SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on April 7 denied Safeway Inc.'s bid for summary judgment on consumer class action claims that the grocer was negligent and violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to notify "Club Card" members of product recalls, finding that the state negligence law imposes a general duty of care on Safeway and that the grocer provided no basis to grant it an exception to that duty (Dee Hensley-MacLean and Jennifer Rosen v. Safeway, Inc., No. 11-01230, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48591).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on April 7 denied cross-motions for summary judgment on American Needle Inc.'s antitrust claims related to conduct by the National Football League, its 32 teams and the clubs' wholly owned licensing company in granting an exclusive license to Reebok International Ltd. to use the NFL's and teams' trademarks on apparel (American Needle, Inc. v. New Orleans Louisiana Saints, et al., No. 04-cv-7806, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47527).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear a Connecticut landlord's class action claim that DIRECTV Inc. violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) by placing satellite TV dishes on apartment houses without consent of the owner because the claim is actually for trespass, a local action under California law that should have been brought where the real property is located, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 9 (Eldee-K Rental Properties, LLC v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. 11-17994, 9th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 4 refused to exclude plaintiff employees' expert testimony in an antitrust suit accusing high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47181).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge on April 4 refused to dismiss homeowners' claims under the "unfair" and "unlawful" prongs of California's unfair competition law (UCL) challenging a lender's pending foreclosure of their home after finding that the homeowners adequately pleaded a violation of the one-action rule under state law (Jeffrey Lanini and Krista Lanini v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 2:13-cv-00027, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47348).
LOS ANGELES - A class action against a satellite TV company alleging that its early termination fees violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws cannot be resolved through arbitration because the arbitration provision in the company's customer agreement contains a class action waiver that is not enforceable under California law, a state appeals court held April 7 (Amy Imburgia, et al. v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. B239361, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal court erred in dismissing antitrust and California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against a manufacturer of computer memory cards based on the statute of limitations because the manufacturer committed two overt acts during the limitations period, which extended the deadline for a rival manufacturer to sue, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 4 in reversing the trial court's ruling and remanding the case (Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. v. Panasonic Corporation, No. 12-15185, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6256).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 31 dismissed a putative class action against a provider of e-filing services in Texas county courts for failure to demonstrate antitrust standing and for not establishing unconscionability or violations of the Texas Constitution (Karen McPeters, et al. v. LexisNexis, No. 4:11-cv-02056, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43068).
SAN FRANCISCO - An eBay user did not plausibly allege that he relied on alleged misrepresentations by eBay Inc. when using the online market site's automatic bidding auction service, so his claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) fails, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 1 in affirming the dismissal of the user's class action complaint (Marshall Block v. eBay Inc., No. 12-16527, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5995).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Plaintiffs from a multidistrict litigation alleging that several banks rigged the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) on March 26 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting that the high court decide whether a dismissed suit in a consolidated action can be immediately appealed, regardless of whether claims remain the consolidated action (Ellen Gelboim, et al. v. Credit Suisse Group AG, et al., No. 13-1174, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. of Appeals on March 27 reversed parts of a district court's decision that a mortgage borrower lacked standing to bring a suit alleging that Deutsche Bank National Trust and Barclays Bank manipulated London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) to drive up mortgage rates, holding that the borrower did suffer injury from the alleged manipulation (Helen Galope v. Deutsche Bank National Trust, et al., No. 12-56892, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5686).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers filed a complaint on March 25 in an Arkansas federal court against Visa U.S.A. Inc., alleging that Visa worked with banks to illegally inflate the "swipe fees" retailers pay for Visa transactions and requesting more than $5 billion in damages (Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al. v. Visa U.S.A. Inc., et al., No. 14-5101, W.D. Ark.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge on March 25 decertified a nationwide class of consumers in litigation challenging the marketing of pomegranate juice products under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes, finding that the consumers failed to show that common issues of fact regarding damages predominate over individualized questions and that there is no way to reliably determine who is a class member (In re: POM Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2199, No. 10-02199, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40415).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 27 remanded a lawsuit alleging that United Air Lines participated in a conspiracy to fix the price of air cargo shipments in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, instructing the trial court to determine whether the antitrust claim was discharged in United's bankruptcy (DPWN Holdings $(USA$), Inc. v. United Air Lines, Inc., et al., No. 12-4867, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5612).
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 were properly dismissed, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed March 27 on interlocutory appeal (Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., No. 14-8003, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5596).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 27 in an unpublished order affirmed the dismissal of claims that JPMorgan violated federal antitrust law by participating in a conspiracy to manipulate market prices for silver futures (In re: Commodity Exchange, Inc. Silver Futures and Options Trading Litigation $(Brian J. Beatty, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., et al.$), No. 13-1416, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5597).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on March 24 dismissed with prejudice a couple's allegation that their loan servicer violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by failing to inform them that it had been assigned to their loan, finding that the plaintiffs received a letter providing the information more than a year before filing suit (John Kilpatrick, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-cv-1740-W, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39472).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 24 dismissed a virtual currency provider's complaint against a number of its competitors, ruling that the provider lacks standing to bring its claims because it is not a competitor of the defendants and could not suffer a competitive disadvantage (Think Computer Corp. v. Dwolla Inc., et al., No. 13-2054, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38758).
PITTSBURGH - Defendants accused in class action lawsuits consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania of manufacturing and marketing dog treats that harm the dogs by causing kidney damage and death were granted a motion to dismiss an unjust enrichment claim on March 25; claims of marketing misrepresentations and violation of consumer protection laws survived the motion to dismiss (In re Milo's Kitchen Dog Treats Consolidated Cases, No. 12-1011, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39190; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39185).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate on March 21 refused to dismiss a putative class action alleging that a mortgage lender and an insurer were involved in an unjust kickback scheme involving force-placed flood insurance (Stephen Ellsworth, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., et al., No. C 12-02506 LB, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38691).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Because a counterclaim alleged against a union is based on traditional union activity, the counterclaim cannot be sustained as the conduct is exempt from federal antitrust laws, an Oregon federal judge said March 24 (International Longshore and Warehouse Union et al., v. ICTSI Oregon Inc. et al., No. 12-1058, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38056).
HOUSTON - A federal jury in Texas on March 25 awarded $52 million in compensatory damages to steel distributor MM Steel LP on its claims that its competitors and steel producers conspired to put it out of business by engaging in a group boycott in violation of federal antitrust law (MM Steel, LP, et al. v. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-01227, S.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25 ruled that "to come within the zone of interests in a suit for false advertising under" Section 1125(a) of the Lanham Act, "a plaintiff must allege an injury to a commercial interest in reputation or sales" (Lexmark International Inc. v. Static Control Components Inc., No. 12-873, U.S. Sup.).
CLEVELAND - Although a woman's strict product liability claim regarding a birth control patch fails based on the learned intermediary doctrine, her claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) sufficiently alleges that the product's manufacturers used untrue or misleading statements intended to induce consumers to buy the product, an Ohio federal judge held March 24 (Tash Casso v. Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., et al., No. 1:11-oe-40006, N.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38443).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 19 remanded a state's lawsuit accusing nearly two dozen liquid crystal display (LCD) companies of artificially inflating prices to the federal trial court for an entry of an order remanding the case to state court after finding that the lawsuit brought on behalf of the state's citizens is not a class action (State of Mississippi, ex rel Jim Hood, Attorney General v. AU Optronics Corporation, et al., No. 12-60704, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5184).