Unfair Competition – Manuela Zermeno v. Precis, Inc., DJDAR 17875 (December 23, 2009)

Plaintiffs appealed from the judgment entered against them in their unfair competition action after the trial court found that the pre-trial settlement of their damaged claims meant they no longer had standing to sue under the new standing requirements of Proposition 64.  On November 2, 2004, the voters approved Proposition 64, which amended the unfair competition law to state that a person has standing to sue for unfair competition only if he “has suffered injury in fact and has lost money or property as a result of [such] unfair competition” . See Business and Professions Code  Sections 17203 and 17204. 

The appeals court held that the changed standing rule was not intended to apply the cases pending when it took effect where a plaintiff had suffered actual injuries required by the new law, but settled that portion of its action before Proposition 64 took effect.  Therefore, the trial court was an error and the appeals court reversed.

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