LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge Remands, Finds PAGA Attorney Fees Must Be Divided

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 11 granted a motion to remand a labor violations class complaint, finding that the amount in controversy is not met because attorney fees in a Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) case must be apportioned among the total number of aggrieved employees (Wayne Russell, Jr. v. Aramark Refreshment Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-613, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31838).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Appeals Panel: Class Member Failed To Properly Challenge Attorney Fees

SAN DIEGO - A class member in a Song-Beverly Credit Card Act suit who filed only a notice of appearance and later objected to an attorney fee award failed to reserve her right to appeal the award as she was neither a party nor aggrieved by the award, a California appellate panel ruled March 14 (Mike Hernandez, et al. v. Restoration Hardware, Inc., No. D067091, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 185).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Says Company Is Liable For PCE Contamination, Finds Expert Unreliable

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 15 granted in part the Department of Toxic Substances Control's (DTSC) motion for summary judgment in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, finding that a defendant company was unable to provide any expert testimony to show that it did not cause tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination on the property (Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-5845-VC, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33379).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Unimpaired Man With Pleural Plaques May Seek Medical Monitoring, Court Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A man with pleural plaques but no impairment may seek medical-monitoring costs arising as a result of his asbestos exposure, a California appeals court held March 14 in reversing summary judgment on his negligence claim (Robert James Hanson v. Collins Electrical Co., No. A141878, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Apple: Order Compelling Unlocking Of Shooter's IPhone Is Unconstitutional

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In a March 15 brief supporting its motion to vacate an order requiring it to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation in gaining access to a locked iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists, Apple Inc. tells a California federal court that the order violates the Constitution and is not authorized by the All Writs Act, under which it was issued (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:16-cm-00010, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Largely Denies Leave To Amend Patent Invalidity Contentions

SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to supplement its invalidity contentions was granted in part and denied in part March 10 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SBD BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31105).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Twitter Moves To Dismiss Terrorism Aiding Complaint Under Telecommunications Act

OAKLAND, Calif. - In a March 10 motion to dismiss in California federal court, Twitter Inc. asserts that the widow of a terror attack victim did not allege any connection between the social network operator and the man responsible for the attack, also arguing that Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 shields it from any liability for third-party messages posted on its "ubiquitously available online communications platform" (Tamara Fields v. Twitter Inc., No. 4:16-cv-00213, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiff Tells Judge That Merits, Harm Dictate Denying Stay Of Remand

OAKLAND, Calif. - An aircraft brake manufacturer lacks support for the argument that there is merit in its potential appeal or that immediate remand of an asbestos action harms it, a widow told a federal judge in California on March 10 (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 15-309, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30406).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Google, Oracle Opine On Internet Searches Of Jurors In Java Copyright Retrial

SAN FRANCISCO - In response to requests for information by a California federal judge, Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc. on March 9 filed supplemental briefs offering their opinions as to what are acceptable uses of Internet searches for information on potential jurors in an upcoming retrial on fair use in a copyright dispute over the Java operating system (Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiff Tells Judge That Merits, Harm Dictate Denying Stay Of Remand

OAKLAND, Calif. - An aircraft brake manufacturer lacks support for the argument that there is merit in its potential appeal or that immediate remand of an asbestos action harms it, a widow told a federal judge in California on March 10 (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 15-309, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30406).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Partial Judgment For Condo Buyers

PASADENA, Calif. - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed a grant of partial summary judgment in favor of a class of purchasers of nonresidential condominiums who claimed that a group of developers and their agents or affiliates committed unlawful business practices in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Dean Beaver, et al. v. Tarsadia Hotels, et al., No. 15-55106, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4466).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Google, Oracle Opine On Internet Searches Of Jurors In Java Copyright Retrial

SAN FRANCISCO - In response to requests for information by a California federal judge, Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc. on March 9 filed supplemental briefs offering their opinions as to what are acceptable uses of Internet searches for information on potential jurors in an upcoming retrial on fair use in a copyright dispute over the Java operating system (Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Rental Car Consumers Failed To Sufficiently Amend Class For Certification

