LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 4 Incretin Mimetic Defendants Get $683,440 In Costs Following Summary Judgment

SAN DIEGO - The California federal court overseeing the incretin mimetics multidistrict litigation on Feb. 18 awarded $683,440 in costs to four defendants following a November summary judgment in their favor (In Re: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2452, No. 13-md-2452, S.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Allows Expert Testimony Challenged As 'Every Exposure,' Diagnosis Evidence

SAN DIEGO - Defendants mischaracterize expert testimony that every exposure contributes to the final dose as every exposure causes disease, and their complaints regarding a second expert's immunohistochemical stain-based diagnosis are not grounds for exclusion, a federal judge in California held Feb. 16 (Gail Elizabeth Walashek, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 14-1567, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18623).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Finds California Law Claims Are Not Preempted By ERISA

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 16 remanded an hourly worker's claims for violation of the California Labor Code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) to a state court, finding that his claims against his employer were not completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Ruben Mendoza, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Aramark Services Inc., et al., No. 150-cv-05142, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18648).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds California Law Claims Are Not Preempted By ERISA

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 16 remanded an hourly worker's claims for violation of the California Labor Code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) to a state court, finding that his claims against his employer were not completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Ruben Mendoza, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Aramark Services Inc., et al., No. 150-cv-05142, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18648).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Blind Moviegoers Sue AMC For Failing To Maintain Audio Equipment

SAN FRANCISCO - Five blind individuals and two organizations filed a class complaint in California federal court on Feb. 16 accusing AMC Entertainment Inc., AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and American Multi-Cinema Inc. of failing to maintain audio description equipment for blind customers to use (Scott Blanks, et al. v. AMC Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 16-765, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Apple Ordered To Unlock San Bernardino Terrorists' IPhone, Vows To Oppose

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The same day that a California federal magistrate judge issued an order compelling Apple Inc. to "unlock" a cellular phone owned by one of the shooters in the December San Bernardino, Calif., attack, Apple on Feb. 16 released a public statement asserting its opposition to the order out of a concern for privacy and security from technology and a precedent that "would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect" (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. 5:15-mj-00451, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Order Lifting Stay Of Employee's Claims Against Remax

LOS ANGELES - After finding that an order lifting a stay of a case in which a former employee of a real estate company asserted claims for harassment and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not an appealable order, a California appellate court on Feb. 11 affirmed the decision (Amparo Gastelum v. Remax International, Inc., et al., No. B263213, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 101).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Uber Agrees To Settle Safe Ride Fee Claims For $28.5 Million

SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who sued Uber Technologies Inc. and Raiser LLC in California federal court over the ride-share service's "Safe Rides Fee" filed a stipulation of settlement on Feb. 11 stating that the defendants have agreed to pay $28.5 million to end the class action complaint and will rename the fee as well as change the advertising wording regarding safety (Matthew Philliben, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 14-5615, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Copyright Claim Dismissed With Prejudice By California Federal Judge

SPOKANE, Wash. - Despite a defendant's assertion of malicious intent, a plaintiff on Feb. 12 was granted permission by a California federal judge to voluntarily dismiss its copyright infringement claim (Leisure Concepts Inc. v. California Home Spas Inc., No. 14-388, E.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17775).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Metal-Injury Claim About Cervical Spine Device Time-Barred, Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 10 dismissed without prejudice a plaintiff's breach of contract claims involving an experimental cervical disc device and metal toxicity (Colleen Jaeger, et al. v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., No. 15-164, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16493).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Remands UCL And Labor Claims Against Meat-Processing Company

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a meat-processing plant employee's claims for violation of California law were not preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), a California federal judge on Feb. 8 granted his request to remand claims for violation of the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) to state court (Leonel Alvarado v. King Meat, Inc., et al., No. 15-09766, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15833).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit Upholds Administrators' Rejection Of Hospital's Plan Interpretation

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial court's decision that plan administrators reasonably rejected a hospital's claim that an increase in lifetime maximum benefits for "claims incurred" since a specific date did not include claims made after that date for services rendered prior to that date (Perris Valley Community Hospital, LLC, DBA Vista Hospital of Riverside, A California Limited Liability Company v. Southern California Pipe Trades Administrative Corporation, et al., No. 14-55408, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Ruling Awarding Nothing To Parties To Real Estate Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial court's decision that a party to a real estate purchase agreement who asserted causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and declaratory relief was pari delicto and not entitled to damages and affirmed an order that refused to award a party to the agreement attorney fees (Milton Righetti, et al. v. Braddock & Logan Group III L.P., No. A136930, 1st Cir., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 980).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - After Reversal By 9th Circuit, Judgment Granted On Substantial Factor Grounds

