SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 13 declined to certify three classes of consumers, who are suing ConAgra Foods Inc. over allegedly deceptive and misleading labels, finding that each of the classes failed to meet several requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Levi Jones, et al. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., No. 12-1633, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81292).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge on June 17 recommended entering default judgment and an injunction against a California company and its CEO after finding that a bakery products company stated valid false advertising, copyright infringement and unfair business practice claims under federal law and the state unfair competition law (UCL) (Back Shop Tiefkuhl GmbH, v. GN Trade, Inc., et al., No. 12-0540, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82500).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 [State of Texas v. Penguin Group [USA], Inc., No. 12-cv-3394], S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A putative class may proceed with its state law unfair competition and common law right of publicity claims against LinkedIn Corp., a California federal judge ruled June 12, finding that the plaintiffs had standing and had sufficiently alleged injury to proceed against the social network operator (Paul Perkins, et al. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 13-cv-04303, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81042).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California man's claims that a bank's mortgage lending practices violate the state's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because he did not plead any facts to support allegations that the bank engaged in unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business acts or practices, a federal judge held June 13 in granting the bank's motion to dismiss the claims (Edward Lawrence v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-1272, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81278).
SAN FRANCISCO - A homeowner has standing to pursue California unfair competition law (UCL) claims alleging that a lender made misrepresentations about a loan modification under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) because he properly asserted that he was injured by the lender's actions, a state appellate court held June 12 in reversing a trial court's ruling (Daniel Pestana v. Bank of America, N.A., No. A137566, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1).
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Clippers (LAC Basketball Club Inc.) and The Sterling Family Trust violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the California unfair competition law by failing to pay interns, a former intern alleges in his class complaint filed June 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Frank Cooper, et al. v. LAC Basketball Club, Inc., et al., No. 14-4445, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and four former student athletes filed a notice of settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on June 9 in the class suit alleging misappropriation of the plaintiffs' names, images and likenesses for use in NCAA-branded video games in violation of rights-of-publicity laws in Indiana and California (Samuel Michael Keller, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.).
ELGIN, Ill. - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured and additional insured against an underlying antitrust lawsuit stemming from the insured's adoption of two ordinances requiring the use of radio transmitters, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed June 9 (American Alternative Insurance Co. v. Lisle Woodridge Fire Protection District, et al., No. 2-13-0803, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1174).
JONESBORO, Ark. - Two physicians and an ambulatory surgery center on June 5 sued a joint venture physician hospital organization and a health insurer in an Arkansas federal court, alleging antitrust violations (Tri State Advanced Surgery Center, et al. v. Health Choice, et al., No. 14-143, E.D. Ark.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 5 denied an emergency petition filed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association seeking to delay the bench trial on student athletes' antitrust claims, scheduled to start June 9, until after a jury trial on student athletes' right-of-publicity claims occurs (In re: National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Collegiate Athletic Association v. United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland, No. 14-71522, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - Merck & Co. Inc. misleads consumers into buying premium priced Coppertone sunscreen products with a sun protection factor (SPF) higher than 50 even though the company knows that such products do not provide more protection than sunscreens with an SPF of 50, a California resident alleges in an unfair competition law (UCL) class action complaint filed June 4 in federal court (Danika Gisvold v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-1371, S.D. Calif.).
CLEVELAND - Consumers cannot pursue class claims, including allegations under California's unfair competition law (UCL), that Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC knowingly sells watered down beer with reduced alcohol content because the brewer's products meet federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulations for beer labeling, an Ohio federal judge overseeing a multidistrict litigation held June 2 (In Re: Anheuser-Busch Beer Labeling, Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 13-2448, N.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76005).
PASADENA, Calif. - A federal district court properly dismissed some California unfair competition law (UCL) claims in a consumer class action alleging unlawful debt collection practices but should have remanded other UCL claims under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 2 in an unpublished opinion (Kimberly Grant v. Unifund CCR, LLC, et al., No. 12-56641, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10208).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Just one day after remanding a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by hourly managers employed by Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, a California federal judge on May 29 withdrew that order, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to refile their remand motion after it was struck as premature (Alexander Moore, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-2245, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73218).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Two homeowners cannot pursue a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim that their mortgage lenders' unfair business practices caused them to default on their loan because the homeowners fail to allege that they suffered any economic injury, a federal judge held May 30 (Scott Paulhus and Lynette Paulhus v. Fay Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 14-736, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74227).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a verdict of approximately $15 million for a class of loan officers seeking unpaid overtime, finding that the trial plan relied on flawed statistical sampling (Samuel Duran, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. S200923, Calif. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Student-athletes' trial on antitrust claims against the National Collegiate Athletic Association will proceed as scheduled June 9, a federal judge in California ruled May 23 in denying the NCAA's motion to continue the trial or, alternatively, to sever certain of the antitrust claims and try them later with student-athletes' right-of-publicity claims (Samuel Keller, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. C 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; Edward O'Bannon, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. C 09-3329, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Suppliers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) on May 23 asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to deny Motorola Mobility Inc.'s petition for rehearing en banc of a ruling that Motorola's claims that the suppliers engaged in a global price-fixing conspiracy based on overseas purchases by Motorola's foreign affiliates do not fall under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act's (FTAIA) domestic injury exception and were properly dismissed (Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., No. 14-8003, 7th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 partially granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit accusing an almond milk producer of mislabeling certain products and limited the class to California consumers (Chris Werdebaugh, et al. v. Blue Diamond Growers, No. 12-2724, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71575).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on May 23 granted eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. affiliate Bill Me Later's (BML) motion to dismiss a putative class action in which a consumer alleges that the interest rates charged to him on a computer purchase were illegal, finding that he inadequately attempted to identify BML as the true lender or real party in interest (Kyle Sawyer v. Bill Me Later, et al., No. 11-0988, D. Utah; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71261).
CINCINNATI - Claims that a producer of oxidates monopolized the domestic market for the product following its purchase of a competitor's product line in violation of federal and state antitrust laws were untimely filed, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed May 23, concluding that the producer's raising prices and enforcing a noncompete clause under the acquisition agreement were not new and independent acts that were unrelated to the merger and, therefore, did not retrigger the date from which the statute of limitations is measured (Z Technologies Corporation v. The Lubrizol Corporation, No. 13-1254, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9597).
ST. LOUIS - Factual disputes preclude summary judgment in litigation over whether two wholesale grocers violated federal antitrust law by entering into an asset-exchange agreement that allegedly allocated customers and markets, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found May 21 in ruling that a federal district court erred in granting summary judgment to the wholesale grocers (In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation [D&G, Inc., DeLuca's Market Corp. v. SuperValu, Inc., et al.], No. 13-1297, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9412).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Employees who are 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 violation of federal antitrust law moved for preliminary approval of $324.5 million in partial class action settlements with Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on May 22 in a federal district court in California (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on May 20 dismissed two consumers' California unfair competition law (UCL) class action challenging the use of the term "evaporated cane juice" on food labels, citing the Food and Drug Administration's recent notice seeking comments on the issue and several court decisions issued since the FDA notice dismissing or staying similar lawsuits (Mary P. Swearingen and Joshua Ogden v. Yucatan Foods, L.P., No. 13-3544, N.D. Calif.).