Mealey's California Section 17200

  • January 09, 2024

    23andMe Faces Potential MDL After Breach Of 6.9M Customers’ Data

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two consumers filed a complaint in California federal court accusing 23andMe Inc. of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after the genetic testing company revealed that ancestral records for roughly 6.9 million customers were hacked and being sold online.  The breach is the subject of more than 30 lawsuits that the company is asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate.

  • January 08, 2024

    9th Circuit Denies Rehearing, Files Amended Opinion In FCA Drug Pricing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 denied a petition for a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc, issuing an amended opinion of its decision reversing a district court’s dismissal of a relator’s qui tam suit alleging violations of the federal False Claims Act (FCA) against pharmaceutical companies related to their alleged fraud by artificially inflating drug prices, finding “that the qualifying public disclosures here do not collectively disclose a combination of facts sufficient to permit a reasonable inference of fraud.”

  • January 08, 2024

    Pet Brush Maker May Subpoena Meta To Obtain Online Counterfeiters’ Identities

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of website operators accused of selling and advertising counterfeit goods lost their bid to quash a discovery subpoena on Meta Platforms Inc., with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff demonstrated that good cause exists to obtain the defendants’ identifying information for the purpose of serving them with its complaint for intellectual property infringement and unfair competition.

  • January 05, 2024

    Bedsheet Maker Inflated Thread Counts By 500% On False Labels, Plaintiffs Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three consumers on Jan. 4 filed a putative class action in California federal court against the manufacturer of “Beautyrest” and “Madison Park” brand bedsheets, accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by labeling and advertisings its products as having high thread counts when the products are in fact made with 20% or less of the advertised thread count.

  • January 04, 2024

    Apple, Epic Defend Their Certiorari Bids Over UCL Antitrust, National Injunction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that on Jan. 12 it will consider related petitions for certiorari filed by Epic Games Inc. and Apple Inc. that both sprung from the companies’ disputes over Apple’s alleged antitrust violations under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and a trial court’s imposition of a nationwide injunction barring some of the purported anti-competitive practices.

  • January 03, 2024

    Judge Denies PetSmart Worker’s Motion To Certify Appeal Of Arbitration Order

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 2 denied a PetSmart LLC employee’s motion to certify an interlocutory appeal of the court’s prior order compelling arbitration of her claims that the pet store violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by advertising pet groomer training as free in its job listings, writing that her claims are not exempt from a binding arbitration agreement because she does not seek public injunctive relief.

  • January 03, 2024

    Domino’s Truck Drivers Urge High Court Denial Of FAA Exemption Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Domino’s Pizza LLC truck drivers (D&S drivers), found by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to be exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in their class case alleging unreimbursed business expenses and violation of California’s unfair competition law, filed a response brief, after initially waiving their right and then being asked to file one, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Domino’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

  • January 03, 2024

    Judge Won’t Dismiss UCL Suit Against Fish Oil Seller Over Misleading ‘2X’ Label

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 2 granted in part and denied in part a dietary supplement maker’s motion to dismiss a putative class action accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misleadingly labeling its fish oil supplement product as “2X” even though it does not contain twice the ingredients of its similar product that is not labeled 2X.

  • January 03, 2024

    Amici Ask Supreme Court To Uphold Delegation Clause In Arbitration Agreement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce headed up a diverse coalition of organizations on the third of three amicus curiae briefs filed in support of Coinbase Inc. as the U.S. Supreme Court decides the priority and enforceability of a delegation clause when deciding the arbitrability of claims against the cryptocurrency firm.

  • January 03, 2024

    Google Browsing History Data Suit Stayed While Settlement Is Finalized

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two days after Google LLC and the plaintiffs suing it for the surreptitious interception and collection of their internet browsing history jointly filed notice of a preliminary settlement of privacy and unfair competition claims, a California federal judge granted the parties’ request to stay the case and vacate a pending trial date while they finalize the agreement.

  • January 03, 2024

    Workers, Walmart Reach $5.2M Class Settlement In COVID-19 Screening Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. — Workers who sued Walmart Inc. in a federal court in California alleging that the retailer’s policy requiring nonexempt workers in California to undergo a COVID-19 screening each shift without pay violated state and federal wage-and-hour laws as well as California’s unfair competition law filed a motion for preliminary approval of a $5.2 million class settlement.

  • January 02, 2024

    Comcast Can’t Compel Arbitration Of Subscriber’s Promo Rates Suit, Panel Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Sixth District California Court of Appeal on Dec. 29 affirmed a trial court’s denial of a telecommunications services provider’s petition to compel arbitration of a subscriber’s claims against it for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly using secretive promotional rates to mislead subscribers about the costs of its services after finding that the subscriber seeks public injunctive relief.

