BOSTON - More than 800 Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions were filed in fiscal year (FY) 2015, up from 681 in FY 2010, according to a report jointly issued Jan. 12 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research and the New York University Pollack Center for Law and Business.
SAN FRANCISCO - A biopharmaceutical company shareholder filed a securities class action complaint in California federal court on Dec. 18, alleging that the company and certain of its executive officers issued a series of misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (Kang Li v. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 15-5841, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California court on Nov. 5 affirmed the majority of a decision for the owner of an adolescent treatment center against former employees who stole confidential information to start a competing business, including claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and an order granting an injunction for the center, but vacated parts of the injunction as overbroad (Destinations To Recovery v. Evolve Initiatives LLC, et al., No. B259011, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7946).
NEW ORLEANS - In a one-sentence order, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 4 granted Halliburton Co.'s motion for leave to appeal a district court ruling certifying a class of shareholders in a securities suit alleging that the company and certain of its officers and directors misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law (Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., No. 15-90038, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of Keurig Green Mountain Inc. to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims against it, finding a lack of evidence to show that its new coffee maker will cause another manufacturer's business to suffer significant losses (JBR, Inc. v. Keurig Green Mountain Inc., No. 14-3578, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18625).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Sept. 3 denied a data-storage company's request to amend its counterclaims against a corporation, in which it already asserts counterclaims for unfair business practices and unfair competition in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and numerous other allegations, finding that additional amendments would prejudice the plaintiff in the case and cause delay (EMC Corp. v. Pure Storage, Inc., No. 13-12789, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117775).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 31 upheld an arbitration award finding that a homeowners association was entitled to only $24,490 for alleged construction defects that resulted in the staining of the exterior of some buildings in a condominium complex, after finding that the association was unable to show that the award was the result of a gross mistake or manifest disregard of the law (Casa del Mar Association Inc. v. Williams & Thomas L.P., doing business as Jamail Construction, No. 14-14-00046-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 9227).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals court on Aug. 10 affirmed a trial court's decision to convert an arbitration award from Israeli New Shekels to $4,082,254, finding that the conversion was required by Minnesota law (AVR Communications Ltd., et al. v. American Hearing Systems Inc., doing business as Interton Inc., No. 14-1808, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. LEXIS 61).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Online video game maker Zynga Inc. will pay $23 million to settle claims that it and certain of its executive officers and directors violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business and financial condition, according to an Aug. 7 regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 5 declined to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing a credit-building and credibility solutions business of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by making repeated unwanted calls to the plaintiff's cellular phone despite requests to be placed on a "do-not-call" list and a cease-and-desist letter (Jeffrey A. Thomas v. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., No. 15-3194, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103322).
SAN DIEGO - In ruling on a motion to dismiss in a class action lawsuit accusing the manufacturer of Maker's Mark whiskey of deceptive advertising and business practices, a federal judge in California on July 27 dismissed state unfair competition law (UCL) and False Advertising Law (FAL) claims based on failure to plausibly allege likelihood of deception but allowed UCL and FAL claims based on the safe harbor doctrine to continue (Safora Nowrouzi, et al. v. Maker's Mark Distillery Inc., No. 14-2885, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97752).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 10 dismissed multiple claims, including a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, from a chiropractor's suit accusing the developer of a patented massage technique and the company certifying the technique for use by other chiropractors of interfering with his business and engaging in anti-competitive conduct (Vasili Gatsinaris, D.C., et al. v. Art Corporate Solutions Inc., et al., No. 15-741, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90086).
NEW YORK - An oil and gas industry products provider has agreed to a $120 million settlement of claims with investors that it violated provisions of federal securities laws by misrepresenting the company's business and financial condition, according to a press release issued July 1 (Glenn Freedman v. Weatherford International Ltd., et al., No. 12-2121, S.D. N.Y.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 27 found that a property owner failed to properly plead her claim under California Civil Code Section 2923.6 and dismissed the claim with leave to amend, but allowed her claims for violations of Section 2924.12 and California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 can proceed (Veronica A. Gonzales v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-03850, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68554).
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A resident of a California care facility for the elderly filed a class complaint against the owners and operators on April 6 in California state court, alleging negligent business practices and staffing assignments based on the number of residents rather than the needs of the residents (Doreen Trombley, et al. v. Westpac Investments, Inc., et al., No. 15CV7010, Calif. Super., San Luis Obispo Co.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 20 declined to dismiss antitrust claims in a suit alleging that health insurers conspired with hospitals to drive multiple ambulatory surgical centers out of business (Arapahoe Surgery Center, et al. v. CIGNA Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 13-3422, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20488).
RICHMOND, Va. - A purported Internet service provider (ISP) that brought suit against Kraft Foods Inc. under state anti-spam laws had a business plan that centered on litigation-based income, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 4, affirming dismissal of the claims against Kraft (Beyond Systems Inc. v. Kraft Foods Inc., et al., No. 13-2137, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1725).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - McGraw Hill Financial Inc. and its subsidiary, Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P Financial), announced on Feb. 3 that they will pay a combined $1.5 billion to settle actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, the attorneys general of 19 states and the District of Columbia and a California state employee pension fund regarding ratings issued and surveilled by S&P Financial's business unit for certain mortgage-backed securities in violation of state and federal laws.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 10 partially dismissed a putative class action case accusing Apple Inc. of unlawfully marketing its text-messaging service by not telling consumers that the service prevents former iPhone users from receiving certain text messages after they replaced their iPhones with non-Apple devices, leaving a claim brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) predicated on a tortious interference with business contract claim but dismissing a UCL claim predicated on a Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) claim (Adrienne Moore v. Apple Inc., No. 14-2269, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158900).