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The FELA (45 U.S.C. § 55) invalidates any contractual provision “the purpose or intent of which shall be to enable any common carrier to exempt itself from any liability created by this act [FELA]."  However, a release provided in settlement of a specific liability claim is enforceable. (See Callen v. Pennsylvania R. Co. (1948) 332 U.S. 625, 631.)  Federal courts… Read More

Live Nation held a music festival with 65,000 attendees.  Live Nation knew that illicit drug use by attendees was a significant risk and took some measures to prevent it and to provide hydration, security and medical care.  This decision holds that Live Nation had a special relationship with the festival attendees and owed them a duty of care with respect… Read More

Before enactment of Civ. Code 1009(b) in 1972, an offer to dedicate private land to public use could be implied by law when the public used the land openly and continuously, as if the users believed the public had a right to do so, without objection by the landowner.  This decision affirms a decision denying a claim to quiet title… Read More

Defendant's arbitration clause required arbitration of disputes "to the fullest extent permitted by law."  It also contained a class action waiver.  The "fullest extent" provision did not, on its face, preclude court litigation of public injunction claims, and so did not violate McGill.  But in federal court. plaintiff also had to establish Article III standing to proceed on the public… Read More

Stover signed up for a credit score program with Experian in 2014, cancelling her subscription the same year.  That year's clickwrap agreement, to which Stover assented, included both a broad arbitration clause encompassing all disputes “to the fullest extent permitted by law,” and a change of terms clause, stating that Stover would be bound by changed terms if she used… Read More

This decision holds that while a trial court does not lose jurisdiction to amend or vacate an interlocutory order simply because a Court of Appeal has issued an order to show cause in response to a mandate petition, the trial court should generally not do so since the Court of Appeal's issuance of an OSC rather than an alternative writ… Read More

Under CCP 446(a), a defendant must file a verified answer to a complaint filed by the state, a county or certain other governmental agencies  “unless an admission of the truth of the complaint might subject the party to a criminal prosecution."  This decision holds that a defendant corporation is a "party" entitled to file an unverified answer under the quoted… Read More

This decision reverses an order granting defendants equitable relief from a default and default judgment.  A court’s ability to grant relief under its inherent equitable power is narrower than its ability to grant relief under CCP 473(b)  Equitable relief from a default judgment may be granted only in exceptional circumstances, and the party moving for such relief must make a… Read More

The trial court properly denied the defendant employer's motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's "standing" to bring the PAGA action he filed against the employer.   Requiring plaintiff to arbitrate whether he was an “aggrieved employee” with standing to bring a representative PAGA action would require splitting that single action into two components: an arbitrable “individual” claim (i.e., whether he was… Read More

Lab. Code 432.7 prohibits an employer from asking a job applicant to disclose any conviction that has been judicially dismissed and bars an employer from using any record of a dismissed conviction as a factor in the termination of employment.  Here, Premier hired plaintiff but several weeks later received a mistaken notice from the DMV saying that plaintiff had an… Read More

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