SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Six California residents filed a class complaint on Sept. 21 in the Santa Barbara County, Calif., Superior Court, alleging that Volkswagen Group of America Inc.'s use of software to hide the true emissions performance of some of its diesel vehicles has caused them to suffer for loss of vehicle value, decreased resale opportunities and degradation of vehicle performance (Peter Park, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., et al., No. 15CV03138, Calif. Super., Santa Barbara Co.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California magistrate judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $900,000 settlement to pay claims brought by distribution center employees of CVS Pharmacy Inc., settling causes of action related to wages and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL,) and granted the claimants' motion for attorney fees (Leticia Ceja-Corona, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1868, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126885).
SAN FRANCISCO - Concluding that a trial court "erred by conflating restitution calculation with the liability inquiry" for claims brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 reversed a ruling that denied a putative class's motion for certification in its claims that Google Inc. misled them under its AdWords advertising program (Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 12-16752, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Seven owners of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. vehicles filed a class complaint in California federal court on Sept. 20 accusing the car maker of intentionally installing software on more than 482,000 diesel vehicles that circumvents U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for certain air pollutants (Michael McCabe, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., No. 15-1930, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - After recently awarding a man who alleged that he was discriminated against for his disability by the owner of a nursing home $75,000 in damages on his claims for violation of employment law, California's unfair competition law (UCL) and housing acts, a California federal judge on Sept. 14 awarded him $174,970.90 in costs and fees (Hector Montano v. Bonnie Brae Convalescent Hospital Inc., et al., No. 12-3462, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122329).
SAN FRANCISCO - Recordings made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of an investigation into alleged antitrust violations in the optical disk drive (ODD) industry, but prior to a grand jury investigation, are not exempt from discovery under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Panel found Sept. 10, affirming a trial court's denial of a motion to quash brought by the subject of the recordings (In Re: Optical Disk Drive Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-15702, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16081).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Lumber Liquidators Inc. deliberately misled consumers into believing that their flooring released "normal" and safe levels of formaldehyde when, in fact, the flooring was releasing levels much higher than prescribed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Toxic Substance Control Act, numerous consumers allege in their Sept. 11 representative class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (In Re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 15-2627, E.D. Va.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 8 partially granted an energy drink company's motion for a default ruling on its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement against an individual, awarding it $15,000 in statutory damages (Monster Energy Co. v. Mike McNamee, No. 15-0084, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120295).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that a pet food ingredient supplier lacked sufficient connection to California to support claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a Missouri federal judge on Sept. 8 dismissed a pet food maker's third-party UCL claims but allowed certain claims for negligence and indemnity to proceed (Nestle Purina Petcare Co. v. The Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd., No. 4:14 CV 859, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118992).
CHICAGO - Allegations of trademark infringement, unfair competition and state law deceptive trade practices in connection with the "Four Aces" trademark for tobacco products will proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 3 (Top Tobacco, et al. v. Fantasia Distribution Inc., No. 14-8981, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117533).
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).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 3 issued a ruling on claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and several federal broadcasting laws in relation to the unauthorized broadcast of a fight program, awarding the licensed distributor of the program damages (J&J Sports Productions, Inc. v. Adrian Luna, No. 12-09673, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118611).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Sept. 3 reinstated a service technician's class claim seeking compensation for time spent commuting in a company vehicle, finding that questions remain regarding whether that mode of transportation was required (Joseluis Alcantar, et al. v. Hobart Service, et al., No. 13-55400, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15687).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 31 remanded a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to a state court for lack of jurisdiction, finding that a bank failed to show that the amount in controversy met jurisdictional requirements (Raymond Mott Jr. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-5783, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116501).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 2 issued two orders: The first granted a motion for final approval of a $415 million settlement with Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Intel Corp. on employees' claims that the high-tech companies conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees in violation of federal antitrust law, and the second partially granted motions for attorney fees, reimbursement of expenses and service awards (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., a Mexican fast-food chain, is deceiving its customers by claiming that its products are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a California woman claims in her class complaint filed Aug. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Colleen Gallagher, et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 15-3952, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California court on Aug. 31 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a case filed by a property owner against a home warranty corporation, finding that she lacked standing to assert a claim for violation for California's unfair competition law (UCL) because she suffered no monetary or property damages (Alice J. Benham v. First America Home Buyers Protection Corp., et al., No. 141034, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6265).
PASADENA, Calif. - A split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 upheld a trial court's rejection of a class claim by consumers under Section 1 of the Sherman Act who allege the largest U.S. retailer of musical instruments conspired with guitar and amplifier manufacturers and a trade association to fix prices, finding that while there may have been conduct that violated antitrust laws, there was no evidence supporting the Section 1 claim (In re: Musical Instruments and Equipment Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-56674, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14960).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 25 dismissed a food equipment maker's complaint, which asserted claims for fraud, violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other allegations against a food company, finding that it failed to plead its claims with the required particularity (Super Chefs Inc. v. Second Bite Foods Inc., dba Stone Gate Foods LLC, No. 15-00525, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113468).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 25 stayed a class action filed against a security company in which an employee asserts claims over hours and wages and violations of the California unfair competition law pending the outcome of a similar class action filed against the company (Ernie Ricardo Fernandez v. Brink's Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-02667, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112676).
LOS ANGELES - In an Aug. 24 brief opposing certification of a class of ex-employees whose data was compromised in a 2014 breach of its network, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. argues in California federal court that "elements of injury and causation" for the plaintiffs "are entirely individualized" and, as such, not suitable for class treatment (Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., No. 2:14-cv-09600, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 refused to dismiss part of a borrower's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law but granted a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligent misrepresentation (Edward C. Hendricks v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-01299, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108313).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 18 declined to grant class action status in a suit accusing Apple Inc. of violating the Wiretap Act and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by wrongfully intercepting, storing and preventing former Apple device users from receiving text messages sent to them from current Apple device users (Adam Backhaut, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-2285, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107519).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 13 denied an electricity supplier's motion to transfer a class complaint alleging misrepresentation of energy rates to a New York federal court, where three other similar class cases are pending (Michael Kantor, et al. v. Hiko Energy, LLC, No. 14-5585, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106448).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A state unfair competition law (UCL) claim and portions of a fraud claim will continue against defendants accused of breach of contract for failing to deliver computers or refund the bitcoin used to pay for the merchandise, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 14 (Pete Morici v. HashFast Technologies, et al., No. 14-87, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107449).