LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Disability Benefits Claim Was Properly Denied, California Federal Judge Determines

SAN FRANCISCO - A claim for pension disability benefits was properly denied because the disability claimant failed to submit medical records detailing his disability as requested on multiple occasions by the plan at issue, a California federal judge said Feb. 6 (Vanmark Strickland v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan, No. 17-01393, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19566).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Customer Alleges Airline Violated UCL By Misrepresenting Pricing

LOS ANGELES - A customer on Feb. 2 sued Spirit Airlines Inc. in a California federal court, alleging that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and engaged in false advertising by misrepresenting that its products are the least expensive available (Nikki Giavasis v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-864, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Customer Alleges Airline Violated UCL By Misrepresenting Pricing

LOS ANGELES - A customer on Feb. 2 sued Spirit Airlines Inc. in a California federal court, alleging that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and engaged in false advertising by misrepresenting that its products are the least expensive available (Nikki Giavasis v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-864, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, Fraud Cross-Claims Against Online Marketplace

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 6 granted an online marketplace host's motion to dismiss counterclaims asserted against it for violation of California's unfair competition law, breach of contract, fraud and other claims asserted by a user of the marketplace who allegedly failed to pay for or return inventory from the website, but granted the user leave to amend the claims to assert more specific factual allegations (Ouiby Inc. v. Idil Doguoglu Posey, et al., No. 17-cv-03847, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19502).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Dolphin Drawing Is An Unprotectable Idea First Found In Nature

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly granted a defendant summary judgment on allegations that a pen and ink depiction of two dolphins crossing underwater was infringed, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 2 (Peter A. Folkens v. Wyland Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-15882, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2768).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Court Finds Solar Energy Firm Did Not Need Contractor's License

LOS ANGELES - A California court on Feb. 1 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a purchaser's class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and another California law against a solar energy products company, finding that the company was not required to be a licensed contractor to complete its installations (Shawn Reed v. Sunrun Inc., No. B276862, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 743).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Settlement Cannot Be Enforced Until City Resolves Insurance Dispute

FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 2 denied a landowner's motion to enforce a settlement agreement with a city accused of contributing to perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination, finding that the city must first resolve a dispute with its insurance carriers to obtain coverage (Gary Coppola, et al. v. Gregory Smith, et al., No. 11-CV-1257 AWI BAM, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17769).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Finds Solar Energy Firm Did Not Need Contractor's License

LOS ANGELES - A California court on Feb. 1 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a purchaser's class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and another California law against a solar energy products company, finding that the company was not required to be a licensed contractor to complete its installations (Shawn Reed v. Sunrun Inc., No. B276862, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 743).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Lead Plaintiff Appointed In Tesla Stock-Drop Investor Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder was appointed lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against high-performance electric vehicles manufacturer Tesla Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers, and his choice of counsel was appointed as lead counsel on Feb. 2 after a federal judge in California ruled that both the shareholder and lead counsel met all requirements to serve in their roles (Gregory Wachos v. Tesla Inc., et al., No. 17-5828, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of CCRA Claims Against Bank Of America

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a bank on a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims, but reversed the ruling on her claim for violation of the Consumer Credit Reporting Act (CCRA), finding that a triable issue of fact exists as to whether the bank's alleged misreporting of her credit information caused her to suffer damages and whether the bank had reasonable measures in place to ensure that incorrect information was not transmitted (Nahid Noori v. Bank of America N.A., No. 16-56082, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2575).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Groundwater Lawsuit Filed Prematurely; California Regulation Not In Effect

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Jan. 31 dismissed an inverse condemnation lawsuit against the federal government concerning drinking water that was contaminated with hexavalent chromium from McClellan Air Force Base on grounds that the case was filed prematurely (Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District v. United States of America, No. 17-859 C, Fed. Clms.; 2018 U.S. Claims LEXIS 47).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Lead Plaintiff Appointed In Tesla Stock-Drop Investor Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - A shareholder was appointed lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against high-performance electric vehicles manufacturer Tesla Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers, and his choice of counsel was appointed as lead counsel on Feb. 2 after a federal judge in California ruled that both the shareholder and lead counsel met all requirements to serve in their roles (Gregory Wachos v. Tesla Inc., et al., No. 17-5828, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: California Law Bars Discretionary Clause In ERISA Health Insurance Case

SAN FRANCISCO - De novo review applies to an insurer's denial of coverage for mental health treatments under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the California Insurance Code treats health insurance as a form of disability insurance and bars discretionary clauses, a federal judge in the state held Jan. 31 (Mahlon D., et al. v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., No. 16-7230, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16332).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 9th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of CCRA Claims Against Bank Of America

