Defendant ski resort appealed the judgment of the Superior Court of Placer County (California) that imposed fines, ordered an injunction, and awarded attorney fees pursuant to defendant’s removal of trees in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 4511 et seq., a conditional use permit, and a temporary restraining order.
Defendant ski resort cut down numerous trees. Plaintiffs, the district attorney and two interested parties, filed suit alleging unfair business practices under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200. The trial court held that defendant violated Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 4511 et seq., a conditional use permit, and a temporary restraining order. The trial court imposed fines, ordered injunctive relief, and awarded attorney fees. Defendant appealed, contending there were no ongoing unlawful business practices and no violations of § 4511 or the restraining order. Defendant asserted that unlawful business practices could not be based upon violations of a conditional use permit or restraining order and challenged the remedies and fees. The court affirmed because the multiple violations constituted ongoing unlawful business practices and the trees were cut for commercial purposes. In addition, violations of a conditional use permit or restraining order could be the basis for a claim of unlawful business practices and the fines imposed were not excessive. The injunctive relief and award of attorney fees were appropriate; therefore, their imposition did not constitute an abuse of discretion. The California litigation lawyer made a motion to protect the party’s interest.
The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court because the violations constituted ongoing unlawful business practices and the trees were cut for commercial purposes. Additionally, the fines were not excessive and the injunctive relief and award of attorney fees did not constitute an abuse of discretion. Lastly, claims of unlawful business practices could be based upon violations of a conditional use permit or temporary restraining order.
HOLDINGS: -Under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203, cigarette consumers were not entitled to restitution from a manufacturer that knowingly used deceptive advertising terms such as “Lights” and “Lowered Tar and Nicotine” because the consumers received value from the cigarettes apart from the deceptive advertising and they did not submit competent evidence to establish the difference between the price they paid for cigarettes and the actual value they received; restitution could not be based solely on deterrence; -The consumers were not entitled to an injunction because federal legislation had already enjoined use of the objectionable descriptors; -The consumers were not entitled to declaratory relief because the use of deceptive descriptors was a completed wrong, and there was no likelihood of future violations; -The manufacture was the prevailing party and entitled to costs.
Judgment affirmed. Cross-appeal dismissed.