LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge: On 3rd Attempt, Consumer Successfully Pleads Computer Power Action

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer adequately alleges that a computer manufacturer knew or should have known that its power supplies could not support high-performance components but continued to allow consumers to upgrade to such devices, a federal judge held Feb. 5 in allowing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Couple's Accounting Claim, Allows UCL Claim In Foreclosure Action

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Woman May Amend Competition Law Action Over Loan Modification

    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.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Declines To Order Divestiture In Southwest/AirTran Merger

    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antitrust law are not entitled to a divestiture order, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 4 in an unpublished opinion (Wayne Taleff, et al.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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - MLB Opposes City's Motion To Expedite Appeal Of Antitrust Exemption Ruling

    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.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Prius Mileage Competition Law Case

    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.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Class Certification Over Home Depot Fees

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Certification Denied To End Payers, Indirect Purchasers In Pay-For-Delay Case

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Unfair Competition Claim On Behalf Of Public Struck In Uninsured Motorist Case

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - In-Flight Internet Provider Denied Dismissal Of Antitrust Claims By Passengers

    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.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - San Francisco City Attorney, Internet Cafe Settle Competition Law Gambling Case

    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.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Plaintiff's TILA, Unfair Competition Against Wells Fargo

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 5 Of 6 Claims Against Garmin Over Battery Life Survive Dismissal

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Cash Payment Required For Settlement To Fall Under Actavis, Federal Judge Says

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Motorola's Antitrust Claims For Foreign Purchases Of LCD Panels Are Dismissed

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Hospital System's Acquisition Of Physician Group Must Be Undone, Federal Judge Rules

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Hospital's Conspiracy Claims Against Competitor Hospital And Ambulance Service Fail

    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).

    Mealey's Personal Injury - Split 7th Circuit Panel Says Pradaxa MDL Judge Can't Sanction Via Deposition Venue

    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).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - FTC Opposes High Court Review Of Immunity Ruling

    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.).

    Federal Judge Rejects Need For 'Magic Words' In Competition Law Case

    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).

    Competition Law Claims Against Insurer Not Among Those Revived By Appeals Court

    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).

    Lithium Battery Direct, Indirect Purchasers' Price-Fixing Complaints Dismissed

    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).

    Juror May Not Be Struck Based On Sexual Orientation; New Antitrust Trial Ordered

    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).

    U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear State's Parens Patriae Price-Fixing Case

    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.).

    9th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Credit Card Fees Suit

    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).