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Does the alleged defective design of car’s seat allow application of “consumer expectation” test, engineer strict-liability, and non-apportionment of general damages among designers?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Romine v. Johnson Controls, Inc. (filed 3/17/14) B239761, the chain collision caused by a speeding vehicle crashing into a line of vehicles stopped at an intersection resulted in the striking of plaintiff’s vehicle, rendering her a quadriplegic. The force of the collision caused plaintiff’s seatback to collapse and her head violently struck the vehicles […]

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Is the full amount billed for medical care admissible at personal injury trial to prove past medical, future medical or general damages?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The recent appellate opinion in Corenbaum v. Lampkin (filed 4/30/13) 2013 DJDAR 5591 answers “no” on all counts. The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three, determined that only the actual amount paid for past medical care (here, as is typical, the discount rate paid by the medical insurer) is relevant and admissible. […]

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Gratuitously written off medical bills are recoverable as special damages under collateral source rule

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

As discussed in the August 23, 2011 blog, the California Supreme Court in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. 92011) 52 Cal.4th 541, held that a plaintiff may not recover for reasonably incurred medical billings to the extent they are discounted under a plaintiff’s private insurer’s contract with the medical provider. In dicta, the […]

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Collateral source rule in California: injured plaintiffs barred recovery of value of medical services in excess of bargained rate paid by insurance

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme has filed its opinion after months of speculation in the legal community about the reach of the collateral source rule. In Howell v. Hamilton Meats (filed August 18, 2010), the court held an injured plaintiff whose medical expenses are paid through private insurance may recover as economic damages no more that the […]

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The Risky Business of Judges and Counsel, Both Trial and Appellate, Predicting How the Supreme Court Will Decide An Undecided Issue, Such as Award for Reasonable Value of Negotiated Medical Services

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In my last posting, I discussed the recently published appellate court opinion in Cabrera. Part of the rationale of that opinion was that the court was following “current” California published case law. My question is how should judges and attorneys handle legal authority that may appear shaky based upon currently pending cases before higher authority? […]

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Appellate Panel Finds Collateral Source Rule Does Not Bar Reduction of Jury-Awarded Past Medical Expenses That Were Reasonable and Necessary but Negotiated Down by Plaintiff’s Private Insurance

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

During 2010, the California Supreme Court granted review in the Court of Appeal cases of Howell v. Hamilton Meats (4th District), Yanez v. SOMA Environmental Engineering (1st District) and King v. Willmett (3rd District). In a nutshell, those three opinions can be summarized as saying that the award of an injured plaintiff’s medical provider’s full […]

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