LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Plaintiff Failed To Prove Access To Work

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly granted three defendants summary judgment on allegations that they infringed a copyrighted two-measure vocal melody in their hit song "Domino" because the plaintiff failed to present any admissible evidence that established access to the allegedly infringed work, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 2 (Will Loomis v. Jessie J., et al., No. 13-57093, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16261).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit: EPA Did Not Act Capriciously In Approving Building Permit

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when approving a permit that allowed Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. to build a biomass-burning power plant at its lumber mill in California, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 2, finding that the agency properly considered the company's design and purpose for burning biowaste material (Helping Hand Tools, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-72553, Center of Biological Diversity v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-72602, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16262).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Statute Voiding Discretionary Clauses Does Not Apply To Health Plan, Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A California statute voiding discretionary clauses in disability and life insurance policies does not apply to a claim for medical expenses under a health insurance policy because New York law applies to the dispute and because health insurance is not a form of disability insurance, a California federal judge said Aug. 30 (David Bain et al., v. United Healthcare Inc., No. 15-3305, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116805).

Mealey's Insurance - Statute Voiding Discretionary Clauses Does Not Apply To Health Plan, Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A California statute voiding discretionary clauses in disability and life insurance policies does not apply to a claim for medical expenses under a health insurance policy because New York law applies to the dispute and because health insurance is not a form of disability insurance, a California federal judge said Aug. 30 (David Bain et al., v. United Healthcare Inc., No. 15-3305, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116805).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA Class Action Against Chevron Corp.

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 granted Chevron Corp.'s motion to dismiss an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action against it alleging breach of fiduciary duty for failure to state a claim (Charles E. White, et al. v. Chevron Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-0793, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115875).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Ship Builder Tells Judge Man's Bid For Discovery Sanctions Unfounded

LOS ANGELES - The court previously considered and rejected a man's claim involving discovery violations, an asbestos defendant told a federal judge in California on Aug. 29 in urging him to deny terminating sanctions. An Aug. 1 ruling in the case denied reconsideration of a ruling allowing strict liability claims arising from exposure aboard a Navy ship to proceed (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Victims' Families File Amended Complaint In Terrorism Aiding Suit Against Twitter

OAKLAND, Calif. - Two weeks after a California federal judge dismissed their suit against Twitter Inc. under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), the family members of two terror attack victims on Aug. 30 filed an amended complaint focusing on Twitter's purported "provision of material support" to ISIS and its supporters via its social network services (Tamara Fields, et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 4:16-cv-00213, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Snapchat Biometrics Class Complaint Dismissed In Favor Of Arbitration

LOS ANGELES - One day after filing a notice of nonopposition to a motion to compel arbitration by Snapchat Inc., the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action on Aug. 30 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in California federal court, agreeing to pursue their claim against the social network provider under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via arbitration (Jose Luis Martinez, et al. v. Snapchat Inc., No. 2:16-CV-05182, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Stay UCL And Labor Claims Pending Outcome Of New York Action

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that no exceptional circumstances existed in an action in which a former franchisee asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action, a California federal judge on Aug. 30 refused to stay the case pending the outcome of another related action pending in New York (James S. Martin v. Minuteman Press International Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-00833, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116733).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA Class Action Against Chevron Corp.

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 granted Chevron Corp.'s motion to dismiss an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action against it alleging breach of fiduciary duty for failure to state a claim (Charles E. White, et al. v. Chevron Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-0793, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115875).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Golden State Warriors Hit With Suit Alleging Eavesdropping By Phone App

SAN FRANCISCO - The Golden State Warriors was named as a co-defendant in a putative class action in California federal court Aug. 29, with a plaintiff alleging that the National Basketball Association team's mobile phone app illegally intercepts and records users' private conversations in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Latisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ship Builder Tells Judge Man's Bid For Discovery Sanctions Unfounded

LOS ANGELES - The court previously considered and rejected a man's claim involving discovery violations, an asbestos defendant told a federal judge in California on Aug. 29 in urging him to deny terminating sanctions. An Aug. 1 ruling in the case denied reconsideration of a ruling allowing strict liability claims arising from exposure aboard a Navy ship to proceed (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Awards $1.5 Million In Fees In Phase I Of Patent Case

LOS ANGELES - Following his June ruling that deemed a patent plaintiff's conduct "exceptional," a California federal judge on Aug. 31 ordered the plaintiff to pay several defendants $1.55 million in attorney fees (Kinglite Holdings Inc. v. Micro-Star International Co. Ltd., et al., No. 14-3009, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge: Bus Driver's Class Counsel Is Inadequate

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion for certification of a class of bus drivers bringing wage-and-hour claims, finding that class counsel does not meet Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23's adequacy requirement (James Motty, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 15-7463, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114948).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge: Bus Driver's Class Counsel Is Inadequate

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion for certification of a class of bus drivers bringing wage-and-hour claims, finding that class counsel does not meet Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23's adequacy requirement (James Motty, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 15-7463, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114948).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Stays UCL And Trademark Claims Pending Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 stayed a trademark infringement case filed in relation to a mark for apparel, pending the outcome of a motion to dismiss a related case filed in New York (Therapy Stores Inc. v. JGV Apparel Group LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-02588-YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115012).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Stays UCL And Trademark Claims Pending Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 stayed a trademark infringement case filed in relation to a mark for apparel, pending the outcome of a motion to dismiss a related case filed in New York (Therapy Stores Inc. v. JGV Apparel Group LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-02588-YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115012).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge: Bus Driver's Class Counsel Is Inadequate

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion for certification of a class of bus drivers bringing wage-and-hour claims, finding that class counsel does not meet Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23's adequacy requirement (James Motty, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 15-7463, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114948).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Has Alleged 2nd Insurer Has Duty To Defend Suit Against Football Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 held that a commercial general liability insurer has alleged that some of the claims in an underlying lawsuit against the San Francisco Forty Niners Football Co. and others are potentially covered by a second insurance policy (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Great Divide Insurance Co., No. 16-02114, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115872).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL And HBOR Claims Against JP Morgan Chase

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 found that a borrower failed to adequately plead his claims related to his application for a loan modification, granting a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional stress and violation of California law (Douglas K. Ivey v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-00610, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115863).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Motion To Enjoin State WEN Hair Loss Suits Is Denied By Federal Judge

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion to temporarily enjoin three state court cases filed against the maker of a line of hair products that allegedly cause hair loss, finding that the state courts do not threaten settlement of a federal class action that makes similar hair loss claims (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114934).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses UCL And HBOR Claims Against JP Morgan Chase

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 found that a borrower failed to adequately plead his claims related to his application for a loan modification, granting a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional stress and violation of California law (Douglas K. Ivey v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-00610, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115863).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Motion To Enjoin State WEN Hair Loss Suits Is Denied By Federal Judge

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion to temporarily enjoin three state court cases filed against the maker of a line of hair products that allegedly cause hair loss, finding that the state courts do not threaten settlement of a federal class action that makes similar hair loss claims (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114934).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Lead Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Demand Futility In Shareholder Derivative Suit

OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 granted a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a shareholder derivative lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their claims and failed to properly plead demand futility pursuant to the Delaware Supreme Court's ruling in Rales v. Blasband (In re Rocket Fuel Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 15-4625, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115023).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Final Approval Granted To Settlement In Yahoo Email-Scanning Class Action

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Following an Aug. 25 hearing, a California federal judge granted approval that same day of a settlement agreement disposing of a class action over Yahoo Inc.'s scanning of emails, awarding the class $4 million in costs and fees and $20,000 in service awards (In Re Yahoo Mail Litigation, No. 5:13-cv-04980, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115056).