OAKLAND, Calif. - A California jury on Dec. 11 added $4.6 million in punitive damages after finding two talc companies liable for $17.5 million in compensatory damages for a man's asbestos-related mesothelioma (Booker v. Vanderbilt Minerals, No. RG15796166, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that the widow of a borrower, who obtained a reverse mortgage on a property that was later foreclosed on, sufficiently pleaded her claims for elder abuse and breach of contract, a California appeals court on Dec. 11 reversed a trial court's decision dismissing her claims against two lenders (Mary Aden v. OneWest Bank, N.A., et al., No. A146242, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two sons of the late concert promoter Bill Graham were properly ordered by a California federal judge to reimburse the attorney fees incurred by four copyright infringement defendants, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Alexander Graham-Sult, et al., v. Nicholas Clainos, et al., Nos. 15-17204, 16-16768, - 17083, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25187).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 11 reply brief seeking reversal of an injunction preventing it from blocking a data analytics firm from scraping user information from its site, LinkedIn Corp. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the plaintiff's activities violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), while contending that its blocking measures do not violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-16783, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8 granted a motion for conditional certification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim brought by current and former employees of Sephora USA Inc. but denied the plaintiffs' request for equitable tolling (Lacey Hernandez, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., No. 16-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203452).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 11 stayed the proceedings in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a restaurant employee in which the defendants moved to compel arbitration, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Morris v. Ernst & Young LLP, 834 F. 3d 975 (9th Cir. 2016), certiorari granted, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, 137 S. Ct. 809 (2017) (Jener Da Silva v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 17-5663, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203437).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 12 refused to remand a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and fraud against a rental car service until the parties can conduct additional discovery on whether the case meets the federal amount-in-controversy requirement for a class action (Jian-Ming "Scott" Zhao v. RelayRides Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-04099, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204415).
SAN FRANCISCO - A religious group told a federal judge in California on Dec. 11 that it should be allowed to intervene in an action challenging new rules governing exemptions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate, saying that while the states give lip service to protecting religious beliefs, the reality is much more stark (State of California, et al. v. Don J. Wright, et al., No. 17-5783, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 12 ruling decided without oral argument, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a California federal judge's dismissal of copyright and trademark infringement allegations stemming from Subaru of America Inc.'s use of "Share the Love" as a slogan in television advertisements (Marilyn Mintz v. Subaru of America Inc., No. 16-3384, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 8 refused to dismiss an environmental group's Clean Water Act lawsuit against the operator of a salvage yard, finding that the group's presuit notification was sufficient and that it adequately alleged that the defendant is failing to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for storm water discharges (Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation v. American Recycling International Inc., No. 17-cv-00425-BAS-JMA, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202649).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 reversed the denial of class certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, finding that the pleadings provided sufficient notice to the employer of violations of California Labor Code Section 226(a) violations, whether direct or derivative, and the district court must conduct a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 analysis (Silken Brown, et al. v. Cinemark USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-15377, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24764).
SAN FRANCISCO - An investor group is the most appropriate candidate for lead plaintiff because it has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all other statutory requirements to serve in the role, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 8 in appointing the investor group as lead plaintiff (Inchen Huang v. Depomed Inc., et al., No. 17-4830, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202580).
SAN DIEGO - An adult entertainment firm has sufficiently established a prima facie copyright infringement case against a John Doe online file sharer, a California federal magistrate ruled Dec. 7, granting the plaintiff's motion to conduct expedited discovery on the Doe's internet service provider (ISP) to identify the defendant for litigation purposes (Strike 3 Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 3:17-cv-02312, S.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - On Dec. 8, the same day that a group of plaintiffs moved for class certification in their claims under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) against Facebook Inc., the social network moved for summary judgment, telling a California federal court that applying the Illinois law to its out-of-state facial recognition activities would violate the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After determining that a borrower's claims for negligence and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) were properly pleaded, a California federal judge on Dec. 11 partially denied a lender's motion to dismiss the claims but granted the motion as to causes of action for violation of the Truth and Lending Act (TILA) and other claims (Kenneth Akins, et al. v. Seterus Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-01656, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203560).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8, in denying summary judgment to Fitbit Inc. on class claims that the sleep-tracking functions on its devices do not work, ruled that the opinions of a plaintiffs' expert who tested the devices are reliable and relevant (James Brickman, et al. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02077, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202568).