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.).
LOS ANGELES - Nothing in the record indicates that a vessel owner controlled the area where a man suffered fatal exposure to asbestos or that it had knowledge of the dangers he did not possess, a California appeals court held Aug. 11 in finding the action preempted (Mary Murat, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. B247889, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5710).
SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer had at least a partial duty to defend an insured and an additional insured against allegations arising from breach of quiet enjoyment and demolition in an underlying lawsuit filed by tenants seeking damages for asbestos damages in a construction project, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 12 (Parklyn Bay Company LLC v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. 13-3124, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106231).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 7 ruled that the current owner of a contaminated property that has resulted in groundwater tainted with toxins must bear the burden of all costs associated with remediating the site despite the fact that the pollution was caused by the previous owner (Northern California River Watch v. Fluor Corporation, No. 10-05105, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104710).
FRESNO, Calif. - In an unpublished opinion, a California appeals court on Aug. 10 affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction in a suit accusing an independent practice association (IPA) of violating the unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly sending threatening notices and ultimatums to primary care physicians to dissuade them from contracting with another medical group (Saint Agnes Medical Center, et al. v. Sante Community Physicians IPA Medical Group, No. F069510, Calif. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5697).
SAN FRANCISCO - A majority of the California Supreme Court on Aug. 10 found that a commercial general liability insurer can maintain a direct suit against its insureds' independent counsel for reimbursement of allegedly unreasonable or unnecessary underlying defense costs, reversing an appeals court in part (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., et al., No. S211645, Calif. Sup.; 2015 Cal. LEXIS 5405).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit was proper because insureds failed to submit to an examination under oath with their insurer and failed to bring their claims within the one-year statute of limitations, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 6 (Shauna S. Callison, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. G050633, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5633).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In dismissing a class action lawsuit with leave to amend, a California federal judge on Aug. 6 held that a Chinese restaurant did not discriminate or violate the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by charging a higher price for gluten-free menu items than for its regular menu items (Anna Marie Phillips v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., No. 15-344, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103481).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 5 dismissed with leave to amend a class action complaint accusing an appliance manufacturer of knowingly selling defective ovens in violation of state laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL) (William Burdt v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 15-1563, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102761).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 5 declined to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing a credit-building and credibility solutions business of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by making repeated unwanted calls to the plaintiff's cellular phone despite requests to be placed on a "do-not-call" list and a cease-and-desist letter (Jeffrey A. Thomas v. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., No. 15-3194, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103322).