Ehrlich Law Firm prevails in California Supreme Court on case involving important issues of California civil-writ practice and procedure. In a closely-watched case involving civil-writ procedure in California, the California Supreme Court adopted the position advocated by the Ehrlich Law Firm, and held that appellate courts can properly issue so-called “speaking” or “suggestive” Palma notices when they are inclined to issue a peremptory writ of mandate in the first instance. A Palma notice informs the parties that an appellate court is inclined to grant a peremptory writ in the first instance.
California Supreme Court grants petition for review filed by Ehrlich Law Firm. Adelamo Cabral was killed when he lost control of his pickup truck on I-10 and slammed into a big-rig truck illegally parked on the shoulder. At trial, the jury held that the truck’s driver and owner were 10% at fault for the collision. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the trial court should have granted a JNOV against the Cabral family’s wrongful-death action because there was no duty by the truck driver to create a “safe landing” for Cabral. The Ehrlich Law Firm filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court, arguing that the Court of Appeal’s approach would make California freeways more dangerous by allowing truck drivers to park their rigs alongside the freeway with impunity. The Court granted the petition, and the matter is being briefed. (Cabral v. Ralph’s Grocery Co. No. S. 178799.)
Waters, Kraus & Paul, with one of the premier asbestos-litigation practices in the U.S., hired the Ehrlich Law Firm to argue an important products-liability case, O’Neil v. Crane Co. in the Court of Appeal, Second District, Div. 5.
The issue in O’Neil was whether sailors injured by asbestos released during the maintenance of valves and pumps that were manufactured to contain asbestos within them, and that were insulated with asbestos, could be held liable on theories of strict products liability and negligence, even if the asbestos material in the equipment had been replaced with other asbestos material during the product’s life.
In Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 564, the Court of Appeal , First District, held that the manufacturers could not be held liable because the asbestos was not “their” product.
Ehrlich convinced the court not to follow Taylor, and in a written decision the court held that Taylor had been wrongly decided. (O’Neil v. Crane Co. (2010) 177 Cal.App.4th 1019.) The Supreme Court later granted review to resolve the conflict between the positions advocated in O’Neil and Taylor. Ehrlich is expected to argue the matter in the California Supreme Court.
Scott Minkler appealed the district court’s order granting summary judgment on his claim against Safeco Insurance Company under a homeowner’s liability policy. Minkler’s claims arose out of Safeco’s refusal to defend Betty Schwartz, whose son David molested Minkler. Safeco denied coverage because of an exclusion in its policy for claims arising from the acts of “an” insured, because David was a resident of Betty’s home, and hence an insured under her policy. The issue in the case is the proper construction of a provision in the Safeco policy stating that “This insurance applies separately to each insured.” The Ninth Circuit, at the Ehrlich Firm’s request, has asked the California Supreme Court to decide the meaning of that provision. Minkler v. Safeco Ins. Co., 561 F.3d 1033 (9th Cir. 2009).
Ehrlich Law Firm obtains emergency stay from Court of Appeal for trial lawyer seeking to recuse trial judge. When a trial lawyer’s case was transferred from one Superior Court Judge to another at the Mosk Courthouse, the trial lawyer filed a peremptory challenge under Code Civ. Proc. section 170.6. The trial judge ruled that the challenge was not timely filed, because it had not been made at the moment the transfer was announced – before counsel even had a chance to confer with his client.
January 2007 – The Court of Appeal in Los Angeles has reversed a trial court’s order requiring that Mary Medeiros arbitrate her claims against Health Net, arising from the company’s failure to provide her with timely medical care. Even though Health Net’s enrollment form failed to comply with the mandatory disclosure requirements concerning arbitration clauses, the trial court ordered the case to arbitration.
The Ehrlich Law Firm filed a writ of mandate, which was granted in a published opinion. (Medeiros v. Superior Court (Health Net) (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 1008. Medeiros is a victory for public employees, because it held that health plans that provide coverage through public agencies must comply with the arbitration-disclosure requirements in the Health & Safety Code and the Insurance Code.