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Torts

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One dentist brought a defamation action against his former partner, another dentist, for statements the defendant made to various other persons impugning the quality of the plaintiff's dentistry work.  The defendant filed an Anti-SLAPP motion which was granted, and plaintiff appealed.  Held:  Statements about the competency of a professional, like a dentist, concern a matter of public importance and so… Read More

California recognizes the tort of intentional interference with expected inheritance. (Beckwith v. Dahl (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039, 1050-1056.)  There are six elements to the tort.  Here, substantial evidence supported the trial court's findings that each of the elements was satisfied.  The decedent's wife had reason to expect an inheritance from her husband, who had consulted his probate attorney about changing… Read More

Civil Code section 3333.2 which limits the recovery of noneconomic damages to $250,000 against health professionals in "professional negligence" cases does not apply to claims against such professionals for battery--at least when the battery is the performance of a surgery or other medical procedure to which the patient did not give his consent.  Here, the patient consented to removal of… Read More

Generally, an insurance agent owes only a regular agent's duties of reasonable care, diligence, and judgment in procuring the insurance requested by an insured.  However, an insurance agent may assume a greater duty to the insured when one of the following three exceptions arise: “(a) the agent misrepresents the nature, extent or scope of the coverage being offered or provided,… Read More

Police officers owe a duty of care to a person they have arrested and taken into custody to assure that person's safety and well-being.  As the arrestee cannont care for himself, police must do so.  Here, the arrestee swallowed a large dose of drugs to keep the police from finding it as they searched him before the arrest.  He repeatedly… Read More

Health and Safety Code section 1430(b) allows a resident or patient of a nursing home to sue the facility for breach of any rights guaranteed by the Patients' Bill of Rights Act and for violation of regulations not relating to health and safety.  It allows up to $500 in damages, plus attorney fees and costs.  This opinion holds that the… Read More

Amazon can be held liable on a strict products liability theory for physical injuries caused by products sold through Amazon's website.  Here, plaintiff was injured when a battery he had bought from Amazon (which had been stored in and was shipped from an Amazon warehouse) exploded.  Amazon was pivotal in bringing the battery to the customer, standing in between the… Read More

A landlord was not liable for the wrongful death of a hair dresser whose employer, a tenant in the property, had stored flammable hair treatment liquid on the premises, which ignited and incinerated the hair dresser/  The landlord had no actual or constructive knowledge that the employer was storing inflammable liquids on the premises and had no duty to investigate… Read More

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