SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 22 sent a class suit alleging that millions of dollars of homeopathic eardrops were sold based on false advertising and marketing back to state court, finding that the defendants failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Sharon Manier, et al. v. Medtech Products, Inc., et al., No. 14-209, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55963).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A homebuilder's claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) that he was fraudulently induced into signing a promissory note so the lenders could later foreclose on his property fails based on res judicata because the dispute over the promissory note was already decided by a Texas state court, a federal judge held April 21 (Kenneth W. Guice v. James L. Emerson, et al., No. 13-2250, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55870).
SAN FRANCISCO - The owners of three homes in San Francisco illegally converted the properties from residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging after evicting longtime residents, including two who are disabled, from their apartments, the city attorney alleges in two lawsuits filed in state court on April 23 under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the city Planning Code (City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Darren Lee, et al., No. 538857; City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky, et al., No. 538854, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Three computer hardware manufacturers violated California consumer protection laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by misrepresenting the performance capabilities of their motherboards to mislead consumers into buying their products, a consumer alleges in a class action complaint filed April 21 in federal court (Joshua Smith v. Pegatron USA, Inc., et al., No. 14-1822, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - Twenty California residents sued Ford Motor Co. on April 22 in federal court, alleging that the Ford pickup trucks they purchased had defective engines and that Ford knew of the defect and not only failed to notify consumers but then also failed to authorize proper repairs or replacement of the engines under the vehicles' warranties, in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes (Juan Zavala, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 14-3068, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - The reverse-payment settlement of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug is not entitled to Noerr-Pennington immunity from antitrust liability, a federal judge in Georgia ruled April 21 (In re: Androgel Antitrust Litigation [No. II], MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga.; Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et al., No. 1:09-cv-955, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54808).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 upheld a Federal Trade Commission order requiring ProMedica Health System to divest St. Luke's Hospital to an FTC-approved buyer within 180 days, concluding that the FTC properly found that the acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition and increase prices for general acute-care inpatient hospital services and inpatient obstetric services sold to commercial health plans in the Toledo, Ohio, area (ProMedica Health System, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-3583, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7500).
SAN DIEGO - Consumer class action claims under the California unfair competition law (UCL) that a manufacturer fraudulently concealed that its hair dryers were defective fail because the consumers did not sufficiently allege that the manufacturer had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to the consumers or that the manufacturer actively concealed a material fact from the consumers, a federal judge held April 17 (Cynthia L. Czuchaj v. Conair Corporation, No. 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54415).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on April 17 dismissed with prejudice a man's claims for negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress against his loan servicer, after finding that the defendant owed no duty of care to the plaintiff (Rey C. Gopar v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-2292-W, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54420).
SAN DIEGO - Two car buyers' claims that a dealership violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) fail because the purchasers did not allege how they were harmed or state how each instance of alleged wrongdoing violated the statutes, a federal judge held April 17 in dismissing the buyers' lawsuit but granting them leave to amend (Petra Villalobos, et al. v. CarMax Auto Superstore California, LLC, No. 12-cv-2626, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54375).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on April 17 remanded to a trial court a class action complaint alleging that a car dealership's sales practices violate the state unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws so the lower court can determine whether three provisions in the arbitration clause of the dealership's sale agreement that both courts found to be unconscionable should be severed from the contract (Suzanne Gillespie v. Svale Del Grande, Inc., et al., No. H039428, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 17 dismissed a New Jersey man's pro se class complaint alleging that Nordic Naturals Inc.'s omega supplements failed to live up the company's advertised quality (Harold M. Hoffman, et al. v. Nordic Naturals, Inc., No. 12-5870, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53125).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An antitrust and patent infringement defendant was properly awarded summary judgment by an Illinois federal judge, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (DSM Desotech Inc. v. 3D Systems Corporation and 3D Systems Inc., No. 13-1298, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Producers and owners of multimedia content cannot demonstrate antitrust injury in their lawsuit against wireless carriers because they are not participants in the same market, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17 in an unpublished opinion (Bruce Max Davis, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services Inc., et al., No. 12-55985, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7243).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 15 denied Apple's motion to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states that alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, rejecting Apple's arguments that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states do not have constitutional standing (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$); 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52127).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 granted a motion to amend the class definition and partially granted a summary judgment motion both filed by current and former student-athletes who have accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association of misappropriating their names, images and likenesses in violation of their statutory and common-law rights of publicity and of violating federal antitrust law by conspiring with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to restrain competition in the market for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses in game footage (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50693).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 11 dismissed a parent corporation from a putative class action alleging that a company that sells publishing and marketing services to people who want to self-publish books has defrauded customers; however, the judge allowed claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws to proceed (Kelvin James, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Author Solutions, No. 13-2801, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50769).
SAN FRANCISCO - A consumer's revised allegations that he relied on a juicemaker's false and misleading "No Sugar Added" statement when deciding what 100 percent apple juice product to buy and that he will buy less of the product in the future due to the misrepresentation are sufficient for his claims to proceed under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes, a federal judge held April 8 (Mohammed Rahman v. Mott's LLP, No. 13-3482, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49169).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Consumers have standing to pursue California unfair competition law (UCL) class action claims alleging that a global consumer goods company misrepresented that its "naturals" line of hair care products contained no artificial ingredients because they adequately pleaded economic injury and reliance on the company's representations, a federal judge held April 9 (Alba Morales and Lanie Cohen v. Unilever United States, Inc., No. 13-2213, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49336).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on April 7 denied Safeway Inc.'s bid for summary judgment on consumer class action claims that the grocer was negligent and violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to notify "Club Card" members of product recalls, finding that the state negligence law imposes a general duty of care on Safeway and that the grocer provided no basis to grant it an exception to that duty (Dee Hensley-MacLean and Jennifer Rosen v. Safeway, Inc., No. 11-01230, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48591).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on April 7 denied cross-motions for summary judgment on American Needle Inc.'s antitrust claims related to conduct by the National Football League, its 32 teams and the clubs' wholly owned licensing company in granting an exclusive license to Reebok International Ltd. to use the NFL's and teams' trademarks on apparel (American Needle, Inc. v. New Orleans Louisiana Saints, et al., No. 04-cv-7806, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47527).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear a Connecticut landlord's class action claim that DIRECTV Inc. violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) by placing satellite TV dishes on apartment houses without consent of the owner because the claim is actually for trespass, a local action under California law that should have been brought where the real property is located, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 9 (Eldee-K Rental Properties, LLC v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. 11-17994, 9th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 4 refused to exclude plaintiff employees' expert testimony in an antitrust suit accusing high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47181).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge on April 4 refused to dismiss homeowners' claims under the "unfair" and "unlawful" prongs of California's unfair competition law (UCL) challenging a lender's pending foreclosure of their home after finding that the homeowners adequately pleaded a violation of the one-action rule under state law (Jeffrey Lanini and Krista Lanini v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 2:13-cv-00027, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47348).
LOS ANGELES - A class action against a satellite TV company alleging that its early termination fees violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws cannot be resolved through arbitration because the arbitration provision in the company's customer agreement contains a class action waiver that is not enforceable under California law, a state appeals court held April 7 (Amy Imburgia, et al. v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. B239361, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1).