INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

Consumer Products

Electronic Retailing

Entertainment

Financial Services

Food and Beverage

Healthcare

Hospitality

Pharmaceutical

Technology

Telecommunications

Trade Associations

Transportation

 

California Law - Consumer Protection Statutes



Venable’s West Coast team has significant experience defending class action lawsuits that allege violations of California's consumer protection statutes – the Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code § 17200), the False Advertising Act (Business and Professions Code § 17500), and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Civil Code §§ 1750-1784).

These lawsuits include allegations ranging from false and deceptive advertising; to unfair, unlawful or fraudulent business practices; to privacy violations and product liability.  We routinely represent clients across such diverse industries as electronic retailing, consumer products, food and beverage, technology, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, entertainment, financial services, trade association and more. 

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Venable successfully defended a major manufacturer of skin care lotion in a California consumer class action alleging false advertising among other claims. The complaint challenged the company's practice of labeling products as "clinically tested” which had industry-wide implications.  After Venable opposed class certification, the parties agreed to a very favorable settlement for our client.
  • Venable's Los Angeles attorneys successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of a manufacturer of contact lens care solution in a putative national class action in the federal District Court in the Northern District of California.  This action involved California consumer fraud claims regarding the quality and effectiveness of the manufacturer's product, which included causes of action under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 and 17500.  Plaintiff appealed and Venable successfully represented our client on the appeal, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s decision.
  • Venable secured a favorable settlement for a leading global direct marketing firm in a Song-Beverly class action alleging improper capture of personal information during credit card transactions at retail locations selling a well-known skin care product.  We have represented this direct-marketing giant in numerous other litigation matters, including a matter against a large consumer goods manufacturer arising out of a failed Pilates project.
  • Venable defended a national cable news network in a putative class action (Charlie Aughenbaugh, Tony Weber, Brooke Stafford v. Ringleader Digital, Inc. et. al.) challenging mobile ad serving technology under a variety of state and federal privacy statutes in one of the first cases to challenge tracking of mobile Internet usage.  The matter was dismissed without prejudice after 12(b)(6) motions were filed and subsequent non-approval of a proposed settlement.
  • Venable attorneys represented a leading labor law compliance research firm in a California class action involving invasion of privacy claims and challenges to privacy statutes due to the Defendant's alleged practice of monitoring and recording telephone communications between Defendant's sales force and Plaintiff and Plaintiff's Class.  There was an issue of first impression regarding the use of beep tones as prescribed by the FCC to warn of a recording.  The class – which had originally sought tens of millions of dollars – could not be certified because the recordings were authorized by state tariffs.
  • Venable attorneys successfully defended a major Los Angeles hospital in Los Angeles County state court in an alleged violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200 arising out of alleged excess copy charges.  After successive motions to dismiss (demurrers) were heard, plaintiff's counsel agreed to dismiss the matter without any payment from the hospital.
  • Venable defended a national health insurance provider in a nationwide class action brought in the United States District Court in the Central District of California on behalf of non-MD providers alleging that defendants had a uniform practice of under-reimbursing out-of-network providers (claims included violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200, and antitrust, fraud and RICO allegations).  The plaintiff's class allegations were based in large part on the investigation of the New York Attorney General (and, later, U.S. Senator Rockefeller) into medical insurance companies’ use of the Ingenix database to reimburse the insured and others for medical expenses.  After obtaining a stay of discovery and filing a motion to dismiss (which included a challenge to plaintiff's class action allegations), plaintiff's counsel agreed to dismiss with no monetary recovery.
  • Venable represented the nation’s largest non-profit credit counseling organization in a putative class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Central District of California.  Chiefly, the lawsuit claimed that debt management programs administered by our client violated California’s Business and Professions Code as well as the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Plaintiffs claimed aggregate damages which would have depleted our client’s capital reserves.  In discovery, Venable established the bona fides and educational value of our client’s credit counseling services, and that the IRS had conducted an intensive audit of our client’s operations and concluded that it should retain its tax-exempt non-profit status.  Due in large part to the fact record established in discovery, Venable was able to negotiate a very favorable class settlement through private mediation.  The settlement has been finally approved by the Court.