SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 23 granted preliminary approval to a proposed class action settlement alleging that a mortgage lender and an insurer were involved in an unjust kickback scheme involving force-placed flood insurance, in violation of, among other things, the state's unfair competition law (UCL) (Stephen Ellsworth v. U.S. Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-2506, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53625).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on April 17 dismissed claims based on fraud and the state's unfair competition law (UCL) with prejudice in an alleged wrongful foreclosure case, while dismissing four other claims with leave to amend (Dan Wiskind v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, No. 14-4223, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51088).
LOS ANGELES - Three California residents on April 16 filed a class complaint against their former employer, American Apparel Inc., alleging that the clothing company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), the California WARN Act and California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., when it executed a mass layoff earlier in the month without 60 days' notice (Carlos Hirschberg, et al. v. American Apparel, Inc., et al., No. 15-2827, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A company that provides online listings to real estate agents failed to plead the existence of any protectable trade secrets, a California federal judge ruled April 13, mostly dismissing its complaint against leading online real estate marketplace Zillow Inc. (Top Agent Network Inc. v. Zillow Inc., No. 4:14-cv-04769, N.D. Calif.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - The bench trial in a class suit brought by members accusing Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 1367.63 by denying all requests for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery without first having a physician review each request concluded April 10, but not without Kaiser making a nonsuit motion and the judge chiding both sides for failing to present traditional opening arguments and then dragging out the trial (Wendy Gallimore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., No. RG12616206, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 9 dismissed a state unfair competition law claim (UCL) from a dispute over a defect in a portable navigation device but allowed claims for breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty to continue (TomTom International v. Broadcom Corp., No. 14-475, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47583).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 8 declined to dismiss a class action accusing a beverage maker of misleading consumers by placing "All Natural" on its packaging for a sunflower drink when the product actually contains artificial or synthetic ingredients in violation of state laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), but did dismiss the plaintiff's request for injunctive relief (Barbara Anderson v. The Hain Celestial Group Inc., No. 14-3895, N.D. Calif.; 1015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46708).
PHILADELPHIA - In light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling handed down after a trial court certified an antitrust class against the producers of blood reagents, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 8 reversed and remanded the certification ruling, directing the trial court to consider the reliability of challenged expert testimony under the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) prior to making a class certification decision (In Re: Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-4067, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5630).
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A resident of a California care facility for the elderly filed a class complaint against the owners and operators on April 6 in California state court, alleging negligent business practices and staffing assignments based on the number of residents rather than the needs of the residents (Doreen Trombley, et al. v. Westpac Investments, Inc., et al., No. 15CV7010, Calif. Super., San Luis Obispo Co.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After previously dismissing a putative class action targeting Google Wallet, a California federal judge on April 1 found that many of the previous defects had been cured, permitting claims for breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to survive a dismissal motion by Google Inc. (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-04080, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43902).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In light of the Federal Trade Commission's settlement with Google Inc. over the sale of unauthorized purchases made by minors related to games and applications purchased from the Google Play Store (in-app purchases), a California federal judge on April 3 granted the Internet giant's motion to deny certification of a class that "covers the same conduct at issue in the FTC matter," finding that it did not meet the superiority requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23 (Ilana Imber-Gluck, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:14-cv-01070, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Claims in a putative class action alleging that dog food manufactured by Nestle Purina Petcare Co. contains toxic substances have "no credible basis" and rest on "unsubstantiated and anecdotal online reports," Purina argues in a motion to dismiss filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on April 2 (Frank Lucido v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., et al., No. 3:15-cv-00569-LB, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Parties involved in case in which California's Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) was accused of engaging in practices that violated the unlawful prong of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) when, in 2013, it terminated City College of San Francisco's (CCSF) accreditation, on April 1 filed a stipulation to dismiss an appeal following a February decision by a state court issuing a final injunction and judgment in the case that provides the CCSF a new option to secure its accreditation (People of the State of California ex rel. Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney v. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, No. A141237, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California dismissed a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim in part of his ruling on a motion to dismiss a housing foreclosure dispute (Edgar Gardner III v. Nationstar Mortgage, et al., No. 14-1583, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39041).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on March 23 mostly denied motions by Apple Inc. and a group of application (app) developers to dismiss a class action alleging privacy and other violations related to purported misappropriation of information in the address books of certain Apple devices (iDevices) (Marc Opperman, et al. v. Path Inc., et al., No. 3:13-CV-00453, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36137).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 23 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to compel arbitration in a class action complaint accusing a manufacturer and distributor of video games of violating California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misleading consumers as to the ability to use the defendant's online platform to play certain games with other consumers via the Internet (Justin T. Bassett v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 13-4208, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35895).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 23 denied J.C. Penney Corp.'s (JCPenney) summary judgment motion in a class action lawsuit accusing the retailer of deceptive advertising in violation of state laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL) (Cynthia E. Spann v. J.C. Penney Corp., et al., No. 12-215, C.D. Calif.).
MINNEAPOLIS - Both sides motions' to exclude expert witness testimony in an unfair competition dispute over Symantec Corp.'s so-called download insurance were denied by a Minnesota federal judge March 19, albeit with some restrictions (Devi Khoday, et al. v. Symantec Corp., et al., No. 0:11-cv-00180, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34953).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 19 vacated a $20 million settlement in a class suit over unauthorized charges in light of the Feb. 27 decision in Frank v. Netflix (In re Online DVD-Rental Antitrust Litig.) (No. 12-15705, 9th Cir.) and remanded for further proceedings (In re: Easysaver Rewards Litigation, No. 13-55373, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4494).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on March 18 signed legislation that proponents hope encourages transparency in asbestos bankruptcy trust filings.
LOS ANGELES - A school bus driver bringing various wage claims against her former employer failed to establish that questions of law common to her proposed class predominate over individualized matters, a California federal judge ruled March 12, denying the plaintiffs' motion for class certification (Imelda Vasquez, et al. v. First Student, Inc., et al., No. 14-6760, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30631).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 16 found that plaintiffs' failure to allege that their cleaning service and its trademark enjoyed nationwide fame defeated their federal trademark infringement claims against the operator of LivingSocial.com, granting in part a motion to dismiss (Troy Feagin, et al. v. LivingSocial Inc., et al., No. 3:14-cv-00418, S.D. Calif.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - An Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court judge on March 16 heard opening arguments in a class suit brought by members accusing Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 1367.63 by denying all requests for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery without first having a physician review each request (Wendy Gallimore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., No. RG12616206, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 12 dismissed a class complaint accusing an employer of various violations of California wage laws and gave the lead plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint; however, he noted that if an amended complaint is successfully filed, the employer may want to seek an interlocutory appeal because the law addressing whether meal premiums are subject to wage statement and waiting time regulations is not clear (Jerrod Finder, et al. v. Leprino Foods Company, et al., No. 13-2059, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30652).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 13 reversed a decision dismissing a false advertising class action lawsuit that alleged that the manufacturer of a vegetable oil-based spread violated the unfair competition law (UCL) by declaring that the product contained "no trans fat" when it in fact did, saying that the plaintiff has standing to assert the claims and that the claims were not preempted by federal law (Robert Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 12-56727, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4025).