  • January 02, 2024

    Panel Reverses Anti-SLAPP Dismissal Of UCL Suit Against Student Loan Collector

    SAN DIEGO — A California appellate panel reversed and remanded a trial court’s dismissal of a student loan borrower’s putative class action against a debt collector for violating the state’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly seeking to collect on loans with documents it manufactured to establish ownership over the loans.

  • December 22, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Minor’s Suit Against Roblox Due To No Controversy

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 21 affirmed the dismissal of a minor’s putative class action against video game company Roblox Corp. for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) based on its handling of minors’ request for refunds of “Robux,” its in-game currency, finding that he presented no evidence that he requested a refund or was denied one by Roblox.

  • December 22, 2023

    Gift Card Issuer Removes UCL Suit Over Drained Cards To Federal Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A banking entity removed to California federal court a complaint brought against it by the San Francisco city attorney on behalf of California accusing it of violating the state’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to provide sufficient security for pre-loaded debit cards that it sold in stores and were frequently drained before being used by customers, arguing that removal is proper because the state is not the real party in interest.

  • December 21, 2023

    Nationwide Class Approved, But Final Settlement Isn’t, In Macy’s Thread Count Cases

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 20 certified a nationwide class of consumers suing over bedsheet thread counts as identified in a settlement agreement between a department store and shoppers but declined to grant final approval of the agreement after identifying issues with the proposed recipient of the cy pres distribution.

  • December 21, 2023

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of UCL Suit Over Changes To Raisin Contract

    FRESNO, Calif. — The Fifth District California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment dismissing a grape grower and its associated dehydration company’s claims against a nonprofit agricultural cooperative for breach of contract and unfair business practices in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) after it reorganized its business to begin obtaining its own dehydrating services for the production of raisins.

  • December 21, 2023

    Mortgagors Suing Over Data Theft May Seek Only Declaratory, Injunctive Relief

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida largely granted a motion to dismiss by loan servicers whose data was accessed and personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen, permitting the mortgagors to proceed only with their final claim for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

  • December 21, 2023

    On Remand, YouTube Again Seeks Dismissal Of ‘Fatally Flawed’ Kids Privacy Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand to California federal court after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected preemption defenses raised by YouTube LLC and Google LLC in response to putative class claims of privacy violations for the purported collection of minors’ personally identifiable information (PII), the defendants moved to dismiss the minor plaintiffs’ fourth amended complaint (FAC) for failure to state a claim.

  • December 20, 2023

    Amendments To Rule 702 For Expert Witness Testimony Go Into Effect

    Amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Fed. R. Evid. 702, went into effect to clarify how courts should decide the admissibility of expert testimony.

  • December 19, 2023

    Air Purifier Makers Deny Making False Germ-Killing Claims To Prey On COVID Fears

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two manufacturers of air purifiers filed a motion in California federal court to dismiss consumers’ putative class claims that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by misleadingly marketing their products as capable of killing airborne pathogens during the COVID-19 pandemic, denying that they made such claims.

  • December 19, 2023

    Notice Of $25M Settlement Over Apple Family Sharing Distributed To Class Members

    LOS ANGELES — Notice of a $25 million settlement was recently distributed to putative class members who subscribed to Apple Inc.’s “Family Sharing” service after a California state court judge granted preliminary approval to the payment to settle claims that Apple violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by misrepresenting the terms of Family Sharing.

  • December 15, 2023

    Year-Old Class Certification Ruling Filed In Google Assistant Privacy Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Issuing the redacted version of a class certification ruling almost exactly a year after she partly granted the plaintiffs’ certification motion in a consolidated privacy class action over purported eavesdropping by Google LLC’s digital assistant, a California federal judge filed an accompanying order explaining that the delay was due to a clerical error.

  • December 13, 2023

    Stay Granted In Elder Abuse Suit Over Failure To Follow California Insurance Code

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 12 issued a stay in putative class action asserting claims for elder abuse and breach of contract related to a life insurer’s violations of provisions of the California Insurance Code by failing to provide notice of policies lapse or termination, finding that “good cause exists” to grant the stay pending the outcome of two Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals cases with “dispositive issues germane to this case.”

  • December 13, 2023

    Authors Amend Copyright Claim Against Meta For Using Books To Train AI

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three weeks after a California federal judge called their theory of copyright infringement “nonsensical,” 13 authors filed an amended putative class complaint against Meta Platforms Inc. dropping all claims except for a direct copyright infringement claim against Meta for using their copyrighted works to train its AI chatbots.