LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class' New York State Wage Claims Are Transferred To California Federal Court

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 18 denied a motion to dismiss and granted a motion to transfer New York state overtime claims filed by pet store assistant managers to a California federal court where another case is pending alleging overtime claims under federal law (Deserie Michel, et al. v. Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-1838, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75892).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Frozen Foods Company Will Pay $4.5 Million To Settle Class Wage Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 19 granted final approval of a $4.5 million settlement to be paid by a food production company to end current and former employees' claims that they were denied pay for certain activities, including donning and doffing (Luis Aguilar, et al. v. Wawona Frozen Foods, et al., No. 15-93, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76751).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Borrower Did Not Allege New Facts To Support Amendment

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 18 denied a borrower's motion to amend her complaint in which she alleges that a bank violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws related to a wrongful foreclosure, finding that she failed to allege any facts that would support new claims (Brenda D. Dowling v. Bank of America, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01041, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76063).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Borrower Did Not Allege New Facts To Support Amendment

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 18 denied a borrower's motion to amend her complaint in which she alleges that a bank violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws related to a wrongful foreclosure, finding that she failed to allege any facts that would support new claims (Brenda D. Dowling v. Bank of America, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01041, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76063).

Mealey's Insurance - Appeals Panel Says Policy Limits Were Exhausted, No Further Duty To Defend Exists

LOS ANGELES - The Second District California Court of Appeal on May 18 reversed a trial court's judgment in favor of an insured in a silica coverage case after determining that the insured released its right to assert any bad faith claims against the insurer and after finding that the insurer has no further duty to defend the insured because the insurer's policy limits were exhausted in 2013 (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Moldex Metric Inc., et al., No. B272378, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3485).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Pension Fund Cured Scienter Pleading Deficiency Against Company, CEO

SAN FRANCISCO - In granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss, a federal judge in California on May 17 held that a pension fund has cured its pleading deficiencies and properly shown that a semiconductor producer and its CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting the company's key business metrics as required under federal securities laws (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75262).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Foreclosure-Related Claims Against CitiMortgage, Allows Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 17 partially granted a mortgage company's motion to dismiss claims including violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), allowing part of a borrower's dual tracking claim to proceed and dismissing the remainder of the claims with leave to amend (Gilbert Chavez v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 17-cv-01205, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75430).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Pension Fund Cured Scienter Pleading Deficiency Against Company, CEO

SAN FRANCISCO - In granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss, a federal judge in California on May 17 held that a pension fund has cured its pleading deficiencies and properly shown that a semiconductor producer and its CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting the company's key business metrics as required under federal securities laws (Daniel Luna v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., et al., No. 15-5447, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75262).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Foreclosure-Related Claims Against CitiMortgage, Allows Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 17 partially granted a mortgage company's motion to dismiss claims including violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), allowing part of a borrower's dual tracking claim to proceed and dismissing the remainder of the claims with leave to amend (Gilbert Chavez v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 17-cv-01205, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75430).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Panel Upholds Minor's Criminal Threats Conviction Based On Facebook Post

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on May 16 found that a junior high student's violent Facebook post was properly deemed a criminal threat under state law because it reasonably communicated a threat of death or bodily injury to identified targets, leading it to affirm a juvenile court's conviction and sentence (In re A.F., No. B270864, Calif. App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3323).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Borrower Did Not Rescind Note, Dismisses TILA And UCL Claims

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 15 granted a motion filed by a lender and a loan servicer to dismiss a property owner's complaint, which asserted claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA), finding that his allegations were conclusory (Phillip D. Jackson v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00044, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73826).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Orders Parties To File Joint Proposed Judgment On Attorney Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 15 ordered a disability claimant and a disability insurer to submit a joint proposed judgment on the claimant's motion for attorney fees after finding that the claimant is not entitled to collect attorney fees for all the tasks completed by the claimant's attorney (Marlon Montoya v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., No. 14-2740, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73781).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Unfair Competition Claims OK'd, But Judge Says No Relief Due In Surgical Gown Case

