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Police officer disabled from performing strenuous street duties not eligible for administrative job accommodation due to that job’s essential strenuous duties.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Lui v. City and County of San Francisco (filed December 11, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 16496, plaintiff, a sworn police officer with defendant since 1981, suffered a heart attack and took 11 months of disability leave. He then returned to work to take a 1-year temporary modified duty (TMD) position in the police records room. […]

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Landlord’s claim against its restaurant tenant’s insurance policy is not barred by the policy’s interinsured exclusion

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Is an “insured” not an “insured” excluded by a policy clause that excludes coverage for a claim of one insured against another insured? As oxymoronic as this question may sound, such are the type of contractual interpretation inquiries that frequently occur when it comes to insurance coverage and exclusion issues. In Gemini Insurance Co. v. […]

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In spite of documentation of independent contractor relationship, Auto Club may be liable for acts of road service technician based on agency.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

When I read this opinion, my first thought was “Oh, oh, there goes my AAA membership fee.” An increase in my annual fee may not necessarily occur. But the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (Division Two) opinion in Monarrez v. Automobile Club of Southern California (filed November 20, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 15745, will […]

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“Lost profits” expert evidence concerning projected upstart dental implant manufacturer too speculative.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme Court in Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern California (filed November 26, 2012, S191550) starts its reasoning concerning a trial court’s discretion in excluding expert testimony with the following advice of Federal Judge Friendly written 50 years ago: “[A court] must be exceeding careful not to set the threshold too high. […]

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Tort damages concerning domestic pets are not limited by market value.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

“[A]nimals are special, sentient beings, because unlike other forms of property, animals feel pain, suffer and die.” With words like these, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division One, rejected defendants argument, an argument accepted by the trial courts, that the measure of damages are limited to the market value of the injured […]

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Arbitration covenant that runs with the land binds homeowners and their association even though neither was a direct party to the covenant

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

One of the earlier blog articles that I wrote on this site commented on the trend of California appellate cases questioning the fairness of arbitration clauses that often left the non-drafting party without any bargaining power. While many of these situations arise in the context of disadvantaged consumers and employees directly contracting with the drafting […]

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“Completed and accepted” doctrine absolves architect of liability for college theatre stairway fall.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Neiman v. Leo A. Daly Company, (filed October 30, 2012) B234537, plaintiff fell on stairs at the theater of Santa Monica Community College. She claimed she sustained injuries due to poor lighting and improper marked stairs at the main stage. She sued defendant, the architect who designed the theater and observed its construction. Defendant […]

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“A motivating reason” properly instructs jurors on the basis to find job termination was discriminatory; “invited error” precludes attack on attorney’s fee award.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Plaintiff Lorena Alamos was terminated from her position of collection clerk with defendant Practice Management Information Corporation. She took 8 weeks off from her job for pregnancy/maternity leave. She came to the workplace about one week prior to her agreed date of return to have lunch with a friend. While there, she got into an […]

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Former human resource director’s deceiving employer she had executed arbitration agreement neither implies agreement nor estops her from denying.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Gorlach v. The Sports Club Company. B233672 (filed October 16, 2012), the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four, affirmed the trial court’s denying defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. While the defendant conceded that plaintiff never signed a written contract to arbitrate, defendant claimed equitable estoppel or implied-in-fact agreement. Plaintiff Susan Gorlach resigned […]

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Discharge of employee in violation of statutory prohibition of firing for filing work-comp claim cannot form basis for common law civil action based on public policy.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Dutra v. Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta (filed September 26, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 13447, plaintiff Dutra claimed defendant wrongfully terminated her employment in violation of public policy codified in California Labor Code section 132a, which generally prohibits discharge of an employee for filing a workers’compensation claim. After jury selection, the trial court granted defendant’s motion […]

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