LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Dealer Did Not Breach UCL In Charging Fees, Federal Judge Rules

OAKLAND, Calif. - After finding that the lessor of a vehicle failed to show that a dealership breached a lease agreement with him, a California federal judge on Sept. 1 dismissed his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and dismissed cross-claims asserted by another dealer that was alleged to have accepted assignment of the lease contract (Weerachai Chaiwong v. Hanlees Fremont Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-04074, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142318).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge: 4 Asserted Patents Claim Ineligible Subject Matter

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 1 granted Yahoo! Inc. dismissal of allegations that the search engine infringed four patents, after determining that each of the patents runs afoul of Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101 (TS Patents LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 17-1721, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142573).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Magistrate: Claims That Insured Failed To Pay Wages Do Not Trigger Coverage

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 31 held that a professional liability insurer owes no coverage for underlying class action claims alleging that its staffing services company insured failed to pay wages (W.G. Hall, LLC v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 17-00646, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141389).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Non-Gmail Users' Settlement Of Privacy Claims Against Google Gets Initial OK

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The second attempt to settle a putative class action between Google Inc. and a class of non-Gmail users achieved preliminary approval on Aug. 31, with a California federal judge deeming the proposed settlement of privacy claims related to Google's scanning of non-Gmail users' emails to be "fundamentally fair, adequate and reasonable" (Daniel Matera, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04062, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - California Panel Reverses $471,313 Attorney Fees Award In Construction Defects Suit

SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on Aug. 30 reversed a lower court's $471,313.52 award of attorney fees and resultant $500,000 punitive damages awards against a commercial general liability insurer in a construction defects insurance dispute, finding that the attorney fees award is inconsistent with the damages principles and policies established in Brandt v. Superior Court (1985) 37 Cal.3d 813 (Pulte Home Corp. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. D070478, Calif., App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 748).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses RICO Claims, Finds Lenders Did Not Defraud Company

SAN DIEGO - After finding that lenders did not intentionally defraud a company in relation to payments for insurance and taxes that were not made into an escrow account, California federal judge on Aug. 30 dismissed the company's claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (Crescenzo 1, L.P. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust, et al., No. 3:17-CV-1018, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140186.)

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Citing U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Allows Discovery On Jurisdiction In Asbestos Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - Citing the recent changes to how courts handle jurisdiction wrought by the U.S. Supreme Court's Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California ruling, a Delaware judge on Aug. 30 granted an asbestos plaintiff additional time to conduct discovery into the issue of personal jurisdiction over a Michigan company (Derry L. Middleton, et al. v. McCord Corp., et al., No. N14C-05-261 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Pricing Scheme Claims Against Ralph Lauren

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 found that a consumer who asserted proposed class action claims related to a retailer's pricing lacked standing under California's unfair competition law (UCL) to obtain injunctive relief but allowed other claims asserted under the UCL and for false advertising to proceed (Courtney Dennis v. Ralph Lauren Corporation, No. 16cv1056, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176856).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses RICO Claims, Finds Lenders Did Not Defraud Company

SAN DIEGO - After finding that lenders did not intentionally defraud a company in relation to payments for insurance and taxes that were not made into an escrow account, California federal judge on Aug. 30 dismissed the company's claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (Crescenzo 1, L.P. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust, et al., No. 3:17-CV-1018, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140186.)

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Citing U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Allows Discovery On Jurisdiction In Asbestos Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - Citing the recent changes to how courts handle jurisdiction wrought by the U.S. Supreme Court's Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California ruling, a Delaware judge on Aug. 30 granted an asbestos plaintiff additional time to conduct discovery into the issue of personal jurisdiction over a Michigan company (Derry L. Middleton, et al. v. McCord Corp., et al., No. N14C-05-261 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Pricing Scheme Claims Against Ralph Lauren

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 found that a consumer who asserted proposed class action claims related to a retailer's pricing lacked standing under California's unfair competition law (UCL) to obtain injunctive relief but allowed other claims asserted under the UCL and for false advertising to proceed (Courtney Dennis v. Ralph Lauren Corporation, No. 16cv1056, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176856).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Approves Settlement Of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Coverage Suit

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 29 approved a $2.75 million settlement between Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and a class that claimed that the insurer improperly classified transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an experimental treatment for depression in an effort to avoid covering the procedure (Annette Weil, et al. v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-07074, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139093).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Appeals Panel Affirms $3.75 Million Judgment Against Tobacco Company

LOS ANGELES - A California appellate court on Aug. 30 affirmed a $3.75 million verdict in a product defect and negligence suit against a tobacco company to the widow of a man who died from lung cancer after finding that the trial court did not err in excluding evidence of the man's exposure to asbestos (Tajie Major v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. B260355, Calif. App. 2nd Dist. 8th Div., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 749).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Firm's Release Of Confidential Documents Amounts To 'Misconduct,' Monsanto Says

SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Aug. 29 filed a brief in a California federal court arguing that plaintiffs' counsel in a multidistrict litigation regarding the herbicide Roundup improperly released to the public confidential company documents about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, and now the plaintiffs' counsel wants to expunge the record of documents related to that "misconduct" (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Upholds Agreement Extending Deadlines For EPA's Emission Designations

SAN FRANCISCO - A 2-1 panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal judge in California's ruling approving a settlement between two environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that extended the deadline for which the agency must make designations on an area's emissions of sulfur dioxide, holding that the extension of the deadline does not adversely impact claims brought by states saying the agency's delay in making those decisions is harmful (Sierra Club, et al. v. North Dakota, et al., No. 15-15894, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16400).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Borrower Files Class Action, Claims Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Interest Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Expert Testing, Opinion, From Talc Trial

LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly excluded an asbestos expert's testing and resulting causation opinion after concluding that chain-of-custody concerns regarding vintage bottles of talcum powder rendered the evidence unreliable, a California appeals court held Aug. 25 (Delgadina Alfaro v. Imerys Talc America Inc., et al., No. B277284, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5875).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Borrower Files Class Action, Claims Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Interest Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Users Replead Contractual Claims In Cookie-Tracking Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two months after a California federal judge dismissed with prejudice most of the privacy-related claims in a putative class action accusing Facebook Inc. of tracking users' internet activity without their consent, the lead plaintiffs on Aug. 25 filed a third amended consolidated complaint restating two contractual claims alleging that the social network violated its assurances that it would not engage in such tracking (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Contractor Did Not Consent To Trying Vinyl Siding Negligence Theory

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 24 denied an insurer's motion to add a new negligence theory of liability related to coverage for an apartment complex fire, finding that a contractor did not give its implied consent to trying the theory and that amendment to the pleadings would prejudice the contractor (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Danco Builders, et al., No. 15-cv-03945, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136338).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Expert Testing, Opinion, From Talc Trial

LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly excluded an asbestos expert's testing and resulting causation opinion after concluding that chain-of-custody concerns regarding vintage bottles of talcum powder rendered the evidence unreliable, a California appeals court held Aug. 25 (Delgadina Alfaro v. Imerys Talc America Inc., et al., No. B277284, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5875).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Agree To Move Storage Of Spent Nuclear Fuel To Off-Site Location

SAN DIEGO - Parties in a dispute over a permit that allowed an energy company to store spent nuclear waste at the site of a decommissioned power plant in California on Aug. 25 agreed to resolve the lawsuit in a stipulation in California state court, wherein the owner of the facility agreed to move the spent nuclear fuel for off-site storage (Citizens Oversight Inc., et al. v. California Coastal Commission, et al., No. 37-2015-00037137-CU-WM-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).