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Plaintiff was struck by a tow truck and transported by ambulance to Kaiser. When he was released, he returned once to refill his pain medication, and never returned.  Six weeks later, Plaintiff retained an attorney who sent him to a pain management doctor and to a chiropractor where he treated for approximately 8 months. The pain management doctor and chiropractor were not covered by Plaintiff’s insurance.

At the mediation, plaintiff argued the applicability of Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics, LLC, a case decided on May 8, 2018. The court had ruled that an insured plaintiff who chose to treat with doctors outside his insurance plan should be treated as an uninsured plaintiff for the purpose of determining economic damages. The Pebley court explicitly rejected the argument that Plaintiff’s failure to treat with an out of network provider was failure to mitigate his damages.

The LBL team distinguished Pebley on the ground that, in this case, the care from the chiropractor and pain management doctor was not medically reasonable and necessary because no doctor at Kaiser (or any other doctor) ever told Plaintiff that he required any follow up care. Plaintiff’s only referral came from his attorney. Pebley confirms the long-held principle that an uninsured Plaintiff cannot establish his recoverable damages by mere billed amounts for the treatment rendered.

In this case, Plaintiff’s reasonable cost of treatment could not be determined because Plaintiff only offered the billing statements as evidence of his economic damages. Plaintiff reduce his initial demand by more than a third, enabling Rachel Ostrander, Christine Reed, and the LBL team to negotiate a favorable settlement.

Meet LBL attorneys Rachel Ostrander and Christine Reed.

After a late night of movie-watching on July 4, our client had to drive his girlfriend home. Afterwards, he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, literally walking away from a totaled car without a scratch.

An ambulance happened to be driving by and ended up hitting the totaled car, which had no lights and was in a traffic lane. Some trucks and cars were able to see and avoid the two crashed vehicles, but here comes plaintiff, who didn’t. He totaled his car and sued for his injuries.

Sonja Blomquist and the LBL team were able to settle the cases brought by plaintiff and the ambulance company for minimal policy limits.

Meet attorney Sonja Blomquist.

February 2017, Alameda County Superior Court. A plaintiff in her early 70s with mesothelioma alleged that her disease arose as a result of exposure to asbestos at her place of employment, an automotive parts distribution business and automotive service facility. LBL Partner Guy W. Stilson took the depositions of plaintiff and another former employee of the business and got them to confess that they had no evidence that either the distribution business or the service facility sold or used parts associated with his client. Stilson’s client was subsequently dismissed from the action.

Meet Guy Stilson and the rest of the Toxic Torts and Asbestos Team.

February 2017, Los Angeles. Plaintiffs alleged their decedent was exposed to toxins by LBL’s client. During the pendency of the litigation, LBL Partner Guy W. Stilson filed a summary judgment motion. While the motion was pending, the client dissolved and terminated the employment of all its officers, directors, and personnel. Plaintiffs served a notice of the deposition of LBL’s client, and Stilson responded with a motion to quash the notice because the client no longer had any employees. Plaintiff opposed, arguing that the summary judgment motion was supported by a declaration from the client’s president. Stilson argued that the motion was filed before the president’s employment had been terminated but the deposition notice was not served until after the termination of the president’s employment. The court agreed that when the deposition notice was served the client was incapable of producing a responsive witness and quashed the deposition notice.

April 2017, Marin County Superior Court. Plaintiff was a homeowner with a laundry list of complaints against his homeowners association, including alleged violations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act and of the homeowners association’s CC&Rs (“covenants, conditions and restrictions”). Because the homeowners association is a nonprofit corporation and its directors are not compensated for their service (which is typically the case for homeowners associations and their directors in California), Code of Civil Procedure section 425.15 required plaintiff to obtain a court order allowing him to file a complaint against the individual directors before he did so. Plaintiff filed a petition with the court seeking permission, giving his reasons for wanting to do so and supporting it with the evidence he thought was relevant.

Shareholder David Blinn opposed the petition. His opposition included evidence showing the directors acted in conformance with the Business Judgment Rule, plaintiff did not have admissible evidence substantiating his claims, and various statutory defenses existed to defeat plaintiff’s claims. The court agreed and denied plaintiff’s petition.

As the prevailing parties, the directors were entitled to an award of their attorney fees and costs under both the Davis-Stirling Act and under the terms of the CC&Rs. Shareholder Guy Stilson filed a motion seeking a determination and award of fees and costs owing from plaintiff to the directors. Plaintiff opposed the motion.

The court granted the motion and ordered plaintiff to pay over $10,000 in fees and costs to the directors.

NEWS & EVENTS

Ms. Reed will present “Cannabis and Insurance: Gold mine or all smoke?” at the the…

Ms. Reed will present at the Mid-Valley Claims Association on March 16, 2018 in Stockton….

In December, managing partner Sonja Blomquist addressed a conference of Certified Industrial Hygienists on issues…

Low, Ball & Lynch’s Annual Sacramento Seminar/Webinar Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017 Time: 1:00 –…

Ms. Reed’s presentation at the 2017 Council Meeting provided businesses and insurers with important information…

At the PCEA Spring Meeting, Fenech and Reed gave a California Case Law update. The…

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