SANTA MONICA, Calif. - In a product liability trial that lasted just over a week, a California jury on Dec. 17 found that a woman's injuries from a security door were not the fault of the company that sold the door (Paradee Chularee, et al. v. The Cookson Company Inc., et al., No. S216305, Calif. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - An expert's opinion that a water tower's gray fuzzy material was asbestos and not the wood as the plaintiff called it is insufficient to create triable issues, a divided California appeals court panel held Dec. 15 (Kenneth Evans, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B257665, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 16 ruled that a plaintiff land buyer who has not closed escrow on the purchase of a property that is contaminated as a result of dry cleaning operations on an adjacent property can pursue state law claims and a claim under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), finding that the plaintiff has standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Jim 72 Properties LLC v. Montgomery Cleaners, d/b/a Montgomery Cleaners & Pressers, et al., No. 15-cv-7543-ODW, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168374).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 withdrew its September ruling vacating a California federal judge's denial of an injunction in high-stakes patent litigation and issued a slightly revised opinion in its place (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 14-1802, Fed. Cir.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - A California state court jury on Dec. 14 returned a $70 million punitive damages verdict against Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. for a plaintiff who was injured when a surgical stapler allegedly misfired and resulted in additional surgery and complications (Florence Kuhlmann, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 13675753, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 11 excluded an expert's report and testimony as to dollar figures of his aggregate damages analysis for rest break premiums, meal period premiums and underpaid meal premium classes for damages pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7 (Sandrika Medlock, et al. v. Taco Bell Corp., et al., No. 07-01314, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167128).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 11 allowed a plaintiff who filed a wage-and-hour class action against Best Buy Stores L.P. to amend her complaint a second time, despite the retailer's argument that the motion should be denied due to the plaintiff's undue delay (Starvona Harris v. Best Buy Stores, L.P., No. 15-657, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166520).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion filed by the owner of a dating social media network application to dismiss claims asserted by a user for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Dating Service Contracts Act (DSCA) but permitted him leave to amend the complaint (Mark Howell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Grindr LLC, No. 15cv1337, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167669).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Dec. 11 reversed a judge's granting of a directed verdict and remanded for retrial an insured's claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against his insurer for denied coverage of water damage to his rental house, but not the claim for punitive damages (Artyun Vardanyan v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. F069953, Calif. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8925).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 9 decertified a class of J.C. Penney Corp. (JCP) workers in a suit in which they allege that they were denied pay for unused vacation time upon termination, finding that the class definition was "unworkable" (Raymond Tschudy, et al. v. J.C. Penney Corporation, No. 11-1011, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165897).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California appellate panel erred when it refused to enforce an arbitration clause contained in a cable provider's customer agreement, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Dec. 14, finding that the appellate panel's interpretation was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (DIRECTV, Inc. v. Amy Imburgia, et al., No. 14-462, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Dec. 9 dismissed a securities class action complaint against an Internet startup company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that lead plaintiffs in the action failed to properly plead any actionable misrepresentation or scienter in making their federal securities law claims (Satyabrata Mahapatra v. TrueCar Inc., et al., No. 15-3979, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 9 expanded the class of drivers who have driven in California for Uber Technologies Inc. and allege that they were improperly classified as independent contractors and denied reimbursement for all necessary expenditures, as well the full amount of gratuity left by customers (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 13-3826, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165182).
LOS ANGELES - After a property owner failed to respond to a lender's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law, negligence and other claims, a California federal judge on Dec. 8 dismissed the claims without leave to amend (Raquel E. Velasquez v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-05078, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165782).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 10 refused an employer's request to transfer a case filed against it by a former employee who asserts causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California's Private Attorneys' General Act of 2004 (PAGA) but found that the PAGA claim must be arbitrated (Anh BUI, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., No. 15-cv-1397, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165878).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 8 declined to remand an insured's lawsuit against its insurer regarding the alleged wrongfully denial of coverage for underlying construction defects cases (Taylor Morrison of California, LLC v. First Specialty Insurance Corp., No. 15-1711, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164607).