» 2018

Defense verdict in employment-discrimination case reversed

Mateen-Bradford v. City of Compton (Cal. Ct. App., Apr. 17, 2018, No. B276236) 2018 WL 1804926 Obtained reversal of defense verdict based on defect in special-verdict form; reversal of the judgment also vacated a $200,000 award against the plaintiff for fees and costs; on retrial the plaintiff prevailed, winning a $600,000 verdict, with fee motions now pending. Read More

New-trial order reversed and original $4.5 million products-liability judgment reinstated and affirmed

Warner v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 6, 2018) Obtained reversal of new-trial order remitting $4 million verdict for plaintiff to $875,000 and $500,000 loss-of-consortium claim for spouse to $150,000; original $4.5 million total judgment reinstated and affirmed. Read More

$7 million personal-injury judgment affirmed

Dunlap v. Folsom Lake Ford (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 2, 2018) Prod.Liab.Rep. (CCH) P 20298, review denied (May 23, 2018) Affirmance of $7 million products-liability judgment for plaintiff injured in negligently-serviced automobile that rolled over. Read More

Landmark personal-injury-damages decision; $3.6 million judgment affirmed

Pebley v. Santa Clara Organics, LLC (2018) 22 Cal.App.5th 1266 [232 Cal.Rptr.3d 404], review denied (Aug. 8, 2018) Obtained affirmance of $3.6 million personal-injury award to plaintiff. Holds that injured plaintiff’s recovery of medical expenses is not limited to what the plaintiff’s insurer would have paid if the plaintiff had received care through insurance instead of from medical providers working on a lien. Rather, for the purposes of proving medical expenses at trial, a plaintiff who does not treat through his/her insurance should be considered “non-insured” and treated as if uninsured. The court rejected the defense argument that medical charges from providers who treat on a lien are inherently excessive because they exceed what health insurers would pay their preferred providers for similar treatment. In the Supreme Court, the defense bar and insurance industry filed over 20 amicus requests seeking review or depublication of the decision. The Supreme Court denied review and left the opinion published. Read More

Landmark insurance-coverage decision

Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co. (2018) 5 Cal.5th 216 [233 Cal.Rptr.3d 487, 418 P.3d 400], as modified (July 25, 2018) Holds that the intentional conduct of an employee did not preclude potential coverage for employer on claims against it for negligent hiring and supervision. Clarifies that policies that promise coverage for “accidents” provide coverage for negligent conduct, because “accidents” are a subset of “negligence.” Rejects prevailing view in the California appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit that the unintended consequences of the insured’s intentional acts can never qualify as an “accident.” Read More