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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Evidence extrinsic to the parties’ contract is admissible to prove false advertising

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In Duncan v. The McCaffrey Group, Inc. (filed October 28, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 15875, plaintiffs bought from defendants residential lots in a tract marketed as Treviso Custom Home Development. Plaintiffs claim they bought in the development, paying premium prices, because of its marketing as an exclusively custom home development; instead, defendants, unbeknownst to plaintiffs, intended […]

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Employee’s attorney fees in successfully defending action brought by employer not recoverable under statutory indemnity

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

California Labor Code section 2802, subdivision (a), requires that an employer “indemnify” an employee for all necessary costs incurred as a direct consequence of the employee’s discharge of employment duties. Does the employer’s duty to indemnify include attorney fees incurred in defending an action brought by the employer, or only in an action instituted by […]

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Even if broadcast news program presents slanted reporting lacking in research, libel is not proven

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In Yuin University v. Korean Broadcast System (filed October 5, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 15039, the defendant had broadcast in its Sunday news program a segment called “Degree Factory Confers Doctoral Degrees Even to Persons who Plagiarize.” Reporters had visited the university and found the school to be vacant, a professor/graduate had commented that he only […]

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E.coli outbreak not an insured event for faultless marketer who sustains consequential losses

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

There are few consumer warnings that strike more fear in the public’s mind than the announcement of an E. coli outbreak. The potential consequence of eating a seemingly wholesome yet contaminated food item is deadly. No less fearful of such an announcement are marketers of the produce in question. Even if an investigation into the […]

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Claims of medical malpractice and negligent equipment maintenance involve separate acts making latter actionable even where former dismissed

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” This familiar saying first appeared in the 19th century writings of American educator Thomas H. Palmer to encourage school children to do their homework. In Johnson v. Chiu (filed September 29, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 14825, both sides take this maxim literally. Plaintiff Johnson went to defendant […]

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Allergic reaction to product does not establish triable issue of liability

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Hennigan v. White (California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, filed September 20, 2011) 2011 DJDAR 14269, plaintiff went to defendant’s business, a day spa, to have permanent cosmetics injected into her eyelids and eyebrows. After the initial injections of pigment, plaintiff received a touch-up performed about 2 months later. One month after the […]

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If value of community assets is shown, managing spouse must prove proper disposition or lesser value

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

“It’s the bad economy” has become the all-too-frequent, yet mostly accurate, cry heard when a party is called upon to explain the decrease, or even total loss, in value of a disputed asset. In litigation over community assets in a marital dissolution, this explanation may not suffice, as is emphasized in the recent California Court […]

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Cruise line’s duty to warn of danger limited to uniqueness of maritime travel or known risks

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Vacationing on a cruise ship is a favorite activity for many Californians. But traveling to unfamiliar locales can present dangers. A recent United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit case discusses what a passenger should or should not expect to be warned about by the cruise line. In Samuels v. Holland American Line-USA Inc. (filed […]

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Harassing activity committed by employer-defendant outside plaintiff’s presence admissible to show intent

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Most lawyers remember from their law school course in evidence the cardinal notion that a plaintiff or prosecutor should not be allowed to present evidence to show defendant is a bad person. But if this propensity evidence is offered for some other relevant purpose, it may be admissible. A recent opinion from California’s Court of […]

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