Russell City Energy Co., LLC v. City of Hayward

A city’s promise not to impose taxes other than real property taxes on plaintiff if it built a clean energy plant in the city was unenforceable as contrary to the state constitution, but plaintiff might be able to state a restitution claim to recoup sums it paid for that promise.  As part of the financial…

Mountain Air Enterprises, LLC v. Sundowner Towers, LLC

An affirmative defense based on a contract is not “an action or proceeding brought” to enforce that contract for purposes of the contract’s attorney fee clause.  This decision holds that an attorney fee clause which provides for a fee award in “any action or proceeding brought” to enforce the contract does not apply if the…

Duarte v. Pacific Specialty Ins. Co.

An insurer was not entitled to summary judgment on its rescission defense based on false answers to its insurance application questions, since the questions were ambiguously worded and the answers were arguably accurate under one reasonable interpretation of the questions; also, a defendant gives sufficient notice of its intent to rescind a contract on which…

People v. Superior Court (Sahlolbei)

Independent contractors hired by public entities are subject to Government Code section 1090’s ban on conflicts of interest in public contracting if the contractor’s duties include engaging in or advising about public contracting.  Government Code section 1090 which prohibits public officials and employees from making contracts in which they have a financial interest applies to…

Guan v. Hu

Although Civil Code 1692(b) allows a court in a rescission action to grant “any party any other relief to which he may be entitled under the circumstances” if it finds that the parties’ contract has not been rescinded, the quoted language does not allow a trial court to readjust the parties’ rights or grant relief…

Pacific Bay Recovery, Inc. v. California Physicians’ Services, Inc.

Under the Knox-Keene Health Care Services Act, an out-of-network provider who gave substance abuse treatment to PPO subscribers was entitled to be paid by the PPO only the amount shown on its explanation of benefits form, since the treatment was not an emergency medical service and the provider had no contract with the PPO.  Under…

Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc.

A patentee loses patent rights in a product when it sells the patented product, even if the sale contract restricts the buyer’s use or resale of the product; contract law, not patent law, provides the remedy for any breach of those restrictions. Under the patent exhaustion doctrine, a patentee loses its patent rights in a…

Sanjiv Goel M.D., Inc. v. Regal Medical Group, Inc.

In determining the reasonable value of medical services a doctor provided to patients covered by a medical plan with which the doctor had no contract setting fees, the trial court properly considered evidence of what other doctors charged and the Medicare reimbursement rate for the services rendered.  In determining the reasonable value of medical services…

Hickcox-Huffman v. US Airways, Inc.

Plaintiff’s state-law-based breach of contract claim for delayed delivery of checked luggage was not preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.  The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 does not preempt a state law breach of contract claim against an air carrier.  Here, plaintiff alleged that the carrier breached its contract when it charged…

Wind Dancer Production Group v. Walt Disney Pictures

A contract providing for waiver of the discovery rule’s tolling of the limitations period is enforceable if the contract is between sophisticated parties.  A contract between Walt Disney Pictures and a sophisticated group of TV show producers contained a limitations clause, providing that Disney’s quarterly statements became conclusive 24 months after they were rendered as…

Leighton v. Forster

Since a non-contingent contract for attorney fees between a lawyer and client must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be enforceable, agreement which client never executed was not enforceable, and the statute of limitations had already passed on a quantum meruit action by the lawyer.  Under B&P Code 6148, a…

Jacobs v. Locatelli

Neither the statute of frauds nor the parol evidence rule precluded a real estate broker’s suit for her commission, as she could rely on extrinsic evidence to show that the one owner who signed her listing agreement did so as agent for the other owners.  The trial court erred in dismissing this suit by a…