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California recognizes a form of the filed rate doctrine for rates or prices approved by state or municipal regulatory agencies, but the state doctrine is more limited and not as restrictive as its federal counterpart.  The California filed rate doctrine did not bar plaintiff's class action insofar as it sought injunctive relief (against false advertising) and punitive damages under the… Read More

Disagreeing with Torres v. Adventist Health System/West (2022) 77 Cal.App.5th 500 and Naranjo v. Doctors Medical Center of Modesto, Inc. (2023) 90 Cal.App.5th 1193, this decision holds that a plaintiff cannot state an actionable UCL or CLRA claim based on emergency room management fees charged by hospitals if the hospital complies with state law in posting its fee schedule on… Read More

A plaintiff may state a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant's nondisclosure in any of the four circumstances that Limandri allows a fraud claim based on nondisclosure.  Here, plaintiff states a viable CLRA claim based on the defendant hospital's failure to disclose to emergency room patients that it would charge an evaluation and management services fee that could amount… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in entering a preliminary injunction under the CLRA against defendants continuing to sell puppies which they falsely claimed were healthy but in fact were not and died in many cases within days after sale.  Defendants' main argument on appeal was that the evidence didn't show that they sold the puppies that plaintiffs'… Read More

Following Sonner v. Premier Nutrition Corp. (9th Cir. 2020) 971 F.3d 834, this decision holds that even in a diverity case, a federal court may exercise equitable jurisdiction only if the plaintiff has no adequate legal remedy.  Here, plaintiff's remedies under the UCL were all equitable, and the federal court lacked equitable jurisdiction over them because the CLRA offered the… Read More

Plaintiff stated viable UCL and CLRA claims against Walmart based on its deceptive advertising of its "white baking chips." A reasonable consumer was likely to think, wrongly, that the product contained chocolate because the product was formed into chips that looked like chocolate chips, they were called "white" which could be understood as short for white chocolate, and were placed… Read More

Plaintiff stated viable UCL and CLRA claims against Target based on its deceptive advertising of its "white baking chips."  The product's price tag said "WHT CHOCO" while the product's label didn't clearly say whether the white baking chips contained or did not contain chocolate.  A reasonable consumer could read the price tag and believe that the chocolate chip-like white baking… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendants' Anti-SLAPP motion to strike plaintiff's claims under the UCL and CLRA based on defendants' allegedly false statements in releases or other statements and advertisements that Michael Jackson was the lead artist on all tracks in a posthumous CD.  Even if the defendants' statements were protected speech under CCP 425.16(e), plaintiff showed a probability of… Read More

Following Gray v. Dignity Health (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 225, this decision holds that a hospital does not violate the CLRA if it discloses its emergency room evaluation and management services fee in its on-line chargemaster list of fees.  No additional signage or disclosure of the EMS fee is required.  Any requirement of the sort would impair the Legislature's and Congress'… Read More

Following Gray v. Dignity Health (2021) 70 Cal.App.5th 225, this decision holds that a hospital does not violate the CLRA if it discloses its emergency room evaluation and management services fee in its on-line chargemaster list of fees.  No additional signage or disclosure of the EMS fee is required.  Any requirement of the sort would impair the Legislature's and Congress'… Read More

In this case, plaintiff sued defendant under the CLRA for not disclosing the amount of its potential or likely emergency room evaluation and management services fee.  The court concluded that the complaint adequately alleged that defendant owed a duty to disclose the charge as that information was within its sole knowledge and not readily available to its patients.  The complaint… Read More

Under the CLRA (Civ. Code 1792(b), no "action for damages" may be brought against a defendant that offers appropriate correction within 30 days of receiving the plaintiff's notice of violation of the statute.  This decision holds that "action for damages" includes--and the subsection therefore bars--any claim for compensatory damages or for restitution under the CLRA.  The decision also holds that… Read More

Following Nolte v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1401, this decision holds that it is not an unfair or unlawful business practice for a hospital not to affirmatively disclose, prior to treatment, that it will charge an emergency room charge to patients using the emergency room.  Extensive state and federal statutes and regulations require specific sorts of disclosures of… Read More

Uninsured, self-payor patient who paid part of hospital bill and remained liable for the rest had standing to bring, and adequately alleged Consumer Legal Remedies Act and the Unfair Competition Law claims against a hospital for charging him allegedly unconscionable prices for his emergency room treatment.  Read More