LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Panel Finds No Deception Or Injury Arising From Auto Sales Contract

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A woman does not allege that a car sales company deceived her into an automobile contract or that she paid more as a result of the contract, a California appeals court held Sept. 25 (Tiffini Harrelson v. CarMax Auto Superstores California LLC, No. E054435, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6912).

    Virtual Currency Firm's Antitrust Claims Against Facebook Survive Dismissal

    WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on Sept. 27 held that a provider of virtual currency for social network games had sufficiently pleaded its claims of monopolization, tying and tortious interference against Facebook Inc., denying the social network's motion to dismiss (Kickflip Inc. v. Facebook Inc., No. 1:12-cv-01369, D. Del.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138733).

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss Infringement Claim By Tanning Company

    INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge refused to dismiss infringement and unfair business practice claims over competing lines of tanning products, saying Sept. 25 that the defendants' motion to dismiss ignores the allegations in the complaint (Australian Gold, LLC, v. Devoted Creations, LLC, No. 1:13-cv-00971-JMS-DML, S.D. Ind., Indianapolis Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137032).

    Judge: Competitor's Allegedly False 'Made In' Labeling Constitutes Injury

    LOS ANGELES - A company's claim that a competitor misrepresents its products as being manufactured in the United States, costing a competitor business, satisfies the standing requirement of the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held Sept. 23 (Storm Manufacturing Group Inc. v. Weather Tec Corp., et al., No. 12-10849, C.D. Calif.).

    Judge Allows Man To Pursue Claims For Products He Never Purchased

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A man pursuing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims may pursue claims for products he never purchased as long as the alleged misrepresentations on those products are "substantially similar" to those he purchased, a federal judge held Sept. 23 (Chad Brazil, et al. v. Dole Food Co. Inc., Dole Packaged Foods LLC, No. 12-1831, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136921).

    Court Finds 'Substantially Identical' Food Labeling Requirements Preempted

    LOS ANGELES - State food labeling laws avoid preemption only when they are identical; "substantially identical" laws are not exempt, a California appeals court held Sept. 25 (Mary L. Simpson v. The Kroger Corp., et al., No. B242405, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

    Federal Law Preempts Insurance Award But Permits Workers' Compensation Award

    LOS ANGELES - Truck drivers' claims arising from the charging and markup of liability insurance are preempted, but they may recover under the California unfair competition law (UCL) based on a motor carriers' charging of workers' compensation fees, an appeals court held in an opinion published Sept. 20 (Salvador Rodriguez, et al. v. RWA Trucking Co. Inc., No. B241727, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).

    California Judge Rules 'Light' Cigarette Smokers Suffered No Economic Loss

    SAN DIEGO - Smokers of Marlboro Lights in California suffered no economic loss and are entitled to no compensation under the state's unfair competition law and false advertising law, a California Superior Court judge said in a Sept. 24 final decision in a 16-year-old class action, according to an Altria Group Inc. press release issued the same day (Willard R. Brown, et al. v. The American Tobacco Co., Inc. et al., No. 711400, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

    10th Circuit Affirms Judgment For Microsoft In Novell's Monopolization Suit

    DENVER - Novell Inc. failed to present evidence sufficient for a jury to find that Microsoft Corp. unlawfully used its dominant position in the personal computing (PC) operating-systems market to monopolize the word-processing and spreadsheet applications markets when it withdrew access to its namespace extensions, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 23 (Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 12-4143, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19463).

    Jury Awards $113M For Attempted Monopolization Of Safety Syringe Market

    MARSHALL, Texas - A federal jury in Texas on Sept. 19 awarded Retractable Technologies Inc.(RTI) $133,508,014 in damages against Becton, Dickinson & Co. (BD) for attempted monopolization of the market for safety syringes through deceptive practices (Retractable Technologies, Inc., et al. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, No. 2:08-cv-16, E.D. Texas).

    Court: 'Dual Tracking' Lacking; Dismissal Of Competition Law Claims Proper

    SAN DIEGO - A couple have not shown that their lender operated the type of "dual tracking" required to support their California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, an appeals court held in an opinion published Sept. 17 (Henry Aspiras, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. D061449, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 739).

    Text Messengers Must Arbitrate Antitrust Claims, Federal Judge Rules

    NEW YORK - Text message service companies alleging that wireless communication companies, a trade organization and aggregators conspired to restrain trade and monopolize the market for application-to-person (A2P) text messages must arbitrate their federal antitrust claims, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 16 (In re A2P SMS Antitrust Litigation [All Actions], No. 12 CV 2656, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132303).

    Beer Purchasers' Antitrust Challenge To Acquisition Is Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Sept. 19 dismissed claims by purchasers challenging Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV's (ABI) acquisition of the remainder of Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V. that it does not own, finding that ABI's percentage share of the U.S. beer market will not be increased as a result of the merger and that there is no evidence of an agreement to fix prices (Steven Edstrom, et al. v. Anheuser-Busch InBEV SA/NV, et al., No. C 13-1309, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131386).

    Makers Of Pigment, Purchasers Get Preliminary Approval Of Price-Fixing Settlements

    BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 12 approved settlements worth $163.5 million between purchasers and the market leaders in the production of titanium dioxide on the purchasers' claims that the manufacturers engaged in price fixing, with the last agreement being reached on the eve of trial (In re Titanium Dioxide Antitrust Litigation $(All Actions$), No. 10-0318, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130288).

    Judge Applies New Case Law To Competition Law Statute Of Limitations Case

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Recent California Supreme Court case law shows that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in previously finding that the statute of limitations in California unfair competition law (UCL) cases begins at the time of the violation, a federal judge held in an opinion posted Sept. 11 (Donald W. Irving, et al. v. Lennar Corp., et al., No. 12-290, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130095).

    Nevada Federal Judge Allows Competition Law Claims In Consolidated Data Breach Case

    LAS VEGAS - A consumer sufficiently alleges injury and adequately pleads California unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law claims against online retailer Zappos.com Inc. arising from an alleged data breach, a Nevada federal judge held Sept. 9 (In re Zappos.com Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 12-325, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128155).

    AMR, US Airways: DOJ's Antitrust Case 'Contrary To The Public Interest'

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bankrupt AMR Corp. on Sept. 10 filed its answer to the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, arguing that its proposed merger with US Airways Group Inc. does not violate federal antitrust laws and contending that the DOJ's lawsuit ignores "the realities of the airline industry in the 21st Century" (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

    California Top Court Remands Competition Law-Insurance Code Grant-And-Hold Cases

    LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Sept. 11 dismissed and remanded two California unfair competition law (UCL)-insurance code interplay cases, according to its docket. The court originally issued both cases grant-and-hold status pending the outcome of Zhang v. Superior Court (No. S178542), which the court decided Aug. 1 (Ocie E. Henderson, et al. v. Farmers Group Inc., et al., Chris Hughes v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co., Nos. S207068, S195069, Calif. Sup.).

    Reverse-Payment Settlement Case Remanded In Light Of Supreme Court Ruling

    ATLANTA - Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in June that reverse-payment settlements of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug are subject to the rule of reason, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 vacated and remanded the case, in which a trial court dismissed the Federal Trade Commission's complaint that Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. conspired with generic drug makers to delay the marketing of generic versions of AndroGel (Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 10-12729, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS).

    11th Circuit Affirms Claims Against Exterminator May Not Be Relitigated

    ATLANTA - A pro se plaintiff's complaint against a pest control company that allegedly caused damage to his home by failing to inspect or treat it for rot or termite damage is prohibited by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine because the plaintiff had already litigated identical claims unsuccessfully, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in a Sept. 6 opinion affirming a district court decision (John William Carter v. Clinton Wells Killingsworth, No. 12-15411, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18562).

    Judge Orders Apple To Modify E-Book Contracts, Appoints External Monitor

    NEW YORK - Apple Inc. must modify its existing agreements with publishers and submit to an external monitor pursuant to the final order entered Sept. 5 by the federal judge in New York who ruled against Apple on claims by the United States and 33 states that Apple conspired with five publishers to fix prices of electronic books (United States of America v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.).

    9th Circuit Declines To Rehear Opinion Vacating UCL Employment Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 3 declined to rehear a case in which it decertified newspaper workers' California unfair competition law (UCL) class claims, withdrew its previous opinion and issued a new one remanding for reconsideration of commonality and predominance questions in light of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes (Lynn Wang, et al. v. Chinese Daily News Inc., No. 08-55483, 9th Cir.).

    Government Says 6 Months Of Discovery Needed In American Airlines Antitrust Trial

    NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Aug. 27 filed a brief and a proposed scheduling order in its antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent the planned merger of American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Inc., arguing that "given what is at stake," the district court hearing the case should allow both sides "a full opportunity" to develop evidence in discovery in preparation for a trial (United States of America v. US Airways Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

    Judge: Legal Basis For Insurer's Competition Law Claims Lacking

    SAN FRANCISCO - Rules governing bar members' conduct cannot form the basis of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims for unlawful conduct, and an insurer fails to tether the challenged conduct to any constitutional, statutory or regulatory provision for its unfair-prong claim, a federal judge held in dismissing the claims with prejudice on Aug. 26 (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Centex Homes, et al., Nos. 13-0088, 12-0371 & 11-3638, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121401).

    Judge Finds Injury, But Dismisses Some Of Consumers' Formula Advertising Claims

    NEWARK, N.J. - Consumers who claim that they paid a premium based on representations about the benefits of probiotics in formula and baby cereals adequately allege injury, but sufficiently alleged causation only in regard to product labeling, not the advertising campaign as a whole, a New Jersey federal judge held Aug. 23 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) and other states' consumer protection law claims (In re: Gerber Probiotic Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-835, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121192).