LOS ANGELES - After finding that an investor adequately pleaded that financial advisers deliberately made misrepresentations and concealed information about the risks associated with investments, a California federal judge on Dec. 9 entered a default ruling in her favor for $1,070,972.88 (Julie Marshall v. Platinum Global Advisors, LLC, et al., No. 16-672, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171588.)
SAN DIEGO - Affirming two lower courts' rulings, the California Supreme Court on Dec. 12 determined that online travel companies (OTCs) do not meet the definition of hotel "operators" in a San Diego tax ordinance and, thus, are not liable for paying transient occupancy tax amounts assessed by the city on hotel customers (In Re Transient Occupancy Tax Cases, No. S218400, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 9592).
SAN FRANCISCO - A retirement system failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions in pleading its federal securities law claims against a seller of hybrid data storage products and certain of its executive officers, but it may be able to cure its deficiencies with amendment of its complaint, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 9 (In re Nimble Storage Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-5803, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170924).
SAN DIEGO - A candy company former employee who filed a wage and hour class complaint against her former employer may proceed only with two of her individual claims, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division I, ruled Dec. 9, upholding summary judgment for the employer on the other remaining causes of action, including the class claims (Pamela Silva v. See's Candy Shops, Inc., No. D068136, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8895).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 9 scheduled a bench trial in a disability benefits dispute after determining that it is not clear from the available evidence whether a claimant's prior disability claims factored into the insurer's decision to deny a third disability claim (Robert Bosley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-139, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170872).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that the residents of a condominium complex alleged facts to support violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on Dec. 12 refused to dismiss the UCL claim, but granted the motion as to a request for punitive damages (Melody Chapman, et al. v. The Bluffs of Fox Run Homeowners Association, No. 16-cv-489, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171537).
LOS ANGELES - A video-on-demand (VOD) provider was hit with a preliminary injunction by a California federal judge Dec. 12 that prevents the firm from streaming, copying or editing works owned by the plaintiff movie studios, which accuse the company of infringement and circumventing their works' anti-piracy technology (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The South Carolina federal judge overseeing the Lipitor diabetes multidistrict litigation on Dec. 9 remanded another group of California cases to state court, finding that a California-based distributor was not fraudulent joined (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 14-mn-2502, D. S.C.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Five putative class actions against Yahoo! Inc. related to a data breach the internet giant announced in September were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) in a Dec. 7 transfer order (In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:16-md-02752, N.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 ordered a property owner to show cause as to why his claims against Nationstar Mortgage LLC should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute and why sanctions should not be imposed for fees incurred by the lender (Frank J. Arlasky v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 15-01514, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169421).
LOS ANGELES - Summary judgment is warranted against insureds in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insureds have failed to show that their insurer breached its contract in failing to pay their claims for benefits or denied their requests for a defense or indemnification, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 6 (Julie Sohn, et al. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., et al., No. 15-8841, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168555).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 6 granted a technology company's motion to dismiss a counterclaim asserted by the maker of a mobile application that allows for credit card payments to taxicab drivers, finding no facts to support its claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Creative Mobile Technologies LLC v. Flywheel Software Inc., No. 16-cv-02560, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168569).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a district court's decision to grant summary judgment on claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligence, wrongful foreclosure and other claims asserted against Wells Fargo Bank N.A., finding that the borrower failed to submit any disputed facts and that the claims were preempted (Dennly R. Becker v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; Dennley R. Becker and Becker Trust Dated March 25, 1991 v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA, et al., No. 13-16772, Nos. 14-16783, 15-15322, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21715).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 5 dismissed claims for wrongful foreclosure and violations of the California civil code against two mortgage-related entities but granted a borrower leave to file a second amended complaint against one lender in relation to the foreclosure of her property (Sadie S. Shaw v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-01755, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167720).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The family of a 6-year-old girl who was injured while undergoing a "baby root canal" procedure filed suit on Dec. 5 in California state court against the dentist who performed the procedure and the practice for which he worked (Ericka Lorena Mendez, et al. v. Jerry Minsky D.D.S., et al., No. 30-2016-00890590, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer involved in an environmental contamination coverage dispute claims in a Dec. 1 motion for partial summary judgment filed in California federal court that it is entitled to reimbursement of the deductible it paid on behalf of its insured because the policy at issue specifically states that the deductible includes claim expenses such as defense costs (American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 15-03611, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 1, because an insurer failed to show that the amount in controversy meets the statutory requirements for removal (Jules Kraut, et al. v. Bankers Life and Casualty Co., No. 16-6791, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166929).
NEW YORK - Attorneys for oil and gasoline companies, as well as those representing a California water district, on Dec. 5 presented oral arguments before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals debating the applicability of a res judicata order in a groundwater contamination case involving methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (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.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 30 determined that a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion when it terminated a claimant's short-term disability benefits because the insurer's termination was based on reliable evidence (Greg Martin v. Aetna Life Insurance Co. et al., No. 15-7355, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166120).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Dec. 1 affirmed a lower court's attorney fee award in favor of an insurer except as to $9,994.76 in fees that were not recoverable, reducing the total award to $73,218.29 (Wertheim LLC v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co., No. B268539, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8558).