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

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

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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What to Do With A “Moot” Appeal

Posted by Dowling Aaron on

A California Court of Appeal just came down with an interesting case regarding mootness. In Coalition for a Sustainable Future in Yucaipa v. City of Yucaipa, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (4th Dist. No. E047624, 8/25/11), plaintiff sued the city, Target, and the developer to enjoin its approval of a new shopping center. Plaintiff claimed that the […]

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Another chapter on punitive damages: California’s Bullock v. Philip Morris

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Since the United States Supreme Court decided State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Campbell (2003) 538 U.S. 408, legal scholars have debated the use of the corporate defendant’s wealth and prior conduct in assessing punitive damages, and the stringency/flexibility of the high court’s stated constitutional limitations (“few awards exceeding a single digit ratio between […]

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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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