Mealey's California Section 17200

  • June 14, 2024

    Mortgagor Seeks Roughly $61M Settlement For Lender’s ‘Junk Fees’

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A mortgagor moved in California federal court for final approval of a proposed settlement worth more than $53 million to reimburse more than 330,000 class members charged “hidden junk fees” in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and separately moved for more than $8 million in attorney fees and costs.

  • June 14, 2024

    Complaint Against Servicer Dismissed After Denial Of TRO Barring Foreclosure

    LOS ANGELES — A borrower voluntarily dismissed his complaint against the servicer of his loan days after a federal judge in California denied his application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the foreclosure sale of his home, finding it unlikely that he would succeed on his claims that the servicer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misinforming him about his ability to obtain a COVID-19 forbearance plan.

  • June 13, 2024

    Elon Musk Dismisses Suit Claiming OpenAI Abandoned Principles

    SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk filed paperwork asking a California court to dismiss his suit against OpenAI Inc. and Samuel Altman with a motion pending in which the defendants urged the court to dismiss the claims because Musk, the former company founder, cannot sustain California unfair competition law (UCL), contract and fiduciary claims based on a “make-believe ‘founding agreement.’”

  • June 13, 2024

    Judge Approves $400K Settlement With Attorney Fees Against Gopuff Shopping App

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted final approval of a $400,000 settlement including $100,000 in attorney fees by shopping delivery company Gobrands Inc., d/b/a Gopuff, to resolve claims by Gopuff app users for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and automatic renewal law (ARL) by not obtaining users’ consent before charging them monthly recurring fees.

  • June 13, 2024

    Judge Allows Class Claim Against Cookie Company Over Unfair Service Fees

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge granted in part and denied in part a cookie retailer’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by deceptively charging a 2.95% service fee to customers who purchased cookies using the company’s mobile app.

  • June 11, 2024

    On Remand, Plaintiff Dismisses UCL Suit Over ‘Wet Ones’ Germ-Killing Claims

    SAN DIEGO — A consumer who won reversal on appeal of a federal court’s ruling dismissing her complaint accusing a sanitary wipe product maker of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by deceptively claiming that its product “Kills 99.99% of Germs” on remand filed a joint motion to dismiss with the defendant.

  • June 11, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Washington Post Subscribers’ ‘False Reference Pricing’ Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 10 dismissed two Washington Post subscribers’ putative class action claims that the newspaper’s publisher violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly deceptively marketing its prices for subscriptions and denied the publisher’s motion to transfer to the District of Columbia.

  • June 10, 2024

    High Court Vacates Judgment, Remands National Bank Act Case, Citing Cantero

    WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court in its June 10 order list granted certiorari in a case dealing with whether the National Bank Act (NBA) preempts state laws, vacated the judgment and remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals “for further consideration in light of Cantero v. Bank of America, N.A.

  • June 07, 2024

    ‘Town Hall’ Ruling Fuels Judge’s Dismissal Of AI Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on June 6 granted a motion to dismiss copyright claims stemming from the training of artificial intelligence, citing a second judge’s concerns that a similar case involved claims more appropriate in a town hall than a courthouse.

  • June 06, 2024

    Company Accused Of Falsely Marketing Diabetes Products Must Face Suit, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 5 largely denied a company’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly representing its nutritional products as treating diabetic health conditions when they in fact contain ingredients that may worsen diabetic conditions.

  • June 06, 2024

    Couple Defends ‘Child Exploitation’ Claims Against Roblox In Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Parents who bought their minor children in-game currency for use in Roblox Corp.’s online gaming platform filed briefs in California federal court opposing Roblox’s motions to dismiss or compel arbitration of their suit accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws, arguing that their claims that it designed its game to addict kids are not arbitrable.

  • June 05, 2024

    U.S. High Court Extends Response Deadline In Review Of 9th Circuit FCA Suit Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 3 granted a 30-day extension for the qui tam plaintiff in a district court decision to respond to pharmaceutical companies’ petition seeking review of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ reversal of a district court’s dismissal of a suit accusing them violating the False Claims Act (FCA) by artificially inflating drug prices, arguing in part that the Ninth Circuit “created a circuit split by holding that a relator can avoid the public disclosure bar by ‘stitching together’ public disclosures.”

  • June 04, 2024

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Animal Rights Activist’s UCL Suit Against Google

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appellate panel on June 3 affirmed a state court’s dismissal of an animal rights organization’s lawsuit against Google LLC, finding Google immune from the organization’s claims that Google violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached a user contract by enticing the nonprofit into joining Google’s YouTube video platform while hosting videos depicting animal abuse.

