LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Orders YouTube, Google To Show Cause For Removal

LOS ANGELES - A recent removal by YouTube LLC and Google Inc. of a purported copyright action to California federal court and subsequent request for dismissal prompted a California federal judge on Jan. 22 to enter an order to show cause for why the case should not be returned to Los Angeles County Superior Court (Akiko Kijimoto v. YouTube LLC, et al., No. 17-8184, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9918).

Mealey's Insurance - Motion To Strike Health Care Provider's Pleading Remains After Briefing Vacated

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Jan. 23 vacated briefing on a motion to dismiss an emergency health services provider's case against an insurer, but let stand a motion to strike the new filing, which the defendant claims ignores the court's order not to add defendants (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Inc., et al., No. 17-8181, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Refuses To Exercise Jurisdiction Over UCL Contract Claims, Remands

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that no federal claims remained against various lenders and property companies, a California federal judge on Jan. 22 remanded claims asserted by borrowers for breach of contract, fraud and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to a California state court (John Brooks, et al. v. FCI Lender Services Inc., No. 2:16-cv-02598, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9974).

Mealey's Insurance - Health Plan Interpretation Plausible, ERISA Claims Fail, Insurer Argues

SAN FRANCISCO - To prevail on their claims, plaintiffs must show that an insurer's interpretation of plan documents was implausible, a standard a class action challenging guidelines governing mental health and substance abuse coverage cannot meet, an insurer tells a federal judge in California in a Jan. 23 post-trial brief (David and Natasha Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-02346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Finds No Conflict To Support Insured's Right To Independent Counsel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Any possible or potential conflict is not legally sufficient to require an insurer to provide independent counsel, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 22, affirming summary judgment against an additional insured regarding a coverage dispute over defense provided in a construction defect lawsuit (Centex Homes, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., No. C081266, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 45).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss UCL, Contract Claims Against Geico

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 19 granted the majority of an insurer's motion for summary judgment as to claims for fraud and declaratory relief asserted against it by an insured who sought coverage for vehicle theft, but allowed part of his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract to proceed, finding that issues of triable fact exist as to whether the coverage claim was denied based solely on his inability to produce cell phone records that were not available (Christopher T. Monroe v. Geico General Insurance Company, No. 5:14-cv-05174, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9106).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - McDonald's Argues That It's Not A Joint Employer Of Franchisees' Workers

SAN FRANCISCO - McDonald's Corp. and McDonald's U.S.A. LLC (collectively, McDonald's) are not joint employers under California's wage-and-hour law as they don't meet any one of the three tests sent out in Martinez v. Combs, 231 P.3d 259 (Cal. 2010), McDonald's argues in its appellee brief filed on Jan. 9 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Dismiss UCL, Contract Claims Against Geico

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 19 granted the majority of an insurer's motion for summary judgment as to claims for fraud and declaratory relief asserted against it by an insured who sought coverage for vehicle theft, but allowed part of his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract to proceed, finding that issues of triable fact exist as to whether the coverage claim was denied based solely on his inability to produce cell phone records that were not available (Christopher T. Monroe v. Geico General Insurance Company, No. 5:14-cv-05174, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9106).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - McDonald's Argues That It's Not A Joint Employer Of Franchisees' Workers

SAN FRANCISCO - McDonald's Corp. and McDonald's U.S.A. LLC (collectively, McDonald's) are not joint employers under California's wage-and-hour law as they don't meet any one of the three tests sent out in Martinez v. Combs, 231 P.3d 259 (Cal. 2010), McDonald's argues in its appellee brief filed on Jan. 19 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ruling Over Discovery Scope In DACA Suit Delayed Pending Negotiations

SAN FRANCISCO - Noting a request for additional negotiation time by a group of plaintiffs opposing rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a California federal judge on Jan. 22 allowed the plaintiffs and the U.S. government to take several days to try to agree on potential narrowing of the scope of a discovery order requiring the government to complete the administrative record with documents it asserts are privileged (The Regents of the University of California, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 3:17-cv-05211, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge: Search Engine Optimization Patents Are Invalid

SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 19 holding, a California federal judge rejected, pursuant to Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, five patents covering the process of search engine optimization (SEO) (BrightEdge Technologies Inc. v. Searchmetrics GmbH, et al., No. 14-1009, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9007).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Temporary Restraining Order Bars Communication With Class In Wage-And-Hour Suit

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 17 granted a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the defendants' counsel in a wage-and-hour suit from contacting potential class members, finding that there could be irreparable harm (Tyrell Glass, et al. v. FMM Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 17-563, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8364).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Groups: BLM Decision To Suspend Methane Rule Valid

