In Johnson v. Raytheon Co., Inc., a subcontractor brought action an against a contractor and the hirer of the contractor for negligence and premises liability. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County granted summary judgment in defendants’ favor. Subcontractor appealed. The Second District Court of California affirmed, holding that the hirer was not liable under…

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Plaintiff Brian Grossman suffered injuries after falling off an inflatable slide at an annual carnival fundraiser held at a school in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (the school district). The carnival was organized by the booster group and parent-teacher association (PTA) which are separate from the school district. The school district approved the use…

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Dave Jones, in his capacity as Insurance Commissioner of the State of California (the Commissioner) appealed an order enjoining him from enforcing three regulations, adopted in 1992, to implement the unfair claims settlement practices provisions of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA). Following nearly a decade of uncertainty as to their enforceability, the California Court…

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California Civil Code Section 1714 establishes the general duty of each person to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others. This duty is, however, not unlimited. Courts have crafted exceptions to the general duty rule where finding of such duty would result in such significant social burdens that the law should not recognize such…

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Plaintiffs often attempt to expose a defendant to the statutory risks associated with failure to accept a CCP §998 offer by serving such an offer early in the litigation. In this case, the Appellate Court discussed whether a CCP §998 offer made shortly after an answer had been filed prior to adequate time to investigate…

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The California Supreme Court has made it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors. Businesses now have the burden of establishing the classification of their workers by applying the “ABC Test” if they want to prove the workers to be independent contractors and not employees. This case involves delivery drivers who sued Dynamex Operations…

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The right to recover costs in a civil action is determined by statute. Generally, the prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover its costs. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1032(b). In this case, the Appellate Court discussed whether mediation fees could be recovered as costs when mediation was voluntary, not court-ordered….

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Issue by: BlakeWard New Prime Inc. v.Oliveira Supreme Court ofthe United States (Decided on 1/15/2019) TheFederal Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce private arbitrationagreements. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has expanded a keyexception to this general rule. Indeed, Section 1 of the Act already includedan exception that no provision within the Act should…

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In a case where the defendant is deceased, California Probate Code §§550 through 555 allow actions “to establish [a] decedent’s liability for which the decedent was protected by insurance” and limits the liability of the decedent’s insurer’s liability to covered damages within policy limits. The California Court of Appeal recently held that the decedent’s insurer…

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Is travel time spent in an employer-provided vehicle loaded with equipment and tools under an optional and voluntary Home Dispatch Program compensable? The California Court of Appeal finds it is not. Plaintiffs are class representatives of current and former employees of Pacific Bell Telephone Company who install and repair video and internet services in customers’…

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