  • June 04, 2024

    Tentative Settlement Reached In Consumer’s Deceptive ChapStick Label Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California woman who accuses GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Holdings (US) LLC (GSK) and Pfizer Inc. of deceptively labeling of certain ChapStick products in violation of California law, including the state’s unfair competition law (UCL), filed a notice in a federal court in her state stating that a tentative settlement in principle has been reached.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judge Won’t Compel Class Member To Arbitrate New Gambling Claims

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on June 3 denied a motion by gambling game makers to compel arbitration of claims brought against them by a consumer who was a member of a class that previously settled claims relating to one of the games at issue, finding that the consumer made clear her intent to opt out of an arbitration agreement, but the judge dismissed her illegal gambling claim as precluded by the previous settlement.

  • June 03, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Last Plaintiff In UCL Suit Over Depleted Gift Cards With Prejudice

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge granted a gift card company’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed with prejudice the lone remaining plaintiff accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by selling customers gift cards that were later discovered to be partly or entirely depleted of value without providing refunds, finding that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that she bought a gift card or lost funds.

  • May 31, 2024

    Putative Class Suit Filed Against Ticketmaster For Hack Of 560M Customers’ Data

    LOS ANGELES — Two consumers filed a putative class action in California federal court against Ticketmaster LLC and Live Nation Entertainment Inc. accusing them of negligence and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) for not protecting the data of approximately 560 million customers that was allegedly stolen from its servers in a recent hack.

  • May 31, 2024

    Adult Entertainers Denied Motion To Drop Their Claims Against Meta, OnlyFans

    SAN FRANCISCO — Citing the “time and effort” expended in a putative class action alleging tortious interference and unfair competition by Meta Platforms Inc. in blacklisting social media posts by most adult entertainment (AE) providers in favor of the OnlyFans AE platform, a California federal judge denied a motion by the three lead AE performer plaintiffs to dismiss their suit due to an inability to achieve class certification under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • May 30, 2024

    Judge Certifies Privacy, Publicity Rights Class Action Against Data Aggregator

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 granted a group of plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class action against a personal information data-aggregator website on behalf of two statewide classes accusing the company of violating plaintiffs’ rights of publicity and against misappropriation of name and likeness and denied the parties’ competing motions to exclude each other’s experts.

  • May 30, 2024

    Consumer Amends Suit Accusing Arrowhead Water Of Microplastics Contamination

    LOS ANGELES — A consumer filed a second amended complaint in California federal court accusing the company that sells Arrowhead-brand bottled water of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by labeling its product as “100% Mountain Spring Water” when it allegedly contains microplastics that may be detrimental to human health.

  • May 29, 2024

    Judge Certifies Class Of Consumers Allegedly Deceived By ‘Italy’s #1 Pasta’ Label

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 28 granted two consumers’ motion to certify their class action against an Illinois-based pasta manufacturer for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by selling pasta products labeled with an “Italy’s #1 Brand of Pasta” statement and Italian flag colors and denied the manufacturer’s motion to exclude a plaintiff expert as moot.

  • May 28, 2024

    Judge Grants Reconsideration, Still Refuses To Enter Default In Airplane Contract Row

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge granted a jet charterer’s motion for reconsideration of its motion to enter default against a Hong Kong entity on the charterer’s claims for breach of contract and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to an allegedly unfulfilled jet charter contract but then refused to alter an earlier ruling setting aside default against the entity.

  • May 28, 2024

    In Cribl And Splunk Copyright Fight, Fair Use Finding Explained

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on May 24 issued an opinion detailing the rationale behind his instruction to jurors that certain copying and uses of Splunk Inc. software by Cribl Inc. qualify as fair use under federal copyright law, as well as an order in which he declared that a violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) can be premised on allegations of copyright misuse and rejected the copyright owner’s position that fair use rights can be “contracted away.”

  • May 23, 2024

    High Court: Courts Decide Which Competing Contracts, Arbitration Clauses Govern

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a situation where parties have agreed to competing contracts or arbitration clauses regarding how to resolve claims in a dispute, it is a court’s job to decide which contract governs, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 in a suit between a cryptocurrency exchange and a group of its users.

  • May 20, 2024

    Judge Denies TRO Barring Foreclosure Sale By Servicer Accused Of Violating UCL

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 17 denied a borrower’s application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the imminent foreclosure sale of his home, finding it unlikely that he will succeed on his claims against a borrower for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly misinforming him about his ability to obtain a COVID-19 forbearance plan.