FRESNO, Calif. - A California magistrate judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $900,000 settlement to pay claims brought by distribution center employees of CVS Pharmacy Inc., settling causes of action related to wages and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL,) and granted the claimants' motion for attorney fees (Leticia Ceja-Corona, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1868, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126885).
NEW YORK - The trustees of the asbestos trust established in the landmark Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp. abused their discretion and breached their fiduciary duties of impartiality and loyalty when they decided to disallow the submission of claims from a California attorney based on allegations that he has filed unreliable claim-related evidence with other asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, the attorney said Sept. 21 in his answer to the Johns-Manville trust's declaratory judgment adversary complaint (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Michael J. Mandelbrot and The Mandelbrot Law Firm, No. 15-01296], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Five defendants secured a defense verdict on Sept. 21 in an Alameda County asbestos trial alleging exposure to friction parts, including a brake-grinding machines manufacturer (Steve C. Swasey and Virginia R. Swasey v. Asbestos Companies, No. RG15758585, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Concluding that a trial court "erred by conflating restitution calculation with the liability inquiry" for claims brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 reversed a ruling that denied a putative class's motion for certification in its claims that Google Inc. misled them under its AdWords advertising program (Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 12-16752, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Seven owners of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. vehicles filed a class complaint in California federal court on Sept. 20 accusing the car maker of intentionally installing software on more than 482,000 diesel vehicles that circumvents U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for certain air pollutants (Michael McCabe, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., No. 15-1930, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Dismissal of federal claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because a lead plaintiff has failed to state a viable claim for relief against a software provider and certain of its executive officers, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 17 (Viswanath V. Shankar v. Imperva Inc., et al., No. 14-1680, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125279).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 19 summary judgment motion in California federal court, Yahoo Inc. asserts that its email scanning functions, which are at the heart of a privacy class action, comprise beneficial antivirus functions and benign targeted advertising but do not violate asserted federal and state privacy laws (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The state's workers' compensation exclusivity provision bars a tort action alleging exposures to asbestos from pipes a man brought home from work because it involves the same mesothelioma his occupational exposure triggered, a California appeals panel held Sept. 17 (Mary Melendrez, et al. v. Ameron International Corp., Nos. B256928, B259423, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 820).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 16 granted a bank's motion to dismiss a property owner's foreclosure-related claims against it, finding that his claims were precluded by the lack of any pending foreclosure sale (David P. Garcia v. PNC Mortgage, No. 14-cv-3543, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123920).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Social media giant Facebook Inc. told a California federal court in a Sept. 18 motion that the named plaintiffs in a five-year-old putative class action do not have standing to bring their privacy claims under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because they have not established any third-party access of their personal information or any injury in fact, thus meriting dismissal of the case (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An intellectual property holding and licensing firm filed a motion in California federal court Sept. 14, seeking an award of sanctions against Apple Inc. for what it calls unjustified misrepresentation of the technology giant's knowledge of the flash memory patents in suit prior to the filing of the present lawsuit, which it says resulted in prejudice and the dismissal of willful infringement claims (Longitude Licensing Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 3:14-cv-4275, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Social network provider Twitter Inc. was hit with a putative class action Sept. 14, when a Texas man filed a complaint in California federal court, alleging violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the California Invasion of Privacy Act (***) by Twitter's purported intercepting, reading and sometimes altering private messages between Twitter users (Wilford Raney v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:15-cv-04191, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - After recently awarding a man who alleged that he was discriminated against for his disability by the owner of a nursing home $75,000 in damages on his claims for violation of employment law, California's unfair competition law (UCL) and housing acts, a California federal judge on Sept. 14 awarded him $174,970.90 in costs and fees (Hector Montano v. Bonnie Brae Convalescent Hospital Inc., et al., No. 12-3462, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122329).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's decision to deny Apple Inc. a permanent injunction in high-stakes smart phone patent litigation was vacated and remanded Sept. 17 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., et al., No. 14-1802, Fed. Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer on Sept. 14 asked a Pennsylvania court to approve a settlement agreement with certain states' insurance guaranty associations (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001; California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 3 REL 2014; and California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 4 REL 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Lumber Liquidators Inc. deliberately misled consumers into believing that their flooring released "normal" and safe levels of formaldehyde when, in fact, the flooring was releasing levels much higher than prescribed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Toxic Substance Control Act, numerous consumers allege in their Sept. 11 representative class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (In Re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 15-2627, E.D. Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations that director James Cameron and co-defendant Gale Ann Hurd committed copyright infringement by borrowing certain literary and musical materials to develop the "Terminator" film franchise were rejected Sept. 11 by a California federal judge (Neil Goldberg v. James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd, No. 15-2556, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121501).