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 15 said a class representative proved that two defendants violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling defective surgical gowns, but denied the plaintiff's request for restitution and injunctive relief given a jury's $454 million compensatory and punitive damages verdict (Bahamas Surgery Center v. Kimberly-Clarke Corp., et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73778).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - $2 Million Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that the class counsel has undermined its credibility (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72389).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Papa John's Franchise Owners' Class Action Waiver Is Declared Invalid

SAN DIEGO - A class action waiver that was part of the arbitration agreement between the owner of Papa John's Pizza franchises and an employee who filed a class complaint is invalid because it precludes the employee from engaging in at least one of the three types of concerted actions the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects, a California federal judge ruled May 11 (Peter Ross v. P.J. Pizza San Diego, LLC, et al., No. 16-2330, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72411).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Google Seeks Dismissal Of Balloon-Based Wireless Network Trade Secrets Suit

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Three months after a wireless services and solutions firm's trade secret claims against it were initially dismissed as insufficiently pleaded, Google Inc. on May 11 again moved for dismissal in California court, arguing that the plaintiff's amended complaint still fails to properly identify the trade secrets that were purportedly misappropriated (Space Data Corp. v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-03260, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Papa John's Franchise Owners' Class Action Waiver Is Declared Invalid

SAN DIEGO - A class action waiver that was part of the arbitration agreement between the owner of Papa John's Pizza franchises and an employee who filed a class complaint is invalid because it precludes the employee from engaging in at least one of the three types of concerted actions the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects, a California federal judge ruled May 11 (Peter Ross v. P.J. Pizza San Diego, LLC, et al., No. 16-2330, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72411).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge: Jokes Entitled To 'Thin' Copyright Protection

SAN DIEGO - Conan O'Brien and myriad other defendants associated with the "Conan" show on May 12 won a partial summary judgment that various copyrighted jokes O'Brien allegedly infringed are entitled only to "thin" protection, but in the same ruling, a California federal judge denied O'Brien summary judgment with regard to willfulness (Robert Alexander Kaseberg v. Conan O'Brien, et al., No. 15-1637, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72921).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Uber Enjoined From Using Stolen Waymo Files In Self-Driving Car Trade Secret Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - Finding "compelling evidence" that a former Waymo LLC employee misappropriated confidential files and provided them to Uber Technologies Inc., a California federal judge on May 15 granted in part Waymo's motion for a preliminary injunction, ordering Uber to cease using any of the stolen materials in the development of its self-driving car technology (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00939, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - California Appellate Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Bad Faith Suit As Time-Barred

LOS ANGELES - A state trial court's dismissal of an insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims in a homeowners insurance dispute was proper because the insured's claims were filed after the claims' one-year statute of limitations had run, a California appellate panel ruled in affirming on May 12 (Heather A. Smillie v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. B268353, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2017 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3252).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - $2 Million Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that the class counsel has undermined its credibility (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72389).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - High Court Denies Appeal Of Suit Over California City's Overtime Rate Calculation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 15 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a California city seeking reversal of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the city erred when it failed to include payment for unused benefits when calculating its police officers' overtime rates (City of San Gabriel, California v. Danny Flores, et al., No. 16-911, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Unfair Competition Claims OK'd, But Judge Says No Relief Due In Surgical Gown Case

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 15 said a class representative proved that two defendants violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling defective surgical gowns, but denied the plaintiff's request for restitution and injunctive relief given a jury's $454 million compensatory and punitive damages verdict (Bahamas Surgery Center v. Kimberly-Clarke Corp., et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73778).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit Panel Says Wrong Standard Of Review Applied In Disability Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 11 reversed a district court's ruling in favor of a disability insurer after determining that the district court applied the wrong standard of review pursuant to California law (Talana Orzechowski v. The Boeing Company Non-Union Long-Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-55919, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8348).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Testimony In Reinsurance Risk Company's Breach Of Contract Case

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge excluded on May 10 lay opinion testimony by a reinsurance risk management company's chief financial officer in a breach of contract lawsuit about funds that were improperly withdrawn from bank accounts (Les Fields/C.C.H.I. Insurance Services v. Stuart M. Hines, et al., No. 15-03728, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71620).