LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Appeals Panel Affirms $3.75 Million Judgment Against Tobacco Company

LOS ANGELES - A California appellate court on Aug. 30 affirmed a $3.75 million verdict in a product defect and negligence suit against a tobacco company to the widow of a man who died from lung cancer after finding that the trial court did not err in excluding evidence of the man's exposure to asbestos (Tajie Major v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. B260355, Calif. App. 2nd Dist. 8th Div., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 749).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Firm's Release Of Confidential Documents Amounts To 'Misconduct,' Monsanto Says

SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Aug. 29 filed a brief in a California federal court arguing that plaintiffs' counsel in a multidistrict litigation regarding the herbicide Roundup improperly released to the public confidential company documents about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, and now the plaintiffs' counsel wants to expunge the record of documents related to that "misconduct" (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Remands UCL Claims Against Makers Of Feather Products To California Court

LOS ANGELES - After finding that the makers of down feather products failed to show that claims asserted by a former employer for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action did not meet the amount in controversy requirements to maintain federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Aug. 28 remanded the case to state court (Maria Serrano v. Pacific Coast Feather Cushion Co., et al., No. 17-4414, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138153).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Upholds Agreement Extending Deadlines For EPA's Emission Designations

SAN FRANCISCO - A 2-1 panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal judge in California's ruling approving a settlement between two environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that extended the deadline for which the agency must make designations on an area's emissions of sulfur dioxide, holding that the extension of the deadline does not adversely impact claims brought by states saying the agency's delay in making those decisions is harmful (Sierra Club, et al. v. North Dakota, et al., No. 15-15894, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16400).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Borrower Files Class Action, Claims Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Interest Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Expert Testing, Opinion, From Talc Trial

LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly excluded an asbestos expert's testing and resulting causation opinion after concluding that chain-of-custody concerns regarding vintage bottles of talcum powder rendered the evidence unreliable, a California appeals court held Aug. 25 (Delgadina Alfaro v. Imerys Talc America Inc., et al., No. B277284, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5875).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Borrower Files Class Action, Claims Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Interest Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Users Replead Contractual Claims In Cookie-Tracking Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two months after a California federal judge dismissed with prejudice most of the privacy-related claims in a putative class action accusing Facebook Inc. of tracking users' internet activity without their consent, the lead plaintiffs on Aug. 25 filed a third amended consolidated complaint restating two contractual claims alleging that the social network violated its assurances that it would not engage in such tracking (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Contractor Did Not Consent To Trying Vinyl Siding Negligence Theory

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 24 denied an insurer's motion to add a new negligence theory of liability related to coverage for an apartment complex fire, finding that a contractor did not give its implied consent to trying the theory and that amendment to the pleadings would prejudice the contractor (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Danco Builders, et al., No. 15-cv-03945, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136338).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Expert Testing, Opinion, From Talc Trial

LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly excluded an asbestos expert's testing and resulting causation opinion after concluding that chain-of-custody concerns regarding vintage bottles of talcum powder rendered the evidence unreliable, a California appeals court held Aug. 25 (Delgadina Alfaro v. Imerys Talc America Inc., et al., No. B277284, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5875).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties Agree To Move Storage Of Spent Nuclear Fuel To Off-Site Location

SAN DIEGO - Parties in a dispute over a permit that allowed an energy company to store spent nuclear waste at the site of a decommissioned power plant in California on Aug. 25 agreed to resolve the lawsuit in a stipulation in California state court, wherein the owner of the facility agreed to move the spent nuclear fuel for off-site storage (Citizens Oversight Inc., et al. v. California Coastal Commission, et al., No. 37-2015-00037137-CU-WM-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Panel Affirms Denial Of Injunction In RightFax Trademark Dispute

