LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's proposal that liability be used to calculate offsets for pre-verdict settlements "is completely at odds" with state precedent, a California appeals panel held Aug. 20 in also affirming 50-50 split of asbestos settlement proceeds between personal injury and any future wrongful death action and denying offsets for potential asbestos bankruptcy recoveries (James Hellam v. Crane Co., No. A140326, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 720).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge said Aug. 18 that he granted a directed verdict in a Cymbalta withdrawal trial because the plaintiff failed to present evidence that a stronger warning would have prompted her prescribing physicians to not to prescribe the drug or that the plaintiff to have refused the drug (Erin Hexum, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 13-2701, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 20 overruled a 2003 decision regarding anti-assignment clauses in insurance policies and said California Insurance Code Section 520 allows a company to assign its rights under insurance policies to successors without an insurer's consent if the assignment occurs after the loss for which coverage is sought (Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. S205889, Calif. Sup.).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 refused to dismiss part of a borrower's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law but granted a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligent misrepresentation (Edward C. Hendricks v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-01299, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108313).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 granted an insurer's motion to amend its counterclaim to add an additional nine claims in an environmental remediation dispute after determining that one of the plaintiffs withheld documents on the basis of privilege without producing a privilege log (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108381).
FRESNO, Calif. - Since a proposed class action in which purchasers asserting violations of California's unfair competition law in relation to allegedly defective styling irons is still in the pre-class stage, a California federal judge on Aug. 17 denied the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional discovery on the irons (Delia Wilson, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, v. Conair Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00894, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109030).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding that a group of contributors to Yelp Inc.'s website were volunteers, not employees, a California federal judge on Aug. 13 granted Yelp's motion to dismiss their putative class action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Lily Jeung, et al. v. Yelp Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02228, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107427).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A contractor's poor job cleaning the air ducts of two California homeowners cannot support their common-law negligence and emotional distress claims against Groupon Inc., a California federal judge ruled Aug. 14, finding that the allegedly negligent actions were not related to the deal purchased from Groupon (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc. et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A forum selection clause for Google Play requiring that all disputes be resolved in California led a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 13 to transfer allegations of contributory trademark infringement and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage there (Spy Phone Labs LLC v. Google Inc. et al., No. 14-6565, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106365).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 18 declined to grant class action status in a suit accusing Apple Inc. of violating the Wiretap Act and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by wrongfully intercepting, storing and preventing former Apple device users from receiving text messages sent to them from current Apple device users (Adam Backhaut, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-2285, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107519).
SAN FRANCISCO - Section 835 of the Government Claims Act does not require a plaintiff to demonstrate that an allegedly dangerous condition caused third-party conduct that gave rise to an accident that resulted in injury, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled Aug. 13 (Antonio Cordova, et al. v. City of Los Angeles, No. S208130, Calif. Sup.; 2015 Cal. LEXIS 5406).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in rejecting a theory of patent infringement advanced by JVC Kenwood Corp. (JVC), whereby a defendant's sale of software to end users of DVD and Blu-ray discs that allegedly infringed various patents rendered the defendant liable for contributory and induced infringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 17 (JVC Kenwood Corporation v. Nero Inc., No. 14-1011, Fed. Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - A California state unfair competition law (UCL) claim is the only claim remaining after a federal judge in California on Aug. 14 ruled on a motion to dismiss in a case accusing mortgage companies of foreclosing on the plaintiff's home despite promising to postpone the action after receiving written confirmation of the escrow closing date for the sale of the home by the plaintiff to another buyer (Deborah Davenport v. Seattle Bank, et al., No. 15-4475, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107499).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man who allegedly ran hundreds of websites that infringed the trademarks of a university for the purpose of selling unauthorized course materials failed to establish that the exercise of jurisdiction over him, despite being located in India, would violate due process, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 13, denying his motion to dismiss (Apollo Education Group Inc., et al. v. Vivek Somani, No. 3:15-cv-01056, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107439).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A state unfair competition law (UCL) claim and portions of a fraud claim will continue against defendants accused of breach of contract for failing to deliver computers or refund the bitcoin used to pay for the merchandise, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 14 (Pete Morici v. HashFast Technologies, et al., No. 14-87, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107449).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge presiding over a Cymbalta withdrawal trial on Aug. 13 issued a directed verdict during the third day of trial (Erin Hexum, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 13-2701, C.D. Calif.).