The Supreme Court's decision in Clayworth v. Pfizer is now up. Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., ___ Cal.4th ____ (Jul. 12, 2010).
After discussing the Cartwright Act claim in depth, the Court turned to the UCL, and confirmed that, to have standing to seek an injunction, the plaintiff need not have suffered a loss that would be recoverable as restitution:
The Court of Appeal held Pharmacies were barred from seeking injunctive relief because, it concluded, they had suffered no monetary loss. To the extent this holding rests on the conclusion Pharmacies lacked standing under section 17204, it is erroneous; as discussed ante, Pharmacies have standing. To the extent the holding rests on the conclusion that even if Pharmacies had standing, they could not seek injunctive relief unless they could also seek restitution, it similarly is erroneous. Section 17203 makes injunctive relief “the primary form of relief available under the UCL,” while restitution is merely “ancillary.” (In re Tobacco II Cases (2009) 46 Cal.4th 298, 319.) Nothing in the statute’s language conditions a court’s authority to order injunctive relief on the need in a given case to also order restitution. Accordingly, the right to seek injunctive relief under section 17203 is not dependent on the right to seek restitution; the two are wholly independent remedies. (See ABC Internat. Traders, Inc. v. Matsushita Electric Corp. (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1247, 1268 [§ 17203 “contains . . . no language of condition linking injunctive and restitutionary relief”]; Prata v. Superior Court (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1139 [plaintiff could pursue injunctive relief even though restitution was unavailable].)
Slip op. at 41. This overrules a number of decisions, such as Buckland and Citizens for Humanity, holding that the only type of monetary loss that can confer standing is a restitutionary loss. This is going to be very important for preserving competitor vs. competitor UCL cases.
I'm still reviewing the opinion and hope to have more on it later. The Court also held that the pass-on defense does not bar either the Cartwright Act or the UCL claims.