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Negligence

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Plaintiffs sued claiming they had been sexually molested while minors by a Roman Catholic priest.  They sought to hold the Archdiocese vicariously liable for ratifying the molestation and directly liable for its own negligence in failing to supervise the priest.  The trial court correctly denied the Archdiocese's Anti-SLAPP motion.  The allegations about the Bishop's supporting the priest's defense of another… Read More

Defendant admitted negligence in an auto accident case.  But the trial court correctly denied plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict on causation.  Defendant's expert said only that the accident caused additional injury "if the plaintiff's testimony is believed."  The jury could and did disbelieve plaintiff.  Plaintiff could not complain on appeal about the wording of jury instructions since he invited… Read More

A written waiver or release of future negligence claims or assumption of the risk in order to participate in recreational activities is enforceable.  Here, a high school required its football team players to sign such a release.  It barred plaintiff's claim for negligence in failing to diagnose the concussion he suffered playing football which led to serious brain damage.  Plaintiff… Read More

The Supreme Court holds that lenders and loan servicers do not owe borrowers a duty of care in handling their loan modification applications.  Lender and borrower are in privity of contract, and the economic loss rule prevents recovery for purely economic loss based on negligence between contracting parties.  The Biakanja factors apply only to parties not in privity of contract. … Read More

Distinguishing and disagreeing with Henriksen v. City of Rialto (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1612, this decision holds that the City is vicariously liable under respondeat superior for the negligence of one of its police officers in fail to secure a Police Department-approved, secondary firearm upon returning home from work.  The policeman left the gun, unlocked, in his car when he returned… Read More

Torts, Medical Malpractice, Abandonment of Patient, Reliance on Other's Good Conduct, 1, 1 The trial court did not err in this medical malpractice case in not giving CACI 509, dealing with a doctor's abandonment of the patient.  For the instruction to be applicable, the doctor must accept the patient into his care and then refuse to treat the patient without… Read More

Gov. Code 831.7 (dealing with hazardous recreational activities) immunizes Santa Barbara from liability for the death by drowning of a paddle boarder.  Stand-up paddle boarding is a hazardous recreational activity.  Santa Barbara had no duty to warn as the risk of falling from the paddle board and drowning was inherent in the sport.  Santa Barbara was not grossly negligent, having… Read More

Mrs. Ek, while working at See's, caught COVID allegedly due to See's negligent failure to implement procedures to prevent spread of infection.  While Mrs. Ek was home sick, she infected Mr. Ek, who later died of COVID.  This decision holds that the Workers Comp. Act does not preempt Mr. Ek's heirs' wrongful death suit.  The derivative injury doctrine under which… Read More

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