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).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appellate panel on Oct. 10 affirmed that a class action suit alleging that a gas and electric company deceptively misrepresented how much revenue it required to provide safe and reliable natural gas service in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was barred because it would interfere with the continuing jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in pending regulatory matters against the defendant (Filomena Guerrero, et al. v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., et al., No. A139429, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 909).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 11 passed legislation grandfathering more insurance plans from compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum coverage standards
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.