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Government Entity Immunity

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Diving into water is a hazardous recreational activity if done (a) from other than a diving board or diving platform, or (b) at any place or from any structure where diving is prohibited if warning of the prohibition is given.  Government entities are immune from liability for injury suffered from engaging in such activities under Gov. Code 831.7.  This decision… Read More

Plaintiff was injured while riding an off-road motorcycle in an unpaved and unoccupied area of the desert, where defendant maintained a wildlife preserve which it surrounded by a cable fence to stop illegal dumping and off-road vehicles from disturbing the fragile habitat.  Plaintiff ran into the fence.  Held, defendant is immune from liability under Gov. Code 831.7, which immunizes public… Read More

This decision holds that Gov. Code 821.6 immunizes governmental entities and employees only from tort claims that allege damage resulting from the initiation or prosecution of official judicial proceedings, not injury from preparatory work such as investigation.  Other immunity provisions may apply to immunize the investigatory work, but section 821.6 does not. Read More

Gov. Code 818 immunizes governmental agencies from liability for damages imposed primarily for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.  This decision holds that section 818 bars a claim for treble damages under CCP 340.1(b) for a childhood sexual assault resulting from the defendant's concerted effort to hide evidence relating to such assaults.  Section 340.1 imposes… Read More

A government agency cannot be held liable for inverse condemnation by reason of erosion caused by inadequate storm drainage facilities unless the agency owns those facilities.  Here, as a condition of approving subdivision maps, defendant county required the developers of two subdivisions along a creek to build storm drainage facilities in the creek adjoining the subdivisions.  The county also required… Read More

Gov. Code 855.4 grants public entities and employees immunity from liability for injuries caused by discretionary decisions about protecting public health.  This decision follows s Wright v. City of Los Angeles (2001) 93 Cal.App.4th 683 and City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (2021) 62 Cal.App.5th 129 in holding that this provision is not governed by the same requirements as… Read More

Gov. Code 844.6 grants state agencies immunity from liability for injury caused by a prisoner.  This decision holds that the statute applies to bar plaintiffs' FEHA claims that the Department failed to properly shield them from sexual harassment by prison inmates whom they, as Department employees, were assigned to treat.  The prisoners proximately caused plaintiffs' harm even if the Department's… Read More

Following Johnson v. Arvin-Edison Water Storage Dist. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 729, this decision holds that Labor Code wage and hour provisions do not apply to governmental entities.  Here, the San Diego Convention Center Corp. was a governmental agrency established by the City of San Diego to manage its convention center.  Accordingly, the plaintiff ex-employee could not prevail on meal and… Read More

Plaintiff's decedent was killed in a high speed police chase.  The City claimed immunity under Veh. Code 17004.  However, this decision holds that to obtain that immunity, the City must prove that it provided its police officers vehicle pursuit policy training with the characteristics required by 11 Cal. Code Regs. 1081 including annual mandatory one-hour training sessions.  The City didn't… Read More

Langford, a CHP officer, killed Silva's son while speeding to respond to an emergency call.  Langford was statutorily immune from liability under Vehicle Code 17004, but the CHP was not.  Gov. Code 815.2(b) immunizes a government entity when its employee is immune except as "otherwise provided by law."  Vehicle Code 17001 otherwise provides, making an entity liable for death or… Read More

Plaintiff's complaint alleged a viable Sherman Act section 1 antitrust conspiracy among dentist members of the Dental Board of California to harass and intimidate plaintiff which sought to engage in a disruptive new direct to consumer model of marketing clear dental aligners to members of the public.  The members of the dental board were not immune from antitrust liability merely… Read More

Gov. Code 855.6 immunizes government employees from liability for failure to make or failure to make adequate physical or mental exams of other persons for the purpose of detecting disease or physical or mental state that would pose a danger to others.  This decision holds that the immunity applies to al government employees, not health professionals only.  However, it also… Read More

Plaintiff owner of a gated residential community sued defendant, a private water company, for repeated failures of a 12-inch water main that defendant constructed at plaintiff's request to serve two fire hydrants in the development as well as the domestic water needs of the residents.  This decision affirms the defense judgment.  The inverse condemnation claim failed because the water main… Read More

Under Gov. Code 44808, a school district is immune from liability for injuries students suffer while not on school property, except if the district has undertaken to transport the student to and from school or has undertaken a school-sponsored activity off premises.  Here, due to bullying by other students during the school year, which the district allegedly took insufficient steps… Read More

Gov. Code 831.7 immunizes governmental entities from liability for any injury arising out of a hazardous recreational activity.  This decision holds that unlike Gov. Code 846 which applies only to premises liability claims, section 831.7 more broadly immunizes government entities from claims whether for hazardous conditions of property or employee negligence in connection with hazardous recreational activities.  The decision also… Read More

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