LOS ANGELES - A plaintiff lacks sufficient evidence of substantial factor causation, a federal judge in California said Feb. 8 in once again granting three companies summary judgment in an asbestos case after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling (Charles Curtis v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 12-2014, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15735).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Claims Related To Labeling Of Taco Shells Preempted By Federal Law

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge dismissed certain claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL) in relation to the sale of taco shells containing partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) as preempted by federal law, but allowed other UCL and breach of the implied warranty of merchantability claims to proceed (Troy Walker v. B&G Foods Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-03772, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15194).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - After Reversal By 9th Circuit, Judgment Granted On Substantial Factor Grounds

LOS ANGELES - A plaintiff lacks sufficient evidence of substantial factor causation, a federal judge in California said Feb. 8 in once again granting three companies summary judgment in an asbestos case after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling (Charles Curtis v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 12-2014, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15735).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Federal Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Long-Running Tobacco Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal jury on Feb. 9 rendered a verdict in favor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. in a long-running case that went to the California Supreme Court after a woman sued the companies alleging the companies caused her addiction to cigarettes, which led to a diagnosis of lung cancer in 2003 (Nikki Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. et al, No. 04-cv-1221-PJH, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs Successfully Overturn Asbestos Judgments For 3 Friction Defendants

SAN FRANCISCO - Testimony placing a decedent at a garage during work on asbestos-containing friction products suffices to overcome summary judgment, a California appeals court held Feb. 8 in reversing judgment for three of four defendants (Geraldine Bierner Lepore, et al. v. Kelsey-Hayes Co., et al., No. A137451, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Dismisses Employee's Conversion Claim For Unpaid Wages

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 5 dismissed a claim for conversion asserted by an employee of a travel company who also asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Labor Code, finding that it was not possible to make a definite calculation of the amount of hours she worked to be converted (Milagros Alvarenga v. Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-01560, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15180).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL And Contract Claims Related To Sale Of Restaurants

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 4 partially granted a motion filed by a chain of restaurants and others to dismiss claims against them for breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a chef could not seek damages under the UCL and that she failed to provide a copy of the underlying agreement that was allegedly breached (Tanya Malch, a/k/a Tanya Petrovna v. Daniel G. Dolan, et al., No. 15-00517, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14542).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses Employee's Conversion Claim For Unpaid Wages

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 5 dismissed a claim for conversion asserted by an employee of a travel company who also asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Labor Code, finding that it was not possible to make a definite calculation of the amount of hours she worked to be converted (Milagros Alvarenga v. Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-01560, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15180).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured Properly Pleads Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Judge Rules

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 4 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured has properly pleaded his claims "and the legal basis for those claims" in his complaint (Nicholas Thanos, M.D. v. Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-7902, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14460).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs Successfully Overturn Asbestos Judgments For 3 Friction Defendants

SAN FRANCISCO - Testimony placing a decedent at a garage during work on asbestos-containing friction products suffices to overcome summary judgment, a California appeals court held Feb. 8 in reversing judgment for three of four defendants (Geraldine Bierner Lepore, et al. v. Kelsey-Hayes Co., et al., No. A137451, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Nike Denied Summary Judgment In California Unfair Competition Case

SAN DIEGO - Allegations that Nike Inc. violated the Lanham Act and California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 by selling apparel bearing registered trademarks for "Don't Tread on Me" and "DTOM" will proceed, thanks to a California federal judge's Feb. 3 denial of Nike's motion for summary judgment (Bauer Bros. LLC v. Nike Inc., No. 09-500, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13012.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Class Certification Denied For 2nd Time In E-Cigarette Safety Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 2 denied an amended motion for class certification filed in in a lawsuit brought by consumers who allege that deceptive advertising by a maker of electronic cigarettes led them to believe that they were safer than smoking traditional cigarettes (In Re: NJOY Inc. Consumer Class Action Litigation, No. 14-00428, C.D. Calif.).