Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co.

Summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim is reversed due to a triable issue as to whether insurer’s dispute about the claim amount was genuine since the insurer had not updated its medical expert’s opinion based on new evidence of the extent of the insured’s injuries.  Allstate was not entitled to summary judgment on…

Wendell v. GlaxoSmithKline

Plaintiff’s experts on the issue of whether defendant’s drug had caused a rare blood cancer should not have been excluded under Daubert, since the experts were highly qualified doctors who based their opinions on their experience with this and similar diseases, medical literature, and similar proper material.  In this case, plaintiff’s decedent contracted a rare…

Cross v. Superior Court

The psychotherapist-patient privilege may not be raised in opposition to producing patient records in a Medical Board investigation, but to protect the patient’s privacy rights the subpoena must be carefully tailored to request only records that are relevant and material to a compelling state interest, such as avoiding over-prescription of controlled substances. B&P 2225(a) provides…

Cuevas v. Contra Costa County

To reduce a damage award in a medical malpractice case, the defendant may introduce evidence of collateral source payments to plaintiff for medical care including Obamacare and private medical insurance benefits that has already received or likely will receive in the future. Civ. Code 3333.1, part of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act,  allows the…

McDermott Will & Emery, LLP v. Superior Court

No matter how the attorney receives another party’s inadvertently produced privileged material, the attorney owes a duty to notify the privilege holder and await a court’s resolution of any dispute over existence or waiver of the privilege; failure to do so may lead to disqualification.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in disqualifying…

Phillips v. Honeywell International, Inc.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting a letter, containing a remark showing callous indifference to worker death from asbestos, because the letter showed the employer was on notice of the risks of asbestos early, and prejudice from the callous remark was avoided by a jury instruction limiting consideration of the letter…

Behunin v. Superior Court

Attorney-client privilege does not shield communications among plaintiff, his attorney, and a third party public relations firm whom plaintiff hired to smear defendants in an attempt to induce a favorable settlement.  Steiner represented Behunin in litigation Behunin brought against Charles and Michael Schwab.  To pressure the Schwabs to settle the litigation, Steiner hired Levick Strategic…

Lemke v. Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Defendant hospital’s report to Board of Registered Nursing regarding plaintiff, a registered nurse, and her allegedly improper monitoring of a patient to whom she had given narcotics, was absolutely privileged under Civ. Code 47(b) and therefore could not be the subject of a viable defamation claim.  Statements made to an “appropriate regulatory agency” are absolutely…

Perry v. Bakewell Hawthorne LLC

If a party fails to exchange expert witness information in response to a timely demand, and the time to respond expires before the summary judgment motion is filed, the non-responding party may not rely on expert testimony to oppose the summary judgment motion over the moving party’s objection, unless the trial court relieves the non-responding…

Argentieri v. Zuckerberg

Corporation’s general counsel’s email to the press about its recently-filed lawsuit was not protected by the absolute litigation privilege but was protected by the privilege for fair and true reports to a publication about a judicial proceeding.  Facebook’s general counsel’s email to the press concerning the company’s filing a malicious prosecution suit against Argentieri was…

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…

Sanchez v. Kern Emergency Medical Transportation Corp.

It was not an abuse of discretion to exclude portions of plaintiff’s expert declaration which asserted (without any factual basis) that plaintiff’s injury was exacerbated by a short delay in transporting him to hospital.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding key portions of the plaintiff’s expert’s declaration in this case, and…