SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 19 certified a class of insureds accusing their health insurance provider of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands and claiming that the provider is an ERISA fiduciary under 29 U.S. Code Section 1104(a) "and therefore owes a duty to discharge its duties 'with . . . care, skill, prudence, and diligence' and 'solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries'" (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127435).
LOS ANGELES - Parties to a proposed $12.25 million limited-fund, mandatory class settlement for pelvic mesh injury claims against Caldera Medical Inc. on Sept. 19 told a California federal judge that after a court-ordered analysis of the company's liquidation value, it has a negative liquidation value and can contribute nothing more to the settlement (Federal Insurance Company v. Caldera Medical, Inc., et al., No. 15-393, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 15 stayed claims asserted by consumers for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action asserted against a seller of snack foods pending the outcome of a decision by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of the word "natural" on product labels (In re: Kind LLC "Health and All Natural" Litigation, Nos. 15-MD-2645 [WHP],15-MC-2645 [WHP], S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125752).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In an unpublished opinion, a California federal judge on Sept. 14 remanded claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and wrongful foreclosure to state court, finding that a borrower failed to show that diversity jurisdiction existed because both the borrower and a law firm named as defendant were citizens of California (Jin Ju Sung v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 16-1797, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125198).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Sept. 13 dismissed a class action involving a recalled device that measures patients' blood clotting times, but gave the plaintiffs leave to file an amended complaint (Dina Andren, et al. v. Alere, Inc., et al., No. 16-1255, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124252).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 12 granted a request to remand claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted by operators of sleep centers in relation to allegedly unpaid medical care by insurers, finding that the district court lacked federal jurisdiction (Northern Va. Operating Co. LLC, et al. v. CIGNA Healthcare of Ca. Inc., et al., No. 16-5168, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124291).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 14 granted a motion filed by a producer of mulch that was sold by Lowes Home Centers LLC to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other California law claims in relation to the amount of mulch that is in the bags, finding that a purchaser lacked standing (Glenn McMillan v. Lowes Home Centers LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00695, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125162).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a putative class complaint filed Sept. 12 in California federal court, a New York man alleges breach of contract and unfair competition against Apple Inc. for its purported failure to live up to its pledge to annually furnish the latest models of iPhones to members of its "iPhone Upgrade Program" (Emil Frank v. Apple Inc., No. 5:16-cv-05217, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Sept. 13 granted three California plaintiffs' motion to sever and transfer their class action claims against a cleaning franchisor to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, saying that California has a greater interest in this case and that all claims brought by Massachusetts plaintiffs have been dismissed (Giovani Depianti, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising Inc., No. 08-10663, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124106).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer who has accused Goya Foods Inc. of using squid in its products labeled as octopus may proceed with his breach of warranty claims, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 8, granting in part and denying in part a dismissal motion (Luis Diego Zapata Fonseca v. Goya Foods Inc., No. 16-2559, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121716).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 8 found that an orthopedic medical products supplier lacked standing to assert claims for violation of California law, granting a motion filed by another medical supplier to dismiss the case (Golden State Orthopaedics Inc. Howmedica Osteonics Corporation d/b/a Stryker Orthopaedics, No. 14-cv-3073, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121710).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 8 vacated a Sept. 22 hearing on an insurer's motion to stay and for permission to appeal the issue of whether concealment in an insurance policy rescission lawsuit is measured under California law when the insurance policy is formed or when the policy is delivered to the insured (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Finding no evidence that a University of California (UC) police chief was on notice of potential litigation related to the surreptitious recording of officers' private conversations, a California federal judge on Sept. 8 denied a plaintiff officer's motion seeking sanctions for what he said was spoliation of essential evidence in the deletion of those recordings (Federated University Police Officers' Association, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. 8:15-cv-00137, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal court had no authority to rule on the enforceability of arbitration agreements entered into between Uber Technologies Inc. and its drivers except as to a representative claim under California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 (Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., Nos. 15-16178 and 15-16250, Ronald Gillette v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-16181, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16413).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 7 denied an employer's motion to dismiss all of the claims asserted against it in relation to employee meal breaks, finding that his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the state labor code were properly pleaded (Terrill Johnson v. Q.E.D. Environmental Systems Inc., No. 16-cv-01454, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120900).
SAN FRANCISCO - Shareholders have failed to show how an anonymous blogger report is adequate to serve as a corrective disclosure to support loss causation, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 2 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Francis J. Bonanno v. Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., et al., No. 15-1795, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119194).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 7 granted a lender's motion to dismiss asserted by a homeowner for negligence and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, noting that the plaintiff in the case failed to file her opposition to the pleading by the established court deadline (Raquel Velasquez v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-5960-ODW [E], C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120970).