Nakai v. Friendship House Assn. of American Indians, Inc.

Plaintiff, who was fired when his wife complained to his boss (who was also her mother) that plaintiff was armed, angry and on drugs, failed to state an actionable claim for discrimination based on marital status.  Plaintiff failed to state an actionable claim for discrimination based on marital status.  He was fired when his wife…

Marsh v. J. Alexander’s, LLC

The Ninth Circuit rejects the Department of Labor’s informal interpretation of the dual job limitation on tip credit against the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage; “two jobs” is determined by occupation, not individual tasks.  Under the FLSA (29 USC 203(m)), an employer must pay a tipped worker at least $2.13 per hour but may count…

Cortez v. Doty Bros. Equipment Co.

A collective bargaining agreement explicitly requires arbitration of wage and hour claims by referencing a wage order; so long as a Private Attorney General Act claim survives, decertification of a class is not immediately appealable. Following Munoz v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 291, this decision holds that an order dismissing class action…

BRE DDR BR Whittwood CA LLC v. Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach

If a tenant’s leasehold interest is foreclosed upon, the purchaser at the foreclosure sale succeeds, as assignee, to the tenant’s right to occupy the premises and to all covenants of the lease that run with the land, but not to the lease contract itself absent express assumption.  Upon foreclosure of a deed of trust on…

Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court

The insured was not entitled to require an excess insurer to pay under its policy just by showing claims remained unpaid after exhausting all underlying policies for the one policy year, as some excess policies’ “other insurance” provisions required exhaustion of insurance issued for other policy years if it covered the same loss.  Distinguishing State…

Pulte Home Corp. v. American Safety Indemnity Co.

A construction subcontractor’s CGL policy did not clearly exclude “completed operations” coverage for an additional insured (here, the developer) or terminate insurance coverage when the subcontractor finished working on the project.  Following Pardee Construction Co. v. Insurance Co. of the West (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1340, this decision interprets coverage for an additional insured (the developer)…

Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Inc.

Because hot air balloon operators are not common carriers, they can take advantage of the primary assumption of the risk doctrine and thus owe no duty of care as to risks inherent in the sport or activity of hot air ballooning—even if an injury is caused by pilot error in failing to adjust altitude properly…

Major v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Federal law recognizing the legality of tobacco and cigarettes does not preempt state tort law that holds most cigarettes to be a “defective product,” thus exposing the manufacturers to substantial tort liability in California.  Wife sued