OAKLAND, Calif. - An amended class certification motion was not sufficiently narrowed by consumers who have accused rental car companies of engaging in the practice of selling collision or liability damage waiver policies for vehicle rentals to plaintiffs without providing adequate notice that the coverage might be duplicative of other policies already held by the consumers, a California federal judge ruled March 8 (Sandra McKinnon, et al. v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., et al., No. 12-4457, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29671).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - DOJ Says Burden On Apple To Unlock Shooter's IPhone Is 'Not Unreasonable'

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In a brief filed March 10 in California federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice defends its motion to compel Apple Inc. to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation gain access to the iPhone belonging to one of the accused San Bernardino, Calif., shooters, arguing that any burden on the technology giant in terms of time and manpower would be minimal (In the matter of the search of an Apple iPhone seized during the execution of a search warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, California License Plate 35KGD203, No. 5:16-cm-00010, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Rental Car Consumers Failed To Sufficiently Amend Class For Certification

OAKLAND, Calif. - An amended class certification motion was not sufficiently narrowed by consumers who have accused rental car companies of engaging in the practice of selling collision or liability damage waiver policies for vehicle rentals to plaintiffs without providing adequate notice that the coverage might be duplicative of other policies already held by the consumers, a California federal judge ruled March 8 (Sandra McKinnon, et al. v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., et al., No. 12-4457, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29671).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tobacco Company To Appeal $900,000 Verdict In 9th Circuit

LOS ANGELES - A tobacco company on March 8 filed notice with a federal court in California that it will appeal a $900,000 judgment entered in favor of a deceased smoker's daughter to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jodie Bullock v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., No. CV-14-1258DSF, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Novartis Can Face Claims For Generic Injuries, California Appeals Court Rules

SAN DIEGO - A California appeals court panel on March 9 reversed a trial court's demurrer, finding that a plaintiff can amend his complaint under state law to allege that Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. failed to warn or negligently misrepresented the birth defect risk from off-label use of its former asthma drug Brethine, even though injury was allegedly caused by a generic version of the drug (T.H., et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. D067839, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 179).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Orders Sanctions For Attorney After Tobacco Trial

SAN FRANCISCO - Following the conclusion of a long-running tobacco trial, a federal judge in California on March 7 ordered one of the plaintiff's attorneys to pay $1,500 in sanctions for misconduct during the trial (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., No. 04-cv-1221-PJH, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defense Verdict In Long-Running Tobacco Suit To Be Appealed To 9th Circuit

SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiff in a long-running tobacco case on March 9 gave notice to a federal court in California that she will appeal a Feb. 9 defense verdict to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al, No. 04-cv-1221-PJH, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Trims Claims In Securities Class Action Against Semiconductor Maker

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that although shareholders properly pleaded scienter, loss causation and an actionable misrepresentation, they lack standing to bring claims pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933 (Keith Thomas, et al. v. Magnachip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28077).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Federal Judge Trims Claims In Securities Class Action Against Semiconductor Maker

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that although shareholders properly pleaded scienter, loss causation and an actionable misrepresentation, they lack standing to bring claims pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933 (Keith Thomas, et al. v. Magnachip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28077).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss 2 Of Insurer's Counterclaims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 3 refused to dismiss an insurer's amended counterclaims for breach of contract and declaratory relief in an environmental contamination dispute because the insurer adequately alleged claims that the insureds misled the insurer regarding the scope of the environmental contamination and deprived the insurer of its subrogation rights (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27434).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Individual Issues Predominate In Mental Health Review Class Action, Court Says

LOS ANGELES - Whether a health insurance provider denied medically necessary mental health care would require investigation into individual circumstances, a California appeals court held March 3 in affirming denial of class certification (Louise Fradenburg v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. B258404, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Grants Preliminary Approval Of $9M Securities Class Action Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 4 granted preliminary approval of a settlement in a securities class action lawsuit against a company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the settlement meets all statutory requirements for settlement (In re Vocera Communications Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-3567, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Defense Expert Barred From Testifying On Damage Analysis For Labor Premiums

FRESNO, Calif. - Having previously excluded an expert's report and testimony as to dollar figures of his aggregate damages analysis for rest break premiums, meal period premiums and underpaid meal premium classes for damages pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7, a California federal magistrate judge on March 2 precluded plaintiffs from eliciting testimony from the defendant's expert as to the damage estimates (Sandrika Medlock, et al. v. Taco Bell Corp., et al., No. 07-01314, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26350).