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a bank on a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims, but reversed the ruling on her claim for violation of the Consumer Credit Reporting Act (CCRA), finding that a triable issue of fact exists as to whether the bank's alleged misreporting of her credit information caused her to suffer damages and whether the bank had reasonable measures in place to ensure that incorrect information was not transmitted (Nahid Noori v. Bank of America N.A., No. 16-56082, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2575).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Allows Class To Add Bad Faith Claim Against Life Insurer

PHILADELPHIA - In a consolidated class action against a life insurer for breaches of its policies through consideration of lower investment income and higher reinsurance costs, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 1 allowed the class to amend its complaint to add a tortious breach of good faith and fair dealing claim on behalf of a California sub-class (In re: Lincoln National Co. Litigation, No. 16-06605, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16355).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL Claim, Finds Lender Did Not Interfere With Sale

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a former property owner's claim that a lender interfered with his private sale of a property by recording a notice of trustee's sale failed, a California federal judge on Jan. 30 dismissed his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) for failure to state a claim (Moshen Khaziri v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., No. 17-cv-01639, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16308).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses UCL Claim, Finds Lender Did Not Interfere With Sale

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a former property owner's claim that a lender interfered with his private sale of a property by recording a notice of trustee's sale failed, a California federal judge on Jan. 30 dismissed his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) for failure to state a claim (Moshen Khaziri v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., No. 17-cv-01639, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16308).

Mealey's Insurance - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Allows Class To Add Bad Faith Claim Against Life Insurer

PHILADELPHIA - In a consolidated class action against a life insurer for breaches of its policies through consideration of lower investment income and higher reinsurance costs, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 1 allowed the class to amend its complaint to add a tortious breach of good faith and fair dealing claim on behalf of a California sub-class (In re: Lincoln National Co. Litigation, No. 16-06605, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16355).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Couple's Claim Against Tile Installer Untimely, Appeals Court Finds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A trial court judge did not err when finding that a couple's lawsuit accusing a tile subcontractor of negligently installing a marble floor in their bathroom was untimely, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 31, finding that the subcontractor's refusal to make repairs did not toll the statute of limitations (Annette Elissagaray v. Venice Tile & Marble Inc., No. C077595, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 686).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto Lacks Standing To Assert Counterclaims Over PCB Contamination, Judge Says

SAN DIEGO - Monsanto Co. and its subsidiaries lack standing to assert counterclaims for response costs, defense costs and contingent liability, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 30, finding that costs incurred in defending a lawsuit over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination do not constitute an injury-in-fact (San Diego Unified Port District v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15cv578, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14996).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows UCL, CUTSA Claims Related To Audiology Technology To Proceed

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Jan. 29 refused to dismiss claims for violations of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted by the inventor of a tele-audiology technology, who alleged that a California company and its German parent company copied her invention (Deborah M. Manchester, PH.D. v. Sivantos GMBH, et al., No. 2:17-CV-05309, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14108).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows UCL, CUTSA Claims Related To Audiology Technology To Proceed

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Jan. 29 refused to dismiss claims for violations of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims asserted by the inventor of a tele-audiology technology, who alleged that a California company and its German parent company copied her invention (Deborah M. Manchester, PH.D. v. Sivantos GMBH, et al., No. 2:17-CV-05309, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14108).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Enters Amended Judgment After Parties Drop Appeal Of Coverage Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - Five days after a boat business insured and its insurer stipulated to a voluntary dismissal of the insured's appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a no-coverage ruling, a California federal judge on Jan. 29 entered an amended judgment ordering the insured to pay $24,870.71 in costs to its insurer (Pacific Marine Center, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 13-00992, E.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - $6.5 Million HP Pavilion Notebook Settlement Granted Final Approval

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California judge on Jan. 29 granted final approval of a $6.5 million settlement to be paid by Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) to end a class complaint accusing the computer maker of selling faulty laptops (Ed Rutledge, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Company, et al., No. 1-03-CV-817837, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Apple, Qualcomm Debate $25,000-A-Day Discovery Sanction In FTC Antitrust Suit

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Qualcomm Inc. in a Jan.. 26 brief asks a California federal judge to affirm a $25,000-a-day discovery sanction that Apple Inc. called "unduly harsh" in a motion for relief, with Qualcomm arguing that the sanction amount is appropriate in light of Apple's pattern of discovery noncompliance in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Qualcomm Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-00220, N.D. Calif.).