SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held a hearing Oct. 18 on a proposed settlement of a class action against Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that would create a $1.21 billion settlement fund and provide additional benefits to all 652 VW franchise dealers in the United States who 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.).
NEW ORLEANS - A California state court approved opt-out class settlement that released Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims precludes FLSA claims brought in a federal court on behalf of California plaintiffs, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 14 (Raymond Richardson, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-20711, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18528).
SAN FRANCISCO - A claim that Google Inc. committed contributory trademark infringement when it failed to remove from Google Play apps from developers previously accused of infringing a plaintiff's "Spy Phone" trademark will proceed in light of an Oct. 14 holding by a California federal judge, who deemed the allegations sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Spy Phone Labs LLC v. Google Inc., No. 15-3756, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143530).
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. government intervened in a putative consumer class action in California federal court Oct. 17, filing a memorandum defending the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in response to a question raised by defendant Facebook Inc. related to allegations that the social network violated the act by sending text notifications without user consent (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 granted final approval to a settlement under which Gucci America Inc. will provide certain consumers with vouchers good for a free item or discount to settle claims that it improperly collected personal information from customers paying with a credit card (Jessica Manner, et al. v. Gucci America, Inc., No. 15-45, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142770).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 12 granted several motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a semiconductor producer and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead the elements of its securities fraud claims as required (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141567).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 12 denied a motion filed by United Behavioral Health (UBH) to either reconsider his Sept. 19 certification of a class of insureds accusing UBH of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands or certify the order for interlocutory appeal (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 141441).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $6 million settlement to be paid by a company that provides asset protection solutions to hourly technicians who are members of a putative class and collective action in which they alleged that they were denied compensation for work-related activities, including mandatory trainings and traveling to and from customer worksites (Edgar Viceral, et al. v. Mistras Group, Inc., No. 15-2198, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140759).
LOS ANGLES - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 granted a motion to remand a case filed by an employee who alleged wage-related and other claims against his former employer, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet the requirements for removal of a class action to a federal court (Gustavo Segura Santoya v. Consolidated Foundries Inc., et al., No. 16-02232, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142112).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 refused to enter a default ruling in favor of a sports production company on its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action in relation to the alleged unlawful broadcast of a boxing match, finding that it failed to plead sufficient facts to support a finding that a restaurant owner was liable (J&J Sports Productions Inc. v. Yolanda K. Crawford, No. 16-cv-01744, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142038).
LOS ANGELES - Because it is possible for a disability claimant to amend a complaint to plead claims with more particularity against a California doctor who conducted an independent medical exam for the disability insurer and the hospital who employed the doctor, a California federal judge on Oct. 11 said the suit must be remanded to state court as complete diversity of citizenship does not exist (Mayna Chau-Barlow v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. et al., No. 16-1694, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140833).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 rejected a products liability insurer's argument that interlocutory review of a May 27 order on the issue of rescission is warranted under 28 U.S. Code Section 1292(b) because the order involves a controlling question of law for which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140762).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A settlement, estimated to be worth up to $100 million by plaintiffs' counsel, ending a class complaint alleging defects in Whirlpool Corp.-manufactured dishwashers that caused them to smoke, spark and catch on fire was granted final approval Oct. 11 by a California federal judge (Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., No. 11-1733, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140839).
LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of a school bus transportation company, refusing to expand a class period to assert claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to unpaid wages (Delores Humes, et al. v. First Student Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-01861, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140867).
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Unified Port District (SDUPD) on Oct. 11 filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the U.S. government, seeking cost recovery and damages related to alleged contamination of the port and the groundwater around it with industrial waste (San Diego Unified Port District v. United States of America, No. 16-2540, S.D. Calif.).