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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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Does selling real estate broker incur disclosure liability to buyer who relied on reference to 24 year old earthquake-zone study’s statement that property was “buildable”?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Under the circumstances of Saffie v. Schmeling (filed 3/7/14) E055716, the answer is no. In 2006, seller’s broker posted in the multiple listing service (MLS) the listing of a commercial parcel that stated the property was within an earthquake study zone, but a fault hazard zone investigation by a licensed geologist had determined the parcel […]

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May an adhesive, yet bilateral, employment arbitration clause that is not unduly harsh, oppressive or one-sided be found unconscionable and unenforceable?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Sanchez v. CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC (filed 2/6/14, publication ordered 3/4/14) B244772, plaintiff signed an arbitration agreement as a part of his employment application. He was hired as service manager and remained in that position until he was terminated about 4½ years later. In his lawsuit, plaintiff claimed the reason cited for his […]

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Employer Sued for Relying on Non-Criminal Information Disclosed by Criminal Background Database

Posted by Jeffrey Davis on

As previously reported, California recently enacted new prohibitions affecting employers conducting pre-hiring background investigations. Prior to January 1, 2014, Labor Code section 432.7 only prohibited employers from considering, or asking applicants about, information concerning: (1) arrests or detentions not leading to conviction; or (2) referral to, or participation in, a pretrial or post-trial diversion program. […]

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New requirement to keep Responsible Party Information Current with the IRS

Posted by Ronald Henderson on

Every time a new entity has been formed or an individual has started his or her initial trade or business since January 2010, and an Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) has been secured from the IRS for such entity or individual, the Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), has required the designation of a […]

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Where law exempts requirement, may owner who rents out a residence be liable for failure to install self-closing door latch of door leading to swimming pool where minor guest of tenant drowned?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Johnson v. Prasad (filed 2/25/14) 2014 DJDAR 2325, homeowners (the Prasads) bought a home in 2000 which had a 14-year-old pool in the backyard. A six foot fence blocked access to the pool, except from the interior of the home via a kitchen sliding door. That door had a security gate, but lacked a […]

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May server of alcohol at a fee-generating event be liable for the vehicular tort committed by an obviously intoxicated paying minor?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

Social hosts furnishing alcohol generally enjoy immunity from liability as not being the proximate cause for injuries caused by an intoxicated guest. (Civil Code section 1714 (b).) However, this immunity is not available for a server falling within Business and Professions Code section 25601.2, which provides that a person not required to have a liquor […]

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May employee sue for whistleblower retaliation under the federal False Claims Act in state court, and have that right decided in a petition for extraordinary relief?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Driscoll v. Superior Court (filed 1/30/14) 2014 DJDAR 11270, the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, answered yes on both counts, issuing a writ of mandate instructing the state trial court to overrule the demurrer it had previously sustained without leave to amend. Driscoll had been employed as a medical doctor with real party […]

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Where a sanction award is statutorily appealable, may the merits of a medical damages discovery dispute resulting in that sanction be reviewed at the same time?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Dodd v. Cruz (filed 2/5/2014) B247493, Dodd sued Cruz for injuries sustained in a vehicle accident, including medical surgical expenses he incurred with Coast Surgery Center as a result of the accident. Coast sold to Medical Finance LLC (MedFi) its medical lien for services provided to Dodd. (MedFi’s president is Dodd’s attorney, Waks.) Cruz […]

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Does employer owe preconception duty-of-care to child of employee for harmful work environment, and is “duty” necessary to prove strict liability?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In El sheref v. Applied Materials, Inc. (filed 1/27/14) H038333, the father of the plaintiff minor worked as an engineer at defendant’s semiconductor manufacturing facility. Father’s duties included working with tools containing mercury and ethylene glycol and being exposed to ionizing radiation. Defendant provided information, training, and medical advice to employees to assess and reduce […]

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