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ERISA did not preempt an ERISA plan's suit against Bayer, the manufacturer of an allegedly defective pregnancy prevention device.  The Plan's claims for negligence, products liability, failure to warn (of defects in the device), etc. did not act immediately and exclusively on ERISA plans.  The ERISA plan was relevant to the claims only insofar as it granted the plan a… Read More

A civil suit for child pornography under 18 USC 2255 is governed by a 10 year statute of limitations.  However, the limitations period runs from each republication of the pornography since republication can cause a new personal injury.  Here, the complaint alleged a republication of the record album containing a nude picture of plaintiff's naked body in a swimming pool. … Read More

In a case of first impression in California, this decision holds that a party to one of several cases that the Judicial Council has ordered to be coordinated is not entitled to mandatory intervention in other of the coordinated cases than the one in which it already is a party because the would-be intervenor cannot show that it is so… Read More

Civil Code 1566, 1567, and 1570 establish a right to rescission in cases in which a person’s consent to a transaction was obtained by “menace”:  threats of confinement, of unlawful violence to the person or his or her property, or of injury to a person’s character.  This is effectively the civil version of extortion.  So, Tran could state a claim… Read More

The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff leave to amend to bring in a new defendant and allege a new theory of liability when the motion was filed 8 months after the scheduling order's deadline for amending the pleadings.  The plaintiff was not diligent having waited several months after learning of the new defendant's identity and… Read More

This decision affirms a summary judgment for defendant in a slip and fall case based on the trivial defect doctrine.  The discontinuity between the sidewalk and PG&E's manhole cover was less than an inch vertically.  There was nothing that concealed the discontinuity of the pavement from view.  The fact that the sidewalk was on a steep hill did not make… Read More

This decision vacates dismissal of the mandate petition and remands to the trial court to determine in light of the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Boermeester v. Carry (2023) 15 Cal.5th 72 whether the common law doctrine of fair procedure applies to this private vocational school and if so whether the school gave plaintiff a fair procedure including the right… Read More

B&P Code 6128(a) makes it a misdemeanor for an attorney to engage in deceit or collusion with intent to deceive the court or a party.  In this case, the LA and San Francisco district attorneys sued the Potter law firm claiming it engaged in an unlawful business practice in violation of B&P Code 6128(a) and 17200 by filing shakedown ADA… Read More

Echoing Insalaco v. Hope Lutheran Church of West Contra Costa County (2020) 49 Cal.App.5th 506, this decision states that a separate statement should contain only the facts material to the challenged element(s) of a claim or defense.  Other background facts need not and should not be set out in the separate statement.  The decision also states that the nonmoving party… Read More

Effective in 2019, Gov. Code 12923 "clarified" the law regarding hostile work environment sexual harassment claims.  The section states that summary judgment should rarely be granted on such claims.  In addition, it provides that even a single incident can be sufficient to support a hostile work environment claim "if the harassing conduct has unreasonably interfered with the plaintiff’s work performance… Read More

A district court order was immediately appealable insofar as it prohibited the defendant employer from communicating with workers about this opt-in FLSA action or soliciting them not to join the action, but not insofar as it voided the agreements that the employer had solicited from workers releasing FLSA claims or agreeing not to join the action.  The appealable portion of… Read More

Over a dissent, this decision holds that MICRA's one-year limitations period (CCP 340.5) applies to a claim by a driver of a car injured by an EMT's negligent driving in delivering a patient to a hospital.  Delivering a patient to a hospital is a medical service which can be a matter of life and death to the patient.  The fact… Read More

Defendant operates a web-based payment processing platform offered to merchants nationwide.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant violated California's privacy laws by retaining customers' personal data obtained from the merchants and tracking the customers.  This decision holds that defendant is not subject to personal jurisdiction in California because it did not target its activity to California or its consumers but operated its… Read More

Reversing a summary judgment for defendant in this breach of contract suit, the Court of Appeal found the parties' brief signed napkin agreement to be enforceable despite some ambiguities and terms left for later determination.  It was not too indefinite to enforce or too indefinite to indicate agreement on essential terms.  Parol evidence was properly admitted to construe the ambiguous… Read More

This decision affirms a summary judgment for defendant in a suit by the heirs of a driver killed in a head-on collision triggered by the presence of a deer on the highway.  Defendant was entitled to design immunity under Gov. Code 830.6.  The design of the highway was causally linked to the accident.  Caltrans approved the planned design of the… Read More

Under Rule 8.108, a "valid" motion to vacate judgment extends the time for appeal until denial of the motion or 90-days after the first valid notice of such a motion is filed.  Under CCP 659(a)(1) and 663a(a), a motion to vacate may be filed after the decision is rendered and before entry of judgment.  In a court trial in which… Read More

Agreeing with Connelly v. Bornstein (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 783 and Garcia v. Rosenberg (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 1050, this decision holds that CCP 340.6's one-year limitations periods governs a malicious prosecution action against the attorney for the opposing party in the underlying litigation.  CCP 340.6(a)(2) tolls that one-year period during the time “[t]he attorney continues to represent the plaintiff regarding the… Read More

This decision affirms dismissal of a case under the 5 year statute.  It holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in not tolling the 5 year statute during the 16 month period in which the court was not holding jury trials due to COVID-19 because during that period plaintiff was not ready to go to trial anyway,… Read More

A motion for relief from default and default judgment under CCP 473(b)'s mandatory attorney fault provision must be brought within six months (and a motion under the section's discretionary provision must be brought diligently and in no case more than six months).  This decision holds that "six months" means either six calendar months or 182 days, whichever is longer.  Though… Read More

Plaintiffs obtained a loan from defendant while it was an illegally unlicensed lender in California.  This decision holds that plaintiffs lack standing to sue defendant for violating the UCL in making the loan while unlicensed since plaintiffs suffered no loss of money or property due to the defendant's unlicensed status.  They received the exact loan terms for which they had… Read More

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