LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows Some Claims In Suit Alleging Stem Cell Treatments Are Scam

    SAN DIEGO - Customers of a stem cell therapy business sufficiently plead that the business advertised false and misleading information on its website about consumer satisfaction rates in a way that was deceptive to potential customers, though they must amend their class claims that the business misrepresented the efficacy of its treatments if those claims are to proceed, a California federal judge held April 6 (Selena Moorer, et al. v. StemGenex Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02816, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53294).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California High Court Finds Arbitration Provision Is Contrary To Public Policy

    LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on April 6 reversed a court's ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not preempt a rule that provides that arbitration agreements for public injunctive relief under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law are not enforceable in California, remanding a credit card user's allegations related to marketing of the card against the lender for further review (Sharon McGill v. Citibank, N.A., No. S224086, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 2551).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds No Facts Showing Loan Transfer Was Void

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 5 dismissed numerous claims asserted by a property owner, including causes of action for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that he failed to plead the claims with the required specificity (Fernando D. Lopez v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-0811, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52527).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Grant Request For Interlocutory Appeal Of Ruling For CrossFit

    SAN DIEGO - After determining that the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) failed to show that a lawsuit in which the owner of a workout program asserted violations of the Lanham Act and California's unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to data published by NSCA did not constitute the type of "exceptional" case that would warrant certifying an interlocutory appeal, a California federal judge on April 3 rejected the association's request to appeal a summary judgment ruling (Crossfit Inc. v. National Strength and Conditioning Association, No. 14cv1191, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50719).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL Claims Related To Allegedly Unfair Rental Late Fees

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 31 granted a real estate company's motion to dismiss claims that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it charged a tenant a late fee, finding that the tenant failed to show that the fees were not practicable (Jordan Kohler v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, No. 15-cv-02195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49762).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Stays UCL And Other Claims Pending Review By Arbitrator

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 28 compelled claims for violation of breach of contract, violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action to arbitration under a cable services agreement, finding that questions underlying the dispute must be decided by an arbitrator (Michael Song v. Charter Communications Inc., et al., No. 17cv325, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45972.)

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Finds Release On Employment Termination Was Not Defamatory

    LOS ANGELES - After finding that a former president and founder of a clothing company failed to show that he would likely succeed on the merits of his claims at trial, a California court on March 28 affirmed judgment in favor of an investment firm on his claims for defamation and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Dov Charney v. Standard General, L.P., et al., No. B268928, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 274).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge: Supplement Labeling Class Suit Belongs In State Court

    SAN DIEGO - A class lawsuit over nutritional supplement labeling belongs in state court because the combined amount in controversy is less than $5 million, even when a 25 percent attorney fee award is included, a California federal judge ruled March 24, rejecting arguments by both sides that the case should remain in federal court (Paige Petkevicius, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 14-2616, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43636).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Wells Fargo Agrees To Pay $110M To Settle Unauthorized Accounts Class Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to pay $110 million to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent, according to a joint notice of settlement filed March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Lack Of Standing To Assert UCL Claim Against Popcorn Maker

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 27 dismissed a consumer's amended complaint in which she asserted violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in popcorn that she purchased, finding that the pleading contained the same defects as the original complaint (Jacquelyn McGee v. Diamond Foods Inc., No. 14cv2446, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44723).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Verdict For Unpaid Overtime For Newspaper Employees

    LOS ANGELES - After finding that all of a newspaper's challenges to a jury verdict in favor of former employees, who asserted claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action related to the termination of their jobs, failed, a California court on March 23 affirmed an award of damages in their favor for unpaid wages and overtime (Sun K. Byun, et al. v. Joong-Ang Daily News California, Inc., No. B270539, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2015).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Affirms Demurrer, Finds Borrowers Had No Interest In Property

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California court on March 22 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a demurrer filed by a mortgage company to a complaint filed by borrowers in relation to a foreclosure, finding that they did not allege sufficient facts to support their claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Lonnie Ratliff, Jr. v. EMC Mortgage LLC, et al., No. A144123, Calif. App., 1st. Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2057).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Campbell Soup Trans Fat Labeling Class Suit Dismissed; Motions For Sanctions Denied

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 21 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Campbell Soup Co. of deceiving customers by labeling soup as healthy even though it contained trans fat but denied motions by both parties seeking sanctions (Harold Brower, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, No. 16-1005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40792).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Partial Summary Judgment Granted In Apple IPhone Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Denies Decertification, Finds Vendors Are Employees

    SAN FRANCISCO - A network of "vendors" who perform maintenance and repair services at properties owned by Field Asset Services Inc. (FAS) are employees, not independent contractors, and are owed overtime and business expenses, a California federal judge ruled March 17 in an order granting the vendors' motion for partial summary judgment and denying FAS's motion to decertify the class of vendors (Fred Bowerman, et al. v. Field Asset Services Inc., et al., No. 13-57, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39000).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Drug Makers, Benefit Managers Hit With Class Suit Alleging Insulin Pricing Scheme

    NEWARK, N.J. - Three drug makers and the three largest pharmacy benefit managers have engaged in a pricing scheme to drive up the cost of diabetes insulin - by more than 150 percent in the last five years - in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Sherman Act and numerous state laws, four consumers and Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation allege in a March 17 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Julia Boss, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-1823, D. N.J.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 4th Circuit Finds Gambling In Virtual Casino Was Not A Monetary Loss

    RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Substitute Plaintiff In Insurance Coverage Dispute

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 16 denied an insured's petition to substitute her as the plaintiff in an action in which her husband sought coverage for theft under an insurance policy, finding that she failed to submit sufficient medical evidence to support a finding that he was incompetent to proceed as a plaintiff (Ray Gibson v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00677, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38231).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - No Court Remedy For Diabetes Products Tax Dispute

    LOS ANGELES - A class of customers who purchase skin puncture lancets and test strips used by diabetics and filed a class complaint seeking an order to compel pharmacies to file a claim seeking a refund of the sales tax paid for those items failed to establish that the necessary "unique circumstances" exist that would require a court to create a new tax refund remedy, a California appellate panel ruled March 13 (Michael McClain, et al. v. Sav-On Drugs, et al., Nos. B265011 and B265029, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 217).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Amendment Permitted, Class Certification Considered In Honda Window Defect Suit

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 10 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by American Honda Motor Co. Inc. in a proposed class complaint accusing the car maker of selling certain models with defective windows and granted the plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint to substitute the named plaintiff to represent a narrowed proposed class (Phyllis Grodzitsky, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., No. 12-1142, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185019).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Finds Chase Falsely Promised Loan Modification To Borrower

    LOS ANGELES - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 affirmed a district court's finding that a property owner asserted a viable claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) but reversed its rulings in favor of a bank on the property owner's claims for breach of contract and violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (Mahin Oskoui v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 15-55457, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4365).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Remands Class Action Filed Against Ford To California Court

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 10 remanded a class action lawsuit filed by product specialists who assert wage-related claims against a car maker and staffing companies, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet federal jurisdictional requirements (Henry Chen, et al. v. United Talent Agency LLC, et al., No. 17-1848, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34960).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Preliminarily OKs $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - Preliminary approval of a $22.5 million settlement of a class action over Google Inc.'s AdWords program under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) was granted March 9, with a California federal judge approving a proposed settlement class and settlement fund and setting dates for class notification and a fairness hearing (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Employees Failed To Prove Theory Of Joint Liability

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 8 found that former employees, who sold skincare products for various entities, failed to show that a company was the alter ego of other defendants named in the case, granting the owner of the product's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California labor code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Candle Horton, et al. v. NeoStrata Company Inc., et al., No. 3:16-CV-02189, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34059).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Finds Borrower Lacks Standing To Assert UCL Violation

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 affirmed dismissal of a homeowner's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law and other California law, finding that there was no private right of action available to him under the law or that loan servicers acted unlawfully (Peter Zeppeiro v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, et al., No. 15-55747, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3951).