Hilliard v. Harbour

Senior citizen who held controlling interest in corporate borrower could not state elder abuse claim against lender that foreclosed on borrower; the senior citizen suffered only derivative harm; any damage claim belonged solely to the corporate borrower.  Hilliard, a 78-year-old, owned a controlling interest in Crystal Companies, which owned radio stations.  Wells Fargo lent $20…

Mahan v. Charles W. Chan Insurance Agency, Inc.

An elderly couple stated an elder abuse claim against an insurance agency that schemed to gut their whole life insurance policies and replace them with a less desirable policy, all for the purpose of earning a larger commission.  An elderly couple stated an elder abuse cause of action against the insurance agency which arranged to…

Brenner v. Universal Health Services of Rancho Springs, Inc.

Defendant hospital was entitled to summary judgment after plaintiff’s expert declaration stated only that husband “could have survived” had defendant treated him in accord with the standard of care—but stopped short of saying that survival was more likely than not but for the hospital’s acts, which is the standard for showing causation in a medical…

CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court

Proof of an employer’s own wrongdoing is needed to impose punitive damages on the employer for an employee’s torts, even if as a separate matter it is vicariously liable for those torts.  The trial court erred in not granting summary judgment to CRST on plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages arising from an accident that one…

Van Audenhove v. Perry

A person who is arrested, but not ultimately prosecuted, may not maintain an action for malicious prosecution against the witness whose complaint prompted the arrest.  A person who is only arrested and is not the subject of any criminal prosecution cannot sue the complaining witness (at whose behest the arrest was made) for malicious prosecution. …

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Aventis Pharma, SA

A federal False Claims Act suit was properly dismissed because the suit was based on facts publicly disclosed in a prior suit and the plaintiff was not the original source of that information, but learned it only as a party to the prior suit.  The district court properly dismissed this federal False Claims Act suit…

Garcia v. American Golf Corp.

Governmental immunity from liability for injuries on recreational trails does not shield a city from liability for injury from errant golf balls hit from an adjoining commercial golf course on city property. Gov. Code 831.4 grants governmental entities immunity from liability for injuries suffered on unpaved paths or trails.  Even if the paved Rose Bowl…

Julian v. Mission Community Hospital

Plaintiff, who was held involuntarily for 72 hours for a mental health evaluation, could not sue hospital and officers who had probable cause to detain her, due to their qualified immunity. The Laterman-Petris-Short Act did not grant implied rights of action for alleged violations of various sections of the act to a person involuntarily detained…

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…

Clary v. City of Crescent City

Defendant city was not barred from imposing a lien on plaintiff’s property to pay for the cost of abating nuisance caused by absentee landowner plaintiff’s failure to maintain the yard. This decision upholds a lien that the defendant city imposed on plaintiff’s property to pay for the cost of abating the nuisance on the property. …

Prather v. Sprint Communications, Inc.

Resolution of the underlying lawsuit (here by a settlement) does not automatically moot an appeal by a person who unsuccessfully sought to intervene in the action, so long as effective relief may still potentially be awarded the would-be intervenor. Under the Federal False Claims Act, a relator is entitled to the same rights in a…

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…