LOS ANGELES - California's high court should accept review of a $2 million verdict in an asbestos case and firmly establish that testimony that any exposure to asbestos causes disease falls short of the state's causation standard, amici curiae argue in an April 29 brief (Nickole Davis, as personal representative, etc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. S233753, Calif. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - An automobile brake-grinding-machine manufacturer must face claims arising from a man's asbestos exposure because the evidence suggests the machines' use would inevitably create a hazardous condition, a California appeals court held April 28 (Susan Hetzel v. Hennessy Industries Inc., No. A144218, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3167).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court panel on April 29 affirmed a demurrer in a Lap-Band injury case, agreeing with the trial court that the plaintiff's claims that defendant Allergan Inc. improperly trained her surgeon are preempted by federal law (Ashley Glennen v. Allergan, Inc., No. A145367, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 347).
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman who says she received "multiple" unsolicited text messages from Facebook Inc. that were intended for the prior holder of her cell phone number, filed a putative class complaint against the social network operator April 26 in California federal court, alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California jury hit respirator manufacturer American Optical Corp. with a $32 million verdict April 26, including $22.8 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Sources told Mealey Publications that it is the first punitive damages award against the company related to its respirators (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. BC588866, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 26 dismissed a lawsuit against Whole Foods Market Inc., ruling that the plaintiffs failed to allege that the company made affirmative misrepresentations or actionable omissions regarding the advertising of its meat products (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, et al. v. Whole Foods Market California Inc., et al., No. 15-4301, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an April 26 brief in California federal court, Google Inc. argues that the claims brought against it by 710 individual plaintiffs, related to Google's purported scanning of their emails, constitute an inappropriate "end run around" the proper filing processes and an effort to circumvent the class action guidelines of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23 (Ryan Corley, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-00473, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held April 26 that an insurer owes coverage under the technology and professional services liability and content liability provisions of an insurance policy for underlying claims against the insured involving an online teaching program (Educational Impact, et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-04510, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55653).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a pair of April 26 filings in California federal court, the putative class representatives in a suit over a breach of Anthem Inc.'s network opposed motions to dismiss by Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS), arguing that they have sufficiently pleaded facts to support breach and negligence claims and have satisfied standing requirements (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02617, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A widow lacks sufficient evidence of her husband's post-employment asbestos exposure to avoid California's workers' compensation exclusivity bar, a federal judge held April 25 (Gail Elizabeth Walashek, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-1567, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55013).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 determined that a disability insurer's denial of a claim for long-term disability benefits was not supported by the medical evidence and overturned the insurer's denial of benefits on the basis that the claimant was totally disabled from performing the duties of his own occupation (Dave Nagy v. Group Long Term Disability Plan for Employees of Oracle America Inc., et al., No. 14-38, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54354).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Because a disability plan does not require that all administrative remedies be exhausted prior to filing a civil suit, a California federal judge on April 22 rejected the defendants' argument that a claimant's suit must be dismissed because he failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing suit against the defendants (Steve Lin v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2126, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55006).
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. on April 22 moved for partial summary judgment in a class action in California federal court related to the purported accessing of users' private address book information on their Apple devices by various applications (apps), seeking to dispose of claims that it aided and abetted related to accused privacy violations by Path Inc., one of the co-defendant app developer firms (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Path Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 found that a lower court erred in holding that recovery for embezzled client funds under a fidelity bond policy would violate California Insurance Code Section 533, concluding that policy endorsements created a surety relationship that is exempt from Section 533 (Thomas A. Dillon, as court appointed receiver for Vesta Strategies LLC and Excalibur 1031 Group v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 14-15802, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7350).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 issued an order directing those individuals who object to the proposed $100 million settlement filed a day earlier in a class wage-and-hour dispute filed against Uber Technologies Inc. to file "a single document (instead of multiple filings) discussing all of their concerns and objections to the settlement, which will then be filed on the court docket" (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3826, Hakan Yucesoy, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-262, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting judgment in favor of a pension plan and its administrators in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits because the plaintiff was unable to independently provide key information about corporate structures or hours worked needed to substantiate his claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7216).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A former charter of a national fraternal organization dedicated to promoting the interests of farming and agriculture was ordered April 20 by a California federal judge to cease inclusion of the word "Grange" in its name (The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry v. California State Grange, No. 14-676, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53038).