SAN DIEGO - A California appeals court on Jan. 20 affirmed a trial court's decision to award a mortgage company fees it incurred and an award of sanctions but reversed a ruling that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to strike her voluntary dismissal and enter judgment against her (Gwendolyn Wilson v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. D070965, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 431).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 23 granted final approval of a $1.67 billion settlement of a class action against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that creates a $1.21 billion settlement fund and provides additional benefits to hundreds of VW franchise dealers in the United States that suffered as a result of the diesel emissions cheating scandal (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2672; Napleton Orlando Imports LLC, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. 3:16cv2086, N.D. Calif.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 found that a lower federal court properly applied California law in finding that a bank insured breached its professional liability insurance policy by failing to request or obtain the insurer's written consent before executing a settlement in an underlying mortgage loan dispute (OneWest Bank, FSB, v. Houston Casualty Co., No. 15-55579, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 993).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 19 granted certiorari to drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) on whether Plavix injury claims can arise in California state courts when there is no causal link between BMS's forum contact and the plaintiffs' claims (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, et al., No. 16-466, U.S. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California woman on Jan. 13 filed a class action complaint in federal court alleging that she and other women have been wrongfully denied access to and coverage for a vital women's preventive service - breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling - for which coverage is mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 4:17-cv-00183, N.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Single calls placed to each health insurance customer about policy renewals were not telemarketing or advertising, a California federal judge ruled Jan. 13, granting summary judgment to the insurance provider in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class complaint (Shannon Smith, et al. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company, No. 16-108, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5620).
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a Jan. 13 motion in California federal court, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. again seek dismissal of terrorism-aiding claims brought against them by the father of a terror victim, asserting that such claims are barred by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Reynaldo Gonzalez v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-03282, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - Seventy-two days before the start of a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the parties on Jan. 16 reported to a California federal judge that "[d]espite the best efforts of the parties, they have been unable to settle the case" (Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 agreed to hear an appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling affirming that shareholders that filed a securities class action lawsuit after opting out of settlement class against the same defendants were barred from doing so as their claims were outside the statute of repose (California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody Investors Service Inc., et al., No. 16-373, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 certified two questions to the California Supreme Court regarding whether California's notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy for the purpose of choice-of-law analysis and whether a consent provision can be interpreted as a notice provision (Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No.. 14-56017, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 668).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that two borrowers failed to adequately plead their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and negligence, a California federal judge on Jan. 10 granted a motion to dismiss filed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (Michelle A. Graham, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 3:15-cv-04220. N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3598).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp. on Jan. 10 filed a brief in California federal court contending that a recent decision handed down by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supports its contention that a proposed class representing Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion should not be granted class status because the plaintiffs do not meet the criteria for certification (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - An investor in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against 17 current and former executive officers and directors of a drug company has failed to show that the defendants were interested in the outcome of the litigation or that their actions were in violation of the business judgment rule under Aronson v. Lewis, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 10 in granting the company's motion to dismiss (Judy Durgin v. Kevin Sharer, et al., No. 07-3001, C.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 granted a retailer's motion to compel supplemental responses to certain discovery requests from a purchaser who asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising and other claims related to its pricing (Marilyn Sperling v. Stein Mart Inc., et al., No. 15-1411, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3668).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals panel on Jan. 10 affirmed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer seeking recoupment of the costs it incurred in defending its agents against claims it brought against the agents involving trade secrets (State Farm Fire And Casualty Co. v. Richard Pyorre, No. A147302, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1).