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The federal Food and Drug Act preempts plaintiffs' state law claims based on the drug manufacturers' alleged failure to assure that patients received Medication Guides (which are part of the FDA-approved drug label).  The FDA leaves enforcement of regulations dealing with drug labels in the FDA's hands, barring private suits to enforce FDA regulations.  Under California law, drug manufacturers have… Read More

The trial court properly awarded Travelers' opponent attorney fees under CC 1717.  The opponent had successfully prosecuted an administrative complaint which resulted in voiding the agreement containing the attorney fee clause.  The administrative proceeding was an "action" for purposes of CC 1717 and it was "on the contract" since had Travelers prevailed it could have collected attorney fees for enforcing… Read More

In 2004-2011, Travelers issued workers compensation policies to Adir Int'l, LLC which contained a reference to a side agreement allowing retroactive recalculation of the premiums.  The policies were filed with the Insurance Commissioner, as required; the side agreement was not.  When Travelers demanded retroactive premiums, Adir sued for a declaration that the side agreement was illegal and unenforceable since it… Read More

In a case involving interstate commerce, the FAA governs and the federal standard for waiver as interpreted in Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1708 applies.  Here, the trial court properly denied arbitration since the defendant waited 17 months from the filing of the complaint before moving to compel arbitration.  During that time plaintiff attempted to take discovery.  Defendant… Read More

The trial court properly denied plaintiff attorney fees under CCP 1021.5 when it obtained a preliminary injunction requiring Prop. 65 warnings on coffee but later lost on summary judgment.  The temporary warnings did not confer any substantial benefit on the general public.  The Coffee Regulation later adopted by the agency responsible for Prop. 65 showed that coffee poses no significant… Read More

During this litigation about whether Prop. 65 requires warnings about the carcinogen acrylamide in coffee, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment issued a legislative regulation stating that chemicals known to be included in coffee created by the process of roasting or brewing coffee do not pose a significant risk of cancer.  (27 CCR 25704.)  The trial court correctly granted… Read More

The economic loss rule does not bar a claim for fraudulent inducement to buy a car.  Plaintiffs here alleged that Nissan fraudulently induced them to buy a Nissan Sentra by intentionally concealing facts about its defective transmission which caused dangerous gaps in power to the wheels.  Under the reasoning of Robinson Helicopter Co. v. Dana Corp. (2004) 34 Cal.4th 979,… Read More

Plaintiff was injured in an accident on his Yamaha dirt bike.  He said the authorized Yamaha dealer from whom he bought the bike had installed the throttle mechanism improperly, leading it to fall off the bike, causing the accident.  The jury verdict and judgment in favor of Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., the US distributor of the bike was reversed because… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply the merger doctrine to void a driveway easement which was the only means of access to the plaintiff's property.  Defendant had owned both adjoining parcels at one point, but had promptly taken out a loan on the property benefited by the easement--a loan that probably wouldn't have been… Read More

While a valid 998 offer may contain a demand for release of the claims sued upon, this 998 offer included a demand for a settlement agreement that was not attached to the 998 offer or described in detail (only some of its potential terms were mentioned) in the 998 offer.  Hence, the trial court correctly concluded that the offer was… Read More

Under CCP 340.1(b), a plaintiff may obtain treble damages against a person whose cover up is found to be the cause of a sexual assault on a child through a concerted effort to hide evidence relating to childhood sexual assault.  This decision holds that the treble damage provision does not apply retroactively.  The statute espressly makes the lengthened statute of… Read More

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