No. 16-cv-3620, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Certifies Class For California Homeowners With Allegedly Defective Roof Tiles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In an order entered July 5, a California federal judge certified a class for consumers whose homes have roofing tiles that were made by Dura-Loc Roofing Systems Limited that are allegedly defective because they are not UV resistant, finding that common evidence and proof can determine if the shingles are defective, if the shingles did not comply with the limited warranty and if Metals USA Inc., the successor to Dura-Loc, can be liable for damages (James Wilson, et al. v. Metals USA Inc., No. 12-CV-0568-KJM-CKD, E.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Plan Administrator Failed To Consider All Evidence, Calif. Federal Judge Says

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A plan administrator abused its discretion by failing to consider a disability claimant's functional capacity evaluation and an award of Social Security disability benefits before terminating the claimant's long-term disability benefits, a California federal judge said June 30 in remanding the benefits claim to the plan administrator (Olga Gorbacheva v. Abbott Laboratories Extended Disability Plan et al., No. 14-2524, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85702).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Approval Of $16M Settlement, Finds Terms Inconsistent With CERCLA

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on July 1 refused to approve a proposed $16 million settlement to resolve a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit over a contaminated site in Compton, Calif., finding that the proposed agreement did not properly assure that the settlement money would be used for recoverable costs (Rev 973 LLC v. John Mouren-Laurens, et al., No. 98-10690, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Certifies Class For California Homeowners With Allegedly Defective Roof Tiles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In an order entered July 5, a California federal judge certified a class for consumers whose homes have roofing tiles that were made by Dura-Loc Roofing Systems Limited that are allegedly defective because they are not UV resistant, finding that common evidence and proof can determine if the shingles are defective, if the shingles did not comply with the limited warranty and if Metals USA Inc., the successor to Dura-Loc, can be liable for damages (James Wilson, et al. v. Metals USA Inc., No. 12-CV-0568-KJM-CKD, E.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Urges Illinois Federal Court To Transfer Reinsurance Case To California

CHICAGO - An insurer told a federal court in Illinois on July 5 that its reinsurer's case against it should be transferred to a federal court in California because the dispute is centered in California and not Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Grants District's Motion To Approve Settlement In Contamination Case

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 1 granted Visalia Unified School District's (VUSD) motion to approve the settlement of a groundwater contamination case in which it agreed to pay $110,000 toward remediation of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination, after finding that the agreement was reached in good faith (Viola Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-cv-01257, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86257).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Uber Drops Comcast Subpoena In Data Breach Suit; Related Appeal Dismissed

SAN FRANCISCO - Two days after Uber Technologies Inc. filed a notice in a California federal court that it was withdrawing a subpoena on Comcast, through which Uber had sought to identify a particular subscriber as part of its suit over a 2014 breach of its network, Uber and that unnamed subscriber stipulated June 29 to dismiss an appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that resulted from a ruling on the subpoena (Uber Technologies Inc. v. John Doe I v. Subscriber, No. 15-16532, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge Denies TRO Against IRS For Pension Plan Levies

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 29 denied a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) sought to stop the Internal Revenue Service from tapping a pension plan to collect back taxes (Jim Nemlowill v. United States of America, No. 16CV1642, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84843).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Institutional Investor Appointed Lead Plaintiff In Securities Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Appointment of an institutional investor as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because the investor has met all statutory requirements to serve in the role and because no other investor has properly rebutted the presumption that the institutional investor is the most adequate lead plaintiff, a federal judge in California ruled June 28 (In re Extreme Networks Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-4883, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84005).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows UCL And FAL Claims Against Design Firm To Proceed

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 29 granted a motion filed by a design company and its employees to dismiss claims against them for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in relation to the construction of a dog daycare facility, but allowed claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL) to proceed (Raymond Yu v. Resign Learned, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-05345, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85591).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Institutional Investor Appointed Lead Plaintiff In Securities Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Appointment of an institutional investor as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because the investor has met all statutory requirements to serve in the role and because no other investor has properly rebutted the presumption that the institutional investor is the most adequate lead plaintiff, a federal judge in California ruled June 28 (In re Extreme Networks Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-4883, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84005).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Jury Awards HP $3 Billion In Contract Dispute With Oracle

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 30 verdict, a California jury awarded Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) $3 billion, finding that Oracle Corp. violated its long-running agreement and partnership with HP by ceasing to offer software that was compatible with HP's primary line of microprocessors (Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle Corp., No. 1-11-cv-203163, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Case Was Properly Removed Under The Convention

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on June 28 denied an estate's motion to remand claims asserted in relation to a deceased seaman, finding that removal was appropriate under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Maren Miller v. Tri Marine Fish Company, et al., No. 16-02203, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83936).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Student Tackled, Injured During Pep Rally Settles For $10.5 Million

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On June 29, the morning a California jury was set to begin deliberations over how much a school district should pay a former student who sustained a severe brain injury during a pep rally, his attorneys announced that the school district had settled the suit for $10.5 million (Mitchell Carter v. Kern High School District, No. S1500-CV-275395, Calif. Super., Kern Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Groupon, Homeowners Argue Over Liability For Botched Asbestos Removal Job

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 24 reply brief supporting its motion to dismiss negligence and fraud claims against it related to a firm's botched asbestos abatement job, Groupon Inc. tells a California federal court that the homeowner plaintiffs' asserted injuries are actually unrelated to a Groupon voucher that they purchased and for which they subsequently received a full refund (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - No Coverage For Alleged $100,000 Loss Due To Computer Fraud, 9th Circuit Affirms

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 28 affirmed that an insurance policy's "authorized representative" exclusion bars coverage for an insured's claim seeking reimbursement of $100,000 in losses arising from computer fraud (Southern California Counseling Center v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 14-56169, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11825).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Groupon, Homeowners Argue Over Liability For Botched Asbestos Removal Job

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 24 reply brief supporting its motion to dismiss negligence and fraud claims against it related to a firm's botched asbestos abatement job, Groupon Inc. tells a California federal court that the homeowner plaintiffs' asserted injuries are actually unrelated to a Groupon voucher that they purchased and for which they subsequently received a full refund (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage For Alleged $100,000 Loss Due To Computer Fraud, 9th Circuit Affirms

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 28 affirmed that an insurance policy's "authorized representative" exclusion bars coverage for an insured's claim seeking reimbursement of $100,000 in losses arising from computer fraud (Southern California Counseling Center v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 14-56169, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11825).