SAN DIEGO - A California business that provides hospice care agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement to resolve allegations that it was fraudulently admitting and retaining hospice patients who did not meet requirements for hospice care, according to a Sept. 2 release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for California (United States of America, ex rel. Lori A. Rachac v. San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care Corp., No. 12-2866, S.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The makers of the hangover prevention beverage NOHO cheated a former business partner out of more than $5 million in company shares, compensation and commissions by unlawfully canceling the partner's interest in the company, in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), according to a complaint filed Aug. 25 in federal court (Todd Blatt, et al. v. NOHO, Inc., et al., No. 14-6666, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than half of large employers will offer employees a consumer directed health plan (CDHP) in 2015, and those plans will be the sole option at almost a third of large employers, according to an Aug. 13 National Business Group on Health (NBGH) survey.
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Two companies' cross-claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) that a rival company used illegal noncompete agreements with its employees to unlawfully compete with its competitors are not barred by the state's law banning strategic lawsuits against public participation (anti-SLAPP statute) because the claims are based on the rival's business practices and not its litigation conduct, a state appellate panel held Aug. 8 in affirming a trial court's ruling (Pathology, Inc. v. Aviir, Inc., et al., No. G048824, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5621).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 6 dismissed for the second time two homeowners' claims under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) that their mortgage lender's unfair business practices caused them to default on their loan after finding that the homeowners again failed to allege that they suffered any economic injury (Scott Paulhus and Lynette Paulhus v. Fay Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 14-736, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108635).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 30 denied a bid by eBay Inc. to dismiss a consumer's class action claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes that the online auction company's unfair and deceptive business practices caused sellers to lose time remaining on their prepaid listing periods and to lose money in fees paid to relist items, finding that the consumer adequately alleged that members of the public are likely to be deceived by eBay's practices (Luis Rosado v. eBay Inc., No. 12-04005, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89863).
HOUSTON - Steel producers and distributors that were ordered to pay $156 million in treble damages on claims that they conspired to put distributor MM Steel LP out of business by engaging in a group boycott in violation of federal antitrust law on June 24 and 25 filed notices of appeal to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of the amended final judgment following the trial court's denial of their motions for a new trial (MM Steel, LP, et al. v. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-01227, S.D. Texas).
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).
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).
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 - Allegations by an inventor that Microsoft Corp. violated California's unfair competition law, Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (UCL), when it "deliberately" encouraged others to infringe his patent and "obstructed and unfairly competed with" his business were dismissed by a California federal judge on May 23 as preempted by the Patent Act (Antonio Medina v. Microsoft Corp. et al., No. 14-143, N.D. Calif.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New York federal judge on May 20 agreed to strike a claim for impermissible indirect wage deduction brought under New York state law from a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation filed against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. (together, MSSB), finding that the plaintiffs voluntarily paid for their business expenses (In Re Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-3121, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69710).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and certain of its current and former executive officers have agreed to pay $57 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the company's business condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed by lead plaintiffs on March 31 (In re Hewlett-Packard Co. Securities Litigation, No. 11-1404, C.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON - A federal jury in Texas on March 25 awarded $52 million in compensatory damages to steel distributor MM Steel LP on its claims that its competitors and steel producers conspired to put it out of business by engaging in a group boycott in violation of federal antitrust law (MM Steel, LP, et al. v. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-01227, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 heard arguments in two cases that will decide whether for-profit, secular businesses have to provide contraceptive services as part of their health insurance packages to employees even if they oppose such measures on religious grounds (Kathleen Sebelius, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al., No. 13-354, U.S. Sup.; Conestoga Woods Specialties Corp., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-356, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A putative class action against a job-matching website partly survived a dismissal motion, a New York federal judge ruled March 12, finding claims for breach of contract and a violation of New York General Business Law adequately pleaded (Barbara Ward, et al. v. TheLadders.com Inc., No. 1:13-cv-01605, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32617).