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 24 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant an injunction enjoining a software services company from using the RightFax trademark, finding that the owner of the mark failed to show that it would likely succeed on the merits of its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement (Instant InfoSystems Inc. v. Open Text Inc., No. B276691, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5889).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Uber Again Seeks Dismissal Of Drivers' Data Breach Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - Uber Technologies Inc. says in an Aug. 24 motion that despite the recent filing of an amended complaint, two former Uber drivers bringing a putative class action over a 2014 data breach still fail "to identify a single instance of identity theft stemming from the" breach, asking a California federal judge to again dismiss the suit (Sasha Antman v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-01175, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Insurer Cannot Litigate Coverage Dispute In State Court, Bankruptcy Judge Says

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 24 denied an insurer's request to sue a company's asbestos trust in state court over the amount of coverage owed for asbestos personal injury claims, issuing a strong rebuke to the insurer's attorneys, who claimed that the trustee knew the claims he submitted to the insurer did not trigger the polices at issue (In re CFB Liquidating Corporation, f/k/a Chicago Fire Brick Co., et al., No. 01-45483, N.D. Calif. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 2411).

Mealey's Insurance - U.S. High Court Denies Rehearing In Dispute Over Employment-Related Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 25 refused to reconsider its denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking to reverse a California appellate court's finding that a commercial general liability insurance policy's employment-related practices (ERP) exclusion bars coverage for all claims alleged against an insured and its employee arising from alleged sexual harassment and assault (Alana Munoz v. Golden Eagle Insurance Corp., No. 16-1245, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Admitted Expert Opinions Doom Woman's Class Action Over Gingko Biloba Supplements

SAN DIEGO - A consumer cannot pursue a class action alleging that product claims on the label for nutritional supplements are false because admitted expert testimony that scientific evidence supports the claims on the label precludes the consumer's claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 23 after denying the consumer's bid to exclude the expert opinions (Tatiana Korolshteyn v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-709, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135303).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Grants Vaping Company's Motion To Dismiss 2nd Amended Complaint

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 23 granted a vaping company's motion to dismiss a second amended complaint filed against it by a man who claims that the company failed to warn him and others that its vaping products emit cancer-causing chemicals because the claims are not properly pleaded (Jerod Harris v. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, No. 15-CV-04075, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135302).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Admitted Expert Opinions Doom Woman's Class Action Over Gingko Biloba Supplements

SAN DIEGO - A consumer cannot pursue a class action alleging that product claims on the label for nutritional supplements are false because admitted expert testimony that scientific evidence supports the claims on the label precludes the consumer's claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 23 after denying the consumer's bid to exclude the expert opinions (Tatiana Korolshteyn v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 15-709, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135303).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Riata Heart Lead Complaint Partially Dismissed With Leave To Amend

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 23 denied in part and granted in part a motion by defendants to dismiss a heart lead complaint but granted the plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint by Sept. 8 (Richard Connelly v. St. Jude Medical, Inc., et al., No. 17-2066, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13541).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jury Awards $10.8 Million To Man Who Was Run Over By A Forklift

LOS ANGELES - A California jury on Aug. 24 awarded $10.8 million to a man who suffered multiple broken bones after being run over by a forklift that was driven by a Los Angeles County employee (James Cobb v. County of Los Angeles, No. BC582690, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Remands UCL Claim To California Court For Lack Of Jurisdiction

OAKLAND, Calif. - After finding that no federal question jurisdiction existed, a California federal judge on Aug. 22 granted a motion filed by borrowers to remand their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against a mortgage company to a state court (Francisco Nanclares, et al. v. RPM Mortgage Inc., No. 16-cv-07188, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134392).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Reverses Ruling In Water Damage Suit, Says Questions Of Fact Exist

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 22 reversed and remanded a district court's ruling that no coverage is afforded for water damage to a California couple's home after determining that the lower court abused its discretion in excluding relevant evidence that, if properly considered, raises genuine issues of material fact on the breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the insurer (Neda Raschkovsky, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-55093, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16006).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Remands, Says Asbestos Case Focuses On Insulation, Not Prototype

LOS ANGELES - Commercially available insulation, and not the working prototype of a U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion system on which it was applied, is the focus of a widow's case, a federal judge in California held Aug. 21 in reversing course and remanding an asbestos case originally removed under the government contractor statute (Wayne Yocum, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-1061, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133418).