SAN FRANCISCO - Hydraulic fracturing trade groups filed a brief in California federal court on Jan. 16 arguing that decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to amend the compliance deadlines for what is known as the methane waste prevention rule was valid. The groups oppose the motion for preliminary injunction sought by environmental advocacy groups on grounds that it is "an extraordinary remedy" (Sierra Club, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 17-7187, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Temporary Restraining Order Bars Communication With Class In Wage-And-Hour Suit

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Jan. 17 granted a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the defendants' counsel in a wage-and-hour suit from contacting potential class members, finding that there could be irreparable harm (Tyrell Glass, et al. v. FMM Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 17-563, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8364).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California High Court: Defects Suit Subject To Prelitigation Dispute Resolution

SAN FRANCISCO - The prelitigation requirements established under California's Right to Repair Act apply to an economic loss and property damage lawsuit brought by homeowners against the builder of 37 homes, the California Supreme Court ruled Jan. 18 in affirming a ruling staying the suit subject to the builder's ability to remedy the alleged defects (McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court of Kern County, No. S229762, Calif. Sup., 2018 Calif. LEXIS 211).

Mealey's Insurance - United States Says California Abortion Law Governing Licensed Speakers Fails

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Neither pregnancy counseling centers challenging a law requiring that they disclose the availability of abortion services nor the state of California advances the correct standard for analyzing the case, and the law at the heart the case partially fails when properly evaluated, the United States tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 16 brief (NIFLA, et al. v. Xavier Becerra, et al., No. 16-1140, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Seeks To Certify $3.2M Default Judgment Final Against Reinsurer

SAN DIEGO - An insurer asks a California federal court in a Jan. 12 motion to certify as final a $3.2 million default judgment against a reinsurer over its alleged breach of reinsurance agreements as a result of a series of fraudulent transfers (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental -EPA Seeks Protective Order ToLimit Review In Case Over 'Fluoridation Chemicals'

SAN FRANCISCO - The Environmental Protection Agency on Jan. 15 filed a brief in California federal court seeking a protective order limiting review to the administrative record in a lawsuit brought by environmental advocacy groups that seeks to compel the agency to initiate a rule-making procedure to ban the introduction of "fluoridation chemicals" into drinking water on grounds that they cause brain damage (Food & Water Watch Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 17-2162, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability- California Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

LOS ANGELES - In an unpublished opinion issued Jan. 16, a panel of the Second District California Court of Appeal found that a trial court did not err in granting a bank summary judgment in a premises liability suit after finding that a woman who fell in the bank's parking lot did not present enough evidence to create a triable issue of fact (Laura Tevanyan v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. B278948, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 308).

Mealey's Insurance - Out-Of-State Insurer Wants Emergency Care Provider's California Suit Dismissed

LOS ANGELES - An emergency health services provider relies on "phantom allegations" and evidence outside the complaint in opposing dismissal of implied-in-fact contract and quantum meruit claims, a South Carolina insurer told a California federal judge on Jan. 17 (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Inc., et al., No. 17-8181, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Health Law - United States Says California Abortion Law Governing Licensed Speakers Fails

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Neither pregnancy counseling centers challenging a law requiring that they disclose the availability of abortion services nor the state of California advances the correct standard for analyzing the case, and the law at the heart the case partially fails when properly evaluated, the United States tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 16 brief (NIFLA, et al. v. Xavier Becerra, et al., No. 16-1140, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Transfers Noninfringement, UCL Action Against Harley To Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 transferred an aftermarket motorcycle part company's action in which it seeks a declaration of noninfringement and asserts a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against a motorcycle maker to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, noting that an underlying cease-and-desist letter originated in Wisconsin (Cobra Engineering Inc. v. H-D USA Llc, et al., No. 2:18cv71, E.D. Wis.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Ogletree Attorney Seeks More Than $300 Million In Equal Pay Act Class Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart favors men in pay, promotions and other opportunities, and leadership fosters an environment where women are marginalized and demeaned, one female attorney and nonequity shareholder of the firm alleges in her class and collective action complaint seeking more than $300 million, filed Jan. 12 in a California federal court (Dawn Knepper, et al. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., No. 18-303, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Won't Revisit Asbestos Deposition Testimony Ruling

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California appeals court on Jan. 12 denied a petition for rehearing, refusing to again visit its conclusion that a judge erred in excluding deposition testimony in the apparent belief that the witness needed to testify to directly witnessing asbestos exposures, according to the court's docket (Keith Turley and Joy Ann Turley v. Familian Corp., No. A149752, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Lender's Duty To Respond Was Not Triggered Under RESPA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted a lender's motion to dismiss causes of action for violation of the unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims, finding that a borrower's communications about the origination of her loan did not trigger the lender's duty to respond under RESPA (Susan Ann Feighery, et al. v. Ditech Financial LLC, No. 2:17-cv-01473, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5472).