LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Dismisses Smartphone Class Action Lawsuit

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 15 granted Apple Inc.'s motion to dismiss a putative consumer class action involving smartphones (Thomas A. Palmer v. Apple Inc., No. 5:15-cv-05808, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51823).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Punitives Out In Surgical Robot Case; Defendant Says Plaintiff Verdict Possible

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - A California state court judge on April 18 said a jury about to begin deliberations in a da Vinci surgical robot lawsuit will not consider punitive damages, according to defendant Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Michelle Zarick, et al. v Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 2012-1-cv-23723, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - 1st Circuit: Insurer Owes Defense For Suit Alleging Unfair Business Practices

BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit alleging that its insured committed unfair business practices in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and negligently interfered with prospective economic advantage (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Herbert H. Landy Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 15-1220, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7041).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Action Targets Kanye West For Inducing Fans To Join Streaming Service

SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Action Targets Kanye West For Inducing Fans To Join Streaming Service

SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Allows Claims To Proceed In Products Liability Coverage Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an excess insurer and bad faith and punitive damages claims against a primary insurer in a products liability coverage dispute involving the insured's da Vinci Surgical System product (Intuitive Surgical Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-04834, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51097).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Class Action Targets Kanye West For Inducing Fans To Join Streaming Service

SAN FRANCISCO - A fan of Kanye West filed a putative class action against the rapper and musician in California federal court on April 18, alleging that West fraudulently induced his fans to subscribe to music-streaming service Tidal based on claims of exclusive availability of West's new album (Justin Baker-Rhett v. S. Carter Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02013, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Allows Claims To Proceed In Products Liability Coverage Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an excess insurer and bad faith and punitive damages claims against a primary insurer in a products liability coverage dispute involving the insured's da Vinci Surgical System product (Intuitive Surgical Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-04834, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51097).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Seeks Briefing On Conflict Between States' Consumer Protection Laws

SAN FRANCISCO - A judge on April 15 asked for additional briefing on how to handle differences between California consumer protection laws and those of other states in a UCL, Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., suit over an alleged misrepresentations about a joint supplement (Vincent D. Mullins, et al. v. Premier Nutrition Corp., No. 13-1271, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51139, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51140).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Da Vinci Surgical Robot Maker Seeks Nonsuit In California State Court Trial

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Intuitive Surgical Inc. on April 14 moved for a nonsuit in a da Vinci surgical robot injury trial under way in the Santa Clara County, Calif., Superior Court (Michelle Zarick, et al. v Intuitive Surgical, Inc., No. 2012-1-cv-23723, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Appellate Panel Reverses Trial Court's Teacher Tenure Ruling

LOS ANGELES - California's Second District Court of Appeal on April 14 reversed a trial court's decision that found that five state statutes regarding the employment and retention of teachers that were challenged by California students were unconstitutional and void (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. B258589, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 285).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Twitter Seeks Summary Judgment In Putative Class Action Over Notification Emails

SAN FRANCISCO - Social network platform operator Twitter Inc. on April 12 moved for summary judgment in California federal court, arguing that putative class claims brought against it under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) fail because it did not initiate the notification emails at issue and because Twitter is entitled to immunity from such claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Beverly Nunes v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:14-cv-02843, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge: Payroll Records Suit Belongs In State Court

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 sent a class complaint accusing an employer of failing issue proper wage statements and failing to keep accurate payroll records back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy did not exceed the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) jurisdictional minimum (Jim Thuan Phan, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., et al., No. 15-2582, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48618).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Sophisticated User Doctrine Doesn't Stretch To Salesman, California Court Finds

LOS ANGELES - The absence of evidence that a refractory salesman or his peer group knew of the dangers of asbestos prevents application of the sophisticated doctrine, a California appeals court held in reversing a verdict on April 13 (Richard F. Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., No. B261682, Calif. Super., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 280).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Twitter Seeks Summary Judgment In Putative Class Action Over Notification Emails

SAN FRANCISCO - Social network platform operator Twitter Inc. on April 12 moved for summary judgment in California federal court, arguing that putative class claims brought against it under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) fail because it did not initiate the notification emails at issue and because Twitter is entitled to immunity from such claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Beverly Nunes v. Twitter Inc., No. 3:14-cv-02843, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Objectors Appeal Consumer Settlement In Target Data Breach Suit To 8th Circuit

ST. LOUIS - A California man filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 13, voicing his objection to "delay-based administrative costs" included in an appeal bond, as well as to attorney fee awards related to a settlement between a consumer class and Target Corp. in a suit over 2013 data breaches experienced by the retail chain (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Nos.15-3909, 16-1245, 15-3912, 16-1203 and 16-1408, 8th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - California Federal Judge: Payroll Records Suit Belongs In State Court

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 sent a class complaint accusing an employer of failing issue proper wage statements and failing to keep accurate payroll records back to state court, finding that the amount in controversy did not exceed the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) jurisdictional minimum (Jim Thuan Phan, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., et al., No. 15-2582, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48618).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - On Remand, 9th Circuit Again Finds For Employer In Mutual Fund Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 13 found that 401(k) plan participants challenging the selection and retention of certain mutual funds forfeited their right to argue that their employer and its benefits plan failed to adequately monitor those investments because the argument was never raised before a California federal judge or in their initial appeal (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 10-56406, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Sophisticated User Doctrine Doesn't Stretch To Salesman, California Court Finds

LOS ANGELES - The absence of evidence that a refractory salesman or his peer group knew of the dangers of asbestos prevents application of the sophisticated doctrine, a California appeals court held in reversing a verdict on April 13 (Richard F. Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., No. B261682, Calif. Super., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 280).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Attorney Recruiting Firm Seeks Preclusive Sanctions In Trademark Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES - The defendant in a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit moved for contempt and preclusive sanctions against a rival attorney-recruiting website operator April 11, telling a California federal court that such remedies are merited given the plaintiff's blatant disregard of a court order compelling responses to discovery requests that go to the heart of the underlying trademark claims (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Attorney Recruiting Firm Seeks Preclusive Sanctions In Trademark Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES - The defendant in a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit moved for contempt and preclusive sanctions against a rival attorney-recruiting website operator April 11, telling a California federal court that such remedies are merited given the plaintiff's blatant disregard of a court order compelling responses to discovery requests that go to the heart of the underlying trademark claims (Lateral Link Group LLC v. Habeas Corp., et al., No. 2:14-cv-05695, C.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: 'Other Insurance' Clause Is Unenforceable In Equitable Contribution Suit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An "other insurance" clause cannot be enforced in an equitable contribution action between successive primary insurers, a California appeals panel held April 11, also finding that enforcement of the clause in a primary commercial general liability insurance policy would violate public policy (Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. C072500, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 275).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Vizio Privacy Suits Are Consolidated And Transferred To California

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on April 7 agreed to consolidate 15 lawsuits pending in seven different federal courts accusing Vizio Inc. of violating customers' privacy rights and centralize them in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2693, JPMDL; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47523).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Finds In-Trial Removal Based On 'Litigation Strategy,' Awards Fees, Remands

LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant lacked any reasonable basis other than "litigation strategy" for removing a case during trial, a federal judge in California held April 7 in remanding and awarding fees (Louis Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. 16-2337, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47370).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds In-Trial Removal Based On 'Litigation Strategy,' Awards Fees, Remands

LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant lacked any reasonable basis other than "litigation strategy" for removing a case during trial, a federal judge in California held April 7 in remanding and awarding fees (Louis Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. 16-2337, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47370).