SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Claims that a health insurer misrepresented its power to authorize and provide coverage for treatment form the basis for a California unfair competition law (UCL) unlawful-prong claim, but because the provider is neither a consumer nor a competitor, its unfair-prong claim fails, a federal judge held Oct. 15 (Centre for Neuro Skills v. Blue Cross of California dba Anthem Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-743, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148432).
DAYTON, Ohio - Non-party Community Insurance Co., doing business as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem), must produce certain documents regarding its deliberations not to contract with a medical center in the medical center's lawsuit claiming that it was denied contracts with managed care providers as a result of a purported conspiracy involving other hospitals to exclude the medical center from the marketplace in violation of federal antitrust law, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Oct. 16 (The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, LLC v. Premier Health Partners, et al., No. 3:12-cv-26, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148839).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court on Oct. 15 denied a petition for rehearing, leaving stand a ruling that "substantially identical" food labeling laws are not "identical" to federal law and cannot avoid preemption, according to the court's docket (Mary L. Simpson v. The Kroger Corp., et al., No. B242405, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
MARSHALL, Texas - Becton, Dickinson & Co. (BD) on Oct. 11 moved for judgment as a matter of law or, alternatively, a new trial following a federal jury in Texas' $133,508,014 damage award in favor of Retractable Technologies Inc.(RTI) on its claim of 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).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 10 declined General Mills Inc.'s request to stay three cases challenging the advertising of "natural" products, saying primary jurisdiction did not apply (Judith Janney, et al. v. General Mills, Gabriel Rojas v. General Mills Inc., Sean Bohac v. General Mills Inc., Nos. 12-03919, 12-5099, 12-5280, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147024, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147019, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147530).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Exemption from antitrust regulation dooms a California unfair competition law (UCL) action challenging Major League Baseball's role in preventing a franchise from moving to San Jose, a federal judge held Oct. 11 (City of San Jose; City of San Jose as successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 13-02787, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The special master overseeing discovery in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) action seeking an injunction to prevent the proposed merger of American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. recommended Oct. 10 that certain discovery requests be denied (United States of America, et al. v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The special master appointed to handle discovery requests in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against US Airways Group Inc., and bankrupt American Airlines Inc. on Oct. 10 issued a report saying that the airlines should not be permitted to compel discovery into third-party interviews conducted by the DOJ leading up to its filing of the lawsuit (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES - Substantial evidence supports a judge's California unfair competition law (UCL) verdict that a used car retailer agreed to pay off a consumer's previous loan without intending to follow through, an appeals panel held Oct. 9 (Ismeal Bermudo Jr. v. Farhad Tahmassebi, et al., No. B240892, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7191).
DENVER - A domestic partner who is not legally married to a health plan participant lacks standing to assert a claim for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and, therefore, the health care provider who was assigned the domestic partner's rights also lacks standing, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 9 in an unpublished opinion (Denver Health and Hospital Authority v. Beverage Distributors Company, LLC, et al., No. 12-1355, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20537).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - An animal rights activist's allegations that circus employees' harassment necessitated longer recordings and forced her to purchase additional memory cards satisfies the California unfair competition law (UCL) injury standard, a federal judge held Oct. 4 (Shannon Campbell and Mark Ennis v. Feld Entertainment Inc., James Dennis, Matthew Gillett, Mike Stuart, David Bailey, DOES 1 through 20, Nos. 12-4233, 13-0233, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145495).
NEW YORK - Publishers Simon & Schuster Inc. and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan on Oct. 4 filed notices of appeal, joining Apple Inc., in appealing to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a final order requiring Apple to modify its existing agreements with five publishers and submit to an external monitor following a ruling that Apple conspired with the 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.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Transport Workers Union (TWU) on Oct. 7 moved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for permission to intervene in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An expired Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 offer does not moot claims, even if the offer fully compensates the plaintiff for her misrepresentation claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 4 (Emily Diaz, et al. v. First American Home Buyers Protection Corp., No. 11-57239, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court denied review on Oct. 7 of several antitrust cases involving issues related to price-fixing agreements and immunity from antitrust laws.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 denied review of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that automated teller machine cardholders did not have standing to proceed with their antitrust challenges to the fixed interchange fee that a card-issuing bank pays to the ATM owner and the foreign ATM fee that the cardholder pays to his bank when the cardholder uses ATMs owned by other institutions (In re: ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation, Pamela Brennan, et al. v. Concord EFS, Inc., et al., No. 13-63, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Oct. 4 found that a woman's putative class claims alleging unfair competition, false advertising and related claims against Skype Inc., over its claims of "unlimited" calling plans, were adequately alleged, reversing and remanding a lower court's dismissal (Melissa Chapman, et al. v. Skype Inc., No. B241398, Calif. App., 2nd. Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 794).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 3 granted a preliminary injunction to five retailers who sued the New York attorney general and other officials challenging the constitutionality of Section 518 of the New York General Business Law, which prohibits sellers from imposing credit card "swipe fees," saying the "virtually incomprehensible distinction between what a vendor can and cannot tell its customers offends the First Amendment $(to the U.S. Constitution$) and renders section 518 unconstitutional" (Expressions Hair Design, et al. v. Eric R. Schneiderman, et al., No. 13-3775, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143415).
DALLAS - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Oct. 1 announced that his office had reached a settlement with American Airlines Inc. regarding its proposed merger with US Airways Group Inc. and was dropping out of the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which opposes the merger on grounds that it violates federal antitrust law (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) announced Sept. 26 that they reached a settlement with former and current student athletes who claim that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), EA and CLC violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by agreeing to fix at zero the amount of compensation the athletes were allowed to receive under NCAA rules for the use of their names, images and likenesses in products or media (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).