LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss a couple's claim for accounting but found that the plaintiffs sufficiently stated claims for alleged violations of California Civil Code Section 2923.6 and the unlawful prong of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Sally Rosenfeld, et al. v. NationStar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-4830-CAS-CWx, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14034).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On remand, a woman may attempt to allege that her lender violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) by putting her in a nonconforming trial loan modification, a California appeals court held Feb. 5 (Svetlana Nersesyan v. Bank of America, N.A., No. C071934, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Direct purchasers of airline tickets who alleged that the merger between Southwest Airlines Co. and AirTran Holdings Inc. violated antitrust law are not entitled to a divestiture order, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 4 in an unpublished opinion (Wayne Taleff, et al. v. Southwest Airlines Co., et al., No. 11-17995, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2121).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 that the City of San Jose, Calif., will not suffer irreparable harm if its appeal of a federal trial court ruling - that its challenge to Major League Baseball's role in preventing a franchise from moving to San Jose is subject to the baseball exemption from antitrust regulation - is not expedited (City of San Jose, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 14-15139, 9th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. - There was nothing deceptive in an automaker's use of Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimates, and the California unfair competition law (UCL) imposes no duty to disclose lower, internal estimates, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 5 (Tracy Gray, et al. v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Toyota Motor North America Inc., No. 12-55362, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The existence of five contracts handling fee disclosures differently, contested store signage and oral representations creates individualized issues and required denying class certification of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed Feb. 3 (Benjamin Berger, et al. v. Home Depot USA Inc., DBA The Home Depot, No. 11-55592, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2059).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The federal judge in Tennessee overseeing multidistrict litigation involving claims that brand-name pharmaceutical company King Pharmaceuticals LLC and generic drug manufacturer Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. conspired to delay the entry of generic versions of Skelaxin into the market denied certification of an indirect purchaser class and an end-payer class on Jan. 30 (In re: Skelaxin $(Metaxalone$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:12-md-2343, E.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11467).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Because the plaintiff in an uninsured motorist (UM) benefits lawsuit did not file her complaint as a class action, a California federal judge on Jan. 29 ruled that she could not bring a claim under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) on behalf of the general public, granting a motion to strike that portion of her claim (Brooke Poland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:12-cv-03105, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11102).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a California federal judge on Jan. 29 found some flaws with antitrust claims brought by three airline passengers against a provider of in-flight Internet service, he found that the claims were sufficiently pleaded to survive the provider's dismissal motion (James Stewart, et al. v. Gogo Inc., No. 3:12-cv-05164, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An internet cafe on Jan. 30 agreed to cease operations, settling the City and County of San Francisco city attorney's California unfair competition law (UCL) action alleging that the company offered gambling through computerized slot machines (City And County of San Francisco, et al. v. Thomas Lacey, et al., No. 535314, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Jan. 28 dismissed with prejudice a man's claims that Wells Fargo violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the unfair and unlawful prongs of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, after finding that his second amended complaint failed to remedy deficiencies in his allegations (Karthik Subramani v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. C 13-1605 SC. N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10426).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Jan. 24 agreed to dismiss only one of six claims in a class action suit accusing Garmin International Inc. and Garmin U.S.A. Inc. of manufacturing and selling global positioning systems (GPS) with defective batteries that don't last more than two years (Brian Meyers, et al. v. Garmin International, Inc., et al., No. 13-2416, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8616).
NEWARK, N.J. - The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis does not apply to a settlement between a holder of a drug patent and a generic manufacturer that delays entry of a generic drug but does not involve a cash payment, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 24 (In re: Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation $(All Direct Purchaser Actions$), No. 12-995, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9257).
CHICAGO - Motorola's claims that suppliers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels 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 are properly dismissed, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Jan. 23 in granting the suppliers' motion to reconsider an order entered by a multidistrict litigation court (Motorola Mobility, Inc. v. AU Optronics Corporation, et al., No. 09 C 6610, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8492).
BOISE, Idaho - A federal judge in Idaho on Jan. 24 ordered the divestiture of a consummated merger between Idaho's largest health system and the state's largest independent, multispecialty physician group, finding that the acquisition was anti-competitive (Saint Alphonsus Medical Center - Nampa, Inc., et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., No. 12-560, D. Idaho; Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. St. Luke's Health System, Ltd., et al., No. 13-116, D. Idaho; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9264).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi hospital's claims that a rival hospital and an ambulance service conspired in violation of the Sherman Act to divert patients to the rival hospital failed because the rival hospital controlled the ambulance service, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled Jan. 22 (Wesley Health System, LLC v. Forrest County Board of Supervisors, No. 2:12-CV-59-KS-MTP, S.D. Miss.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7764).
CHICAGO - The federal judge overseeing the Pradaxa multidistrict litigation overstepped his authority by ordering defendant Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. to have 13 of its employees deposed in the United States as part of a sanction for bad faith discovery violations, a split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Jan. 24, granting a writ of mandamus quashing the sanction (In Re: Petition of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., In Re: Pradaxa [Dabigatran Etexillate] Products Liability Litigation, No. 13-3898, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1479).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Trade Commission on Jan. 22 urged the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review of a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling sustaining the FTC's determination that dentists in North Carolina, through the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners, are conspiring to exclude non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 13-534, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray (ICBINBS) falls under federal regulations for "spray" products, but plaintiffs need not plead "magic words" to demonstrate that they relied on the labeling in purchasing the product, a federal judge held Jan. 22 in allowing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Kym Pardini and Carrie Wood, et al. v. Unilever United States Inc., No. 13-1675, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7900).
LOS ANGELES - A trustee does not allege the type of purposeful denial of claims necessary to bring a California unfair competition law (UCL) action against an insurer, a state appeals court held Jan. 21 (Bruce T. Mulhearn, et al. v. Lawyers Title Insurance Co., et al., No. B244893, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 373).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Jan. 21 dismissed consolidated amended class action complaints of both direct and indirect purchasers who alleged that 18 Japanese and Korean manufacturers of lithium ion battery cells and their American subsidiaries engaged in a multiyear, international price-fixing conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act (In re: Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation $(All Indirect and Direct Purchaser Actions$), No. 13-MD-2420, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7516).
SAN FRANCISCO - Equal protection prohibits peremptory strikes of potential jurors based on sexual orientation, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21 in remanding for a new trial a case in which a federal jury in California found that Abbott Laboratories did not violate antitrust laws by raising the price of its critical component of HIV drugs by 400 percent while keeping the price of its own boosted HIV drug unchanged (SmithKline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories, Nos. 11-17357, 11-17373, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1128).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 declined to decide whether the citizenship of the individuals on whose behalf a state brought restitution claims in a price-fixing case satisfies the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) minimal diversity requirement for a "mass action" (AU Optronics Corporation, et al. v. State of South Carolina, No. 12-911, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 21 affirmed a federal court's dismissal of a putative class action brought by credit cardholders alleging that banks violated the U.S. Constitution via their over-limit and late fees, finding that the substantive due process jurisprudence developed to limit punitive damages in the tort context does not apply to contractual penalties such as credit card penalty fees (In Re Late Fee and Over-Limit Fee Litigation $(Andrew T. Pinon, et al. v. Bank of America, NA, et al.$), No. 08-15218, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1091).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A study on deaths caused by crib bumpers generally and opposition to the products by numerous advocacy groups do not make the products' defect a "fact," a California federal judge held Jan. 16 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Aida Corral, et al. v. Carter's Inc., et al., NO. 13-0262, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5880).