LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit: Wage Class Should Be Certified, Notice Of Violation Was Given

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 reversed the denial of class certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, finding that the pleadings provided sufficient notice to the employer of violations of California Labor Code Section 226(a) violations, whether direct or derivative, and the district court must conduct a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 analysis (Silken Brown, et al. v. Cinemark USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-15377, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24764).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investor Group Named Lead Plaintiff In Drug Company's Stock Drop Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - An investor group is the most appropriate candidate for lead plaintiff because it has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all other statutory requirements to serve in the role, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 8 in appointing the investor group as lead plaintiff (Inchen Huang v. Depomed Inc., et al., No. 17-4830, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202580).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Expert's Opinions Allowed In Class Action Over Fitbit's Sleep-Tracking Mode

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8, in denying summary judgment to Fitbit Inc. on class claims that the sleep-tracking functions on its devices do not work, ruled that the opinions of a plaintiffs' expert who tested the devices are reliable and relevant (James Brickman, et al. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02077, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202568).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Swift Transportation Workers' Wage Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint by yard hostlers, finding that the federal court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims because the amount in controversy, minus an estimate on the damages statement for an unpleaded claim, is below $5 million (Grant Frisch v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, No. 17-2226, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202705).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Swift Transportation Workers' Wage Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint by yard hostlers, finding that the federal court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims because the amount in controversy, minus an estimate on the damages statement for an unpleaded claim, is below $5 million (Grant Frisch v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, No. 17-2226, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202705).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Majority Of Class Claims Over Biotin Labeling Survive Dismissal Motion

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 6 partially granted a dismissal motion filed by the makers of Biotin supplements in a proposed class complaint alleging false labeling and gave the plaintiffs two weeks to file a second amended complaint (Rosa Alvarez, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 17-567, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201159).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert's Opinions Allowed In Class Action Over Fitbit's Sleep-Tracking Mode

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8, in denying summary judgment to Fitbit Inc. on class claims that the sleep-tracking functions on its devices do not work, ruled that the opinions of a plaintiffs' expert who tested the devices are reliable and relevant (James Brickman, et al. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02077, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202568).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Compels Arbitration Of License Agreement Dispute To SIAC

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a valid arbitration agreement existed between companies in relation to an agreement for the use and sale of certain trademarks owned by Sharp Corp., a California federal judge on Dec. 5 compelled claims for fraud, rescission and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to arbitration in Singapore (Sharp Corp. v. Hisense USA Corporation, et al., No. 17-cv-03341, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200102).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Compels Arbitration Of License Agreement Dispute To SIAC

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a valid arbitration agreement existed between companies in relation to an agreement for the use and sale of certain trademarks owned by Sharp Corp., a California federal judge on Dec. 5 compelled claims for fraud, rescission and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to arbitration in Singapore (Sharp Corp. v. Hisense USA Corporation, et al., No. 17-cv-03341, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200102).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Indiana Magistrate Judge Denies Wal-Mart Request To Transfer Trademark Case

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Efforts by Wal-Mart.com USA LLC and a co-defendant to move allegations of trademark infringement to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California were unsuccessful Dec. 6, when an Indiana federal magistrate judge found that "the only factor that narrowly favors transfer is convenience of the third-party Chinese witnesses" (Dwyer Instruments Inc. v. Wal-Mart.com USA LLC, et al., No. 17-636, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200566).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel Denies Rehearing Sought By Companies In California Lead-Based Paint Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appellate panel on Dec. 6 denied a petition for rehearing filed by former makers of lead-based paint that contended that the panel previously "misstated and omitted material facts" when it found that there was "substantial evidence" that the companies promoted paints containing white lead pigments for interior residential use (The People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company, et al., No. H040880, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - California Court Affirms Dismissal Of Borrower's UCL, Wrongful Foreclosure Claims

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Dec. 4 affirmed a court's decision granting demurrers filed by mortgage-related entities on claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and wrongful foreclosure, affirming the dismissal of the case (Richard Traister v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. B269662, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8256).

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

FRESNO, Calif. - In an unpublished opinion released Dec. 4, a panel of the Fifth District California Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in a premises liability suit after finding that the plaintiff did not show that employees of a county-run senior center did not have actual or constructive knowledge of a puddle on which a woman slipped (Martha Rijos v. County of Kern, No. F073292, Calif. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8267).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds No Facts To Support Claim That Insurer Wrongfully Terminated Polices

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 4 dismissed insureds' claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract, finding that they failed to show that an insurer's termination of their life insurance policies was unreasonable (Arthur Avazian, et al. v. Genworth Life & Annuity Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-06459, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199067).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Late Fees Charged For Apartment Rental Did Not Violate UCL

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 1 granted a motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and a claim related to debt collection asserted against landlords, finding that their alleged practice of charging late fees was neither unfair nor fraudulent and that the late fees did not constitute debt collection (Jordan Kohler v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, et al., No. 15cv2195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198151).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Affirms Dismissal Of Borrower's UCL, Wrongful Foreclosure Claims

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Dec. 4 affirmed a court's decision granting demurrers filed by mortgage-related entities on claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and wrongful foreclosure, affirming the dismissal of the case (Richard Traister v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. B269662, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8256).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Certifies Investor Class In Securities Suit Against SeaWorld, Others

SAN DIEGO - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers over their alleged concealment of the negative impact the document "Blackfish" had on the company's business and financial condition have met all statutory requirements to certify the class of investors, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 29 in certifying the class (Lou Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 14-2129, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196235).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds No Facts To Support Borrowers Claims Against Mortgage Trust

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 29 granted a trust's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law UCL, wrongful foreclosure and other causes of action asserted by a borrower, finding that all of the claims were barred by a statute of limitations and that his allegations were conclusory (Lonnie Ratliff v. Mortgage Store Financial Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-02155, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196372).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds No Facts To Support Borrowers Claims Against Mortgage Trust

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 29 granted a trust's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law UCL, wrongful foreclosure and other causes of action asserted by a borrower, finding that all of the claims were barred by a statute of limitations and that his allegations were conclusory (Lonnie Ratliff v. Mortgage Store Financial Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-02155, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196372).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Certifies Investor Class In Securities Suit Against SeaWorld, Others

SAN DIEGO - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers over their alleged concealment of the negative impact the document "Blackfish" had on the company's business and financial condition have met all statutory requirements to certify the class of investors, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 29 in certifying the class (Lou Baker v. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., et al., No. 14-2129, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196235).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Actuary Failed To Show Economic Damages Under UCL

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 28 granted an insurance brokerage company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and allegations that an anti-raiding provision signed by its former sales contractors was invalid but allowed several affirmative defenses asserted by its competitor to proceed (First Financial Security Inc. v. Michael W. Jones, et al., No. 17-cv-00773, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195467).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Magistrate Judge Dismisses Trademark Claim, Trade Libel Claim Survives

SAN FRANCISCO - A dispute between two beauty product suppliers will proceed in California federal court but without a claim for trademark infringement against an individual defendant, a federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 27 (BioZone Laboratories Inc. v. Next Step Laboratories Corporation and Richard Rigg, No. 17-2768, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194454).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Appeals Panel Reverses Summary Judgment In Car Crash Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Nov. 29 reversed summary judgment in favor of a school district after finding that a couple involved in a car crash with a school police officer presented enough evidence to show that an employee of the school district may have misled the couple about the connection between the school district's police department and the school district (Jennalyn Santos, et al. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. B278391, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1057).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Companies Seek Rehearing Of Lead Paint Ruling, Say They Lacked Knowledge Of Harm

SAN FRANCISCO - Three companies that formerly made lead-based paint on Nov. 29 filed separate briefs in a California appeals court seeking rehearing of a ruling that reversed and remanded a $1.15 billion verdict against them but that also called for the trial court to recalculate the amount of the award. The companies contend that rehearing is needed because the court actually misstated or omitted material facts when it found that there was "substantial evidence" that the companies promoted paints containing white lead pigments for interior residential use (The People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company, et al., No. H040880, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments In SLUSA Preemption Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In writing the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA), Congress intended to eliminate concurrent jurisdiction for many federal claims arising from the Securities Act of 1933, even if it took an "obtuse" approach to saying as much, counsel for Cyan Inc. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 28 in oral arguments in an appeal of a California Superior Court ruling that shareholders in a securities class action are not preempted by SLUSA from bringing their Securities Act claims (Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, et al., No. 15-1439, U.S. Sup.).