LOS ANGELES - In an Aug. 24 brief opposing certification of a class of ex-employees whose data was compromised in a 2014 breach of its network, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. argues in California federal court that "elements of injury and causation" for the plaintiffs "are entirely individualized" and, as such, not suitable for class treatment (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
The operator of the adult dating website AshleyMadison.com was hit with two putative class actions on Aug. 21 as John Doe users of the site filed complaints in California and Texas federal court, respectively, alleging negligence, Stored Communications Act (SCA) violations and other claims related to a recent theft of customer data from the site, which was later released publicly on the Internet (John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-0405, C.D. Calif.; and John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02750, N.D. Texas).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal magistrate judge in South Carolina on Aug. 20 suggested that nine Lipitor diabetes cases be remanded to California state court, saying the plaintiffs have a colorable claim against the California distributor (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2502, No. 14-mn-2502, D. S.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying counterclaims against its enterprise software services provider insured, finding that venue is not proper (Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 15-02378, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109075).
LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's proposal that liability be used to calculate offsets for pre-verdict settlements "is completely at odds" with state precedent, a California appeals panel held Aug. 20 in also affirming 50-50 split of asbestos settlement proceeds between personal injury and any future wrongful death action and denying offsets for potential asbestos bankruptcy recoveries (James Hellam v. Crane Co., No. A140326, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 720).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 18 denied in part an insurer's motion for summary judgment in coverage dispute arising from claims that an insured participated in an alleged scheme to acquire the trade secrets and a confidential marketing "system" developed by a home health franchisor, allowing breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed (Anthony Nieves, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-05536, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110386).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge said Aug. 18 that he granted a directed verdict in a Cymbalta withdrawal trial because the plaintiff failed to present evidence that a stronger warning would have prompted her prescribing physicians to not to prescribe the drug or that the plaintiff to have refused the drug (Erin Hexum, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 13-2701, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 20 overruled a 2003 decision regarding anti-assignment clauses in insurance policies and said California Insurance Code Section 520 allows a company to assign its rights under insurance policies to successors without an insurer's consent if the assignment occurs after the loss for which coverage is sought (Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. S205889, Calif. Sup.).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 refused to dismiss part of a borrower's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law but granted a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligent misrepresentation (Edward C. Hendricks v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-01299, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108313).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 granted an insurer's motion to amend its counterclaim to add an additional nine claims in an environmental remediation dispute after determining that one of the plaintiffs withheld documents on the basis of privilege without producing a privilege log (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108381).
FRESNO, Calif. - Since a proposed class action in which purchasers asserting violations of California's unfair competition law in relation to allegedly defective styling irons is still in the pre-class stage, a California federal judge on Aug. 17 denied the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional discovery on the irons (Delia Wilson, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, v. Conair Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00894, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109030).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding that a group of contributors to Yelp Inc.'s website were volunteers, not employees, a California federal judge on Aug. 13 granted Yelp's motion to dismiss their putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Lily Jeung, et al. v. Yelp Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02228, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107427).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A contractor's poor job cleaning the air ducts of two California homeowners cannot support their common-law negligence and emotional distress claims against Groupon Inc., a California federal judge ruled Aug. 14, finding that the allegedly negligent actions were not related to the deal purchased from Groupon (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc. et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A forum selection clause for Google Play requiring that all disputes be resolved in California led a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 13 to transfer allegations of contributory trademark infringement and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage there (Spy Phone Labs LLC v. Google Inc. et al., No. 14-6565, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106365).