LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Plaintiffs Move For Approval Of Settlement In Yahoo Mail-Scanning Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of email users that asserted privacy violations against Yahoo Inc. filed a motion in California federal court Jan. 7, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement of their class action, voicing their satisfaction with Yahoo's agreement to change the manner in which it will "process all incoming and outgoing email" to a way that complies with the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Partially Grants Food Company's Motion To Dismiss Wage Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 8 partially dismissed wage-related claims asserted by a former employee of a food company, finding that his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Labor Code were unsupported (Jerrod Finder v. Leprino Foods Company, et al., No. 1:13-CV-2059, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2584).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Appellate Panel Upholds $19.78 Million Verdict In Negligence Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Jan. 8 upheld a $19.78 million judgement against a California gas company in a negligence case filed by a man who was injured when the house he was renting exploded, finding that the trial court did not err in allowing evidence of the man's traumatic brain injury (TBI) (Pengxuan Diao v. Southern California Gas Company, No. B258840, Cal. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 109).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Hears Expanded Arguments On Public Employee Union Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An attorney representing California teachers who opt out of union membership but are still required to pay certain fees asked the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 11 to overturn its decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. (431 U.S. 209 [1977]) concerning agency-fee requirements for non-union workers working for public entities (Rebecca Friedrichs, et al. v. California Teachers Association, et al., No. 14-915, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Shareholder Failed To Plead Securities Claims In Complaint, Judge Rules

LOS ANGELES - Although a shareholder has properly pleaded a number of claim in a securities class action lawsuit, he has done so in his opposition brief and not in his first amended complaint as required, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 7 in granting a motion to dismiss with leave to amend (Felipe Garcia, et al. v. Hetong Guo, et al., No. 15-1862, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1819).

Mealey's Insurance - California Appeals Court Vacates Order Requiring Arson Defendant To Pay Restitution

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A man who pleaded guilty to one count of arson and one count of insurance fraud should not be required to pay $1,322.23 to the city of Rancho Cucamonga because the local fire department was not a victim to his crimes, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 7 (People v. Michael Miccio, No. E062804, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Denies Environmental Group's Request For $1.2M In Attorney Fees

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Jan. 8 denied the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance's (CSPA) request for $1.2 million in attorney fees after finding that while the group was the prevailing party in a suit over a defendant's company's storm water discharges, it was unable to show that the rates it charged were comparable with other Clean Water Act (CWA) attorneys in the Sacramento area (California Sportfishing Protection Alliance v. Chico Scrap Metal Inc., et al., No. 10-cv-01207-GEB-AC, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2511).

Mealey's Insurance - DOJ: Doctor Sentenced To 9 Years For Role In $20M Fraud Scheme

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Jan. 6 that a federal judge in California sentenced a doctor to nine years in jail for his role in a $20 million scheme to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal that involved fraudulently prescribing expensive antipsychotic drugs and rebilling the programs (United States of America v. Arman Grigoryan, et al., No. 11-cr-1075, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Shareholder Failed To Plead Securities Claims In Complaint, Judge Rules

LOS ANGELES - Although a shareholder has properly pleaded a number of claim in a securities class action lawsuit, he has done so in his opposition brief and not in his first amended complaint as required, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 7 in granting a motion to dismiss with leave to amend (Felipe Garcia, et al. v. Hetong Guo, et al., No. 15-1862, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1819).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Investor Failed To Plead Scienter In Making Securities Law Claim, Judge Rules

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dismissal of a second amended securities class action complaint is proper because a shareholder has failed to properly plead scienter in making his federal securities law claims against a solar energy company and certain of its officers and directors, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 5 (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1190).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investor Failed To Plead Scienter In Making Securities Law Claim, Judge Rules

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dismissal of a second amended securities class action complaint is proper because a shareholder has failed to properly plead scienter in making his federal securities law claims against a solar energy company and certain of its officers and directors, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 5 (Tai Jan Bao, et al. v. SolarCity Corp., et al., No. 14-1435, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1190).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds TILA Disclosure Claim Barred By Res Judicata

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 4 granted a motion filed by two lenders to dismiss a claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims, finding that the TILA claim was barred by res judicata (Leonard K.Tyson v. Nationstar Mortage LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-01548, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 777).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Some Claims From Cleanup Company's Suit Against BP

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Jan. 4 dismissed without prejudice an environmental cleanup company's claims for breach of contract, accounts stated and open book account against BP America Inc. in a lawsuit accusing BP of failing to pay the company $1.7 million for cleanup activities it conducted in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010, finding that the plaintiff company failed to adequately state the claims (Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc. v. BP America Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-09033, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1192).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge: Claim That FedEx Wrongfully Denied Benefits To Same-Sex Spouse Valid

OAKLAND, Calif. - The widow of a woman who died of cancer after a 26-year career with FedEx Corp. can pursue a claim alleging that FedEx violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying the widow benefits under her partner's pension plan based on the plan's definition of spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife," a California federal judge held Jan. 4 (Stacey Schuett v. FedEx Corporation, et al., No. 15-cv-0189, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 244).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Citing ITC Proceedings, California Federal Judge Stays Patent Case

SAN FRANCISCO - In what he deemed a "thorny" and "somewhat rare policy dilemma," U.S. Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the Northern District of California on Dec. 30 granted a plaintiff's request to stay its own patent infringement litigation in favor of a later-filed proceeding before the International Trade Commission (ITC) (Aliphcom d/b/a Jawbone and Bodymedia Inc. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 15-2579, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173078).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Tosses Partially Hydrogenated Oils Class Complaint

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 29 dismissed a class complaint against General Mills Inc. and General Mills Sales Inc. over the companies' use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) with leave to amend but stayed the action pending the Food and Drug Administration's determination of the food additive status of PHOs (Jennifer Red, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-2232, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172671).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - California Court Upholds Demurrer Of Trustee's UCL And Foreclosure Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Dec. 31 affirmed the dismissal of a trustee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and for wrongful foreclosure, finding that a bank's ineffective attempt to securitize a loan obligation adversely affected the value of her property or that the UCL was violated (Cynthia Heier as Trustee, etc. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. A140847, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3; Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9475).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge Tosses Partially Hydrogenated Oils Class Complaint

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 29 dismissed a class complaint against General Mills Inc. and General Mills Sales Inc. over the companies' use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) with leave to amend but stayed the action pending the Food and Drug Administration's determination of the food additive status of PHOs (Jennifer Red, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-2232, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172671).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Approve Class Settlement Of Wage Claims Against Land O'Lakes

FRESNO, Calif. - After agreeing with a magistrate judge's recommendation that a proposed class settlement of numerous labor claims and causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was unfair, a California federal judge on Dec. 29 denied a motion to approve the settlement (Arturo Salgado, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Land O'Lakes Inc., et al., No. 1:13-CV-798, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173276).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Shareholder Sues Pharmaceutical Company, Others Over Stock Drop

SAN FRANCISCO - A biopharmaceutical company shareholder filed a securities class action complaint in California federal court on Dec. 18, alleging that the company and certain of its executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Kang Li v. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 15-5841, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Adds Flintkote Trust As Party In Arbitration Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 21 added the asbestos trust created by the Chapter 11 reorganization of The Flintkote Co. as a plaintiff and two insurers as defendants in Flintkote's declaratory judgment action seeking to compel an insurer to enter into arbitration to determine the insurer's responsibility under an agreement with Flintkote to pay insurance proceeds for underlying asbestos claims (The Flintkote Company v. Aviva PLC, No. 15-cv-01638, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170383).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Shareholder Sues Pharmaceutical Company, Others Over Stock Drop

SAN FRANCISCO - A biopharmaceutical company shareholder filed a securities class action complaint in California federal court on Dec. 18, alleging that the company and certain of its executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Kang Li v. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 15-5841, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - California Federal Judge Adds Flintkote Trust As Party In Arbitration Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 21 added the asbestos trust created by the Chapter 11 reorganization of The Flintkote Co. as a plaintiff and two insurers as defendants in Flintkote's declaratory judgment action seeking to compel an insurer to enter into arbitration to determine the insurer's responsibility under an agreement with Flintkote to pay insurance proceeds for underlying asbestos claims (The Flintkote Company v. Aviva PLC, No. 15-cv-01638, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170383).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Environmental Group's Officer Ordered To Address Alleged Discovery Misconduct

LOS ANGELES - A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 18 ordered an officer of the Environmental World Watch Inc. (EWW), which claims that The Walt Disney Co. allows contaminated storm water containing zinc and copper to run off of its property, to address matters over his alleged failure to preserve emails from other officers of the group and attempts to avoid deposition to prevent the imposition of sanctions (Environmental World Watch Inc. v. Walt Disney Company, et al., No. CV 09-04045-DMG, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170303).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Uber Agrees To Refund Class Of Customers For Airport Fee Tolls

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 17 granted preliminary approval of a settlement under which Uber Technologies Inc. will halt collecting additional fees for trips to and from certain California airports and refund more than $1.7 million in extra fees paid by customers who were dropped off to or picked up from those airports (Vamsi Tadepalli v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-4348, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169076).