LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Employer To Pay $6 Million To Settle Federal, State Wage Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $6 million settlement to be paid by a company that provides asset protection solutions to hourly technicians who are members of a putative class and collective action in which they alleged that they were denied compensation for work-related activities, including mandatory trainings and traveling to and from customer worksites (Edgar Viceral, et al. v. Mistras Group, Inc., No. 15-2198, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140759).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Reconsideration Of Class Certification Denied In Suits Over Denial Of Care

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 12 denied a motion filed by United Behavioral Health (UBH) to either reconsider his Sept. 19 certification of a class of insureds accusing UBH of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands or certify the order for interlocutory appeal (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141441).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Whirlpool Dishwasher Settlement Granted Final Approval By California Federal Judge

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A settlement, estimated to be worth up to $100 million by plaintiffs' counsel, ending a class complaint alleging defects in Whirlpool Corp.-manufactured dishwashers that caused them to smoke, spark and catch on fire was granted final approval Oct. 11 by a California federal judge (Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., No. 11-1733, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140839).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Glass Maker Sues Tobacco Shop For Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Products

LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge Refuses To Expand Class Period For School Bus Drivers

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of a school bus transportation company, refusing to expand a class period to assert claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to unpaid wages (Delores Humes, et al. v. First Student Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-01861, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140867).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Glass Maker Sues Tobacco Shop For Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Products

LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - San Diego Port Sues Federal Government For Groundwater, Soil Contamination

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Unified Port District (SDUPD) on Oct. 11 filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the U.S. government, seeking cost recovery and damages related to alleged contamination of the port and the groundwater around it with industrial waste (San Diego Unified Port District v. United States of America, No. 16-2540, S.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Magistrate Judge Refuses To Expand Class Period For School Bus Drivers

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of a school bus transportation company, refusing to expand a class period to assert claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to unpaid wages (Delores Humes, et al. v. First Student Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-01861, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140867).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Says Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Reinsurer

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 12 granted a reinsurer's motion to dismiss in an asbestos coverage suit on the basis that the California federal court lacks jurisdiction over the reinsurer whose headquarters are based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (The American Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 16-3044, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141467).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Says Fact Issues Exist As To Creation Of Secret Company

HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 7 found that genuine issues of fact exist as to whether a company and its owners violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and certain employment laws, refusing to grant summary judgment on claims asserted against it in relation to an underlying purchase agreement (HTK Hawaii Inc. v. Kevin Sun, et al., No. 15-00114, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140151).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Nonprofit Says It Can Assert UCL Claims Related To Animal Abuse

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A nonprofit organization seeking to stop alleged activities that involve the ritual killing of chickens on Oct. 7 filed its response to an order to show cause as to why its claims in a California federal court should not be dismissed, arguing that it has standing to sue under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, et al., No. 16-01810, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Appeals Panel: Winery Not At Fault In Fall Suit

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appellate panel on Oct. 7 affirmed summary judgment for the owners of a winery where a woman fell on a patio and injured herself (Lorna Good v. OGB Partners LLC., No. E062751, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7316).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Allows U.S. Navy To Intervene In Contamination Dispute

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 6 granted a motion to intervene filed by the U.S. Department of the Navy in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the addition of the Navy as a party to the suit will not prejudice the insurer and will help the court in developing the facts at issue (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139383).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Foo Fighters' Breach Of Contract Suit Against Insurers, Brokers

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 7 dismissed with prejudice Foo Fighters LLC's breach of contract lawsuit seeking full policy benefits for 11 shows that were canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and an injury singer and guitarist Dave Grohl suffered during a performance one day after the band and its insurers and brokers filed a stipulation for dismissal (Foo Fighters LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 16-cv-04208, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Extracontractual Monetary Damages Are Recoverable Under ERISA, Panel Says, Reverses

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel held Oct. 6 that monetary relief for extracontractual harm is legally recoverable under Section 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, reversing a lower court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend a managed care company against underlying lawsuits (Health Net, Inc. v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., et al., No. B262716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7296).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds UCL Claim Is Not Time-Barred Against Title Company

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 5 partially granted a motion to dismiss claims related to reverse mortgages on a borrower's property, finding that their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) could proceed and that their claims for elder financial abuse were properly pleaded (Willie York, et al. v. Bank of America, et al., No. 14-cv-02471, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138585.)

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds UCL Claim Is Not Time-Barred Against Title Company

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 5 partially granted a motion to dismiss claims related to reverse mortgages on a borrower's property, finding that their claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) could proceed and that their claims for elder financial abuse were properly pleaded (Willie York, et al. v. Bank of America, et al., No. 14-cv-02471, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138585.)

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Orders Foo Fighters To Show Cause Why Suit Should Not Be Dismissed

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 5 ordered Foo Fighters LLC to show cause in writing why their breach of contract lawsuit seeking full policy benefits for 11 shows that were canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks should not be dismissed for lack of prosecution (Foo Fighters LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 16-cv-04208, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Fair Claims Reporting Act Class Action Against Lyft Dismissed For Lack Of Standing

SAN FRANCISCO - In light of the concrete injury in fact requirement established by Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (136 S.Ct. 1540 [2016]), a California federal judge on Oct. 5 dismissed an employee's putative Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action against ride-sharing service Lyft Inc., finding that the plaintiff's statutory and privacy violation claims were insufficient to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Michael Nokchan v. Lyft Inc., No. 3:15-CV-03008, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138582).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses TILA And UCL Claims Related To Foreclosure

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that numerous causes of action asserted by a borrower in relation to a foreclosure, including claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) against several defendants, failed, a California federal judge on Oct. 4 dismissed the case without leave to amend (Camilla Spangler v. Selene Finance LP, et al., No. 16-cv-01503, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137208).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Discovery Of Facebook Source Code, Tables Denied In Message Scanning Class Action

OAKLAND, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a class action alleging private message (PM) scanning by Facebook Inc. saw three motions to compel discovery denied Oct. 4, with a California federal judge finding the requests for source code, configuration tables and related documents to be overbroad and not sufficiently tailored to the plaintiffs' allegations of privacy violations (Matthew Campbell, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 4:13-cv-05996, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137936).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses TILA And UCL Claims Related To Foreclosure

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that numerous causes of action asserted by a borrower in relation to a foreclosure, including claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) against several defendants, failed, a California federal judge on Oct. 4 dismissed the case without leave to amend (Camilla Spangler v. Selene Finance LP, et al., No. 16-cv-01503, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137208).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Sacramento Settles For $15 Million After Death Of Girl Allergic To Peanuts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The City of Sacramento and an organization that operates a camp associated with it on Oct. 5 settled for $15 million a wrongful death case filed in California state court by the parents of a girl with a peanut allergy who died after eating a crisped rice treat that had peanut butter in it, according to media reports (Joanne M. Giorgi, et al. v. City of Sacramento, et al., No. 34-2014-00162222, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Plan Administrator Not Granted Discretionary Authority, Federal Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A de novo standard of review should be applied in a disability benefits suit because the plan at issue did not confer discretionary authority to the disability plan administrator, a California federal judge said Oct. 3 (Cathleen Murphy v. California Physicians Service, et al., No. 14-2581, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137159).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Mislabeling Claims Related To Margarine Product

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 3 refused to dismiss a consumer's claims regarding the mislabeling of margarine as a healthy product, finding that at the very least he established standing to assert claims that the alleged mislabeling violated various laws, including California's unfair competition law (UCL), based on a financial injury (Troy Backus, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated, v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 16-00454, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136999).