SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 found that a lower court erred in holding that recovery for embezzled client funds under a fidelity bond policy would violate California Insurance Code Section 533, concluding that policy endorsements created a surety relationship that is exempt from Section 533 (Thomas A. Dillon, as court appointed receiver for Vesta Strategies LLC and Excalibur 1031 Group v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 14-15802, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7350).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 issued an order directing those individuals who object to the proposed $100 million settlement filed a day earlier in a class wage-and-hour dispute filed against Uber Technologies Inc. to file "a single document (instead of multiple filings) discussing all of their concerns and objections to the settlement, which will then be filed on the court docket" (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3826, Hakan Yucesoy, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-262, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting judgment in favor of a pension plan and its administrators in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits because the plaintiff was unable to independently provide key information about corporate structures or hours worked needed to substantiate his claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7216).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A former charter of a national fraternal organization dedicated to promoting the interests of farming and agriculture was ordered April 20 by a California federal judge to cease inclusion of the word "Grange" in its name (The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry v. California State Grange, No. 14-676, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53038).
LOS ANGELES - A department store failed to supply evidence supporting its claim that the amount in controversy in a class suit by sales managers, who allege that they were not reimbursed for certain business expenses, exceeded $5 million, a California federal judge ruled April 18, sending the case back to state court (Nazanin Tehrani v. Macy's West Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-7286, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51713).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A day after stating that a plaintiff verdict was a reasonable possibility, Intuitive Surgical Inc. on April 20 settled a da Vinci surgical robot injury lawsuit as the jury started its third day of deliberations in a California state court (Michelle Zarick, et al. v Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 2012-1-cv-23723, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 15 granted Apple Inc.'s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action involving smartphones (Thomas A. Palmer v. Apple Inc., No. 5:15-cv-05808, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51823).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A California state court judge on April 18 said a jury about to begin deliberations in a da Vinci surgical robot lawsuit will not consider punitive damages, according to defendant Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Michelle Zarick, et al. v Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 2012-1-cv-23723, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit alleging that its insured committed unfair business practices in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and negligently interfered with prospective economic advantage (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Herbert H. Landy Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 15-1220, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7041).
SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an excess insurer and bad faith and punitive damages claims against a primary insurer in a products liability coverage dispute involving the insured's da Vinci Surgical System product (Intuitive Surgical Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-04834, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51097).
SAN FRANCISCO - A judge on April 15 asked for additional briefing on how to handle differences between California consumer protection laws and those of other states in a UCL, Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., suit over an alleged misrepresentations about a joint supplement (Vincent D. Mullins, et al. v. Premier Nutrition Corp., No. 13-1271, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51139, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51140).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Intuitive Surgical Inc. on April 14 moved for a nonsuit in a da Vinci surgical robot injury trial under way in the Santa Clara County, Calif., Superior Court (Michelle Zarick, et al. v Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 2012-1-cv-23723, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).
LOS ANGELES - California's Second District Court of Appeal on April 14 reversed a trial court's decision that found that five state statutes regarding the employment and retention of teachers that were challenged by California students were unconstitutional and void (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. B258589, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 285).
SAN FRANCISCO - Social network platform operator Twitter Inc. on April 12 moved for summary judgment in California federal court, arguing that putative class claims brought against it under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) fail because it did not initiate the notification emails at issue and because Twitter is entitled to immunity from such claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Beverly Nunes v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:14-cv-02843, N.D. Calif.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 sent a class complaint accusing an employer of failing issue proper wage statements and failing to keep accurate payroll records back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy did not exceed the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) jurisdictional minimum (Jim Thuan Phan, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., et al., No. 15-2582, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48618).
LOS ANGELES - The absence of evidence that a refractory salesman or his peer group knew of the dangers of asbestos prevents application of the sophisticated doctrine, a California appeals court held in reversing a verdict on April 13 (Richard F. Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., No. B261682, Calif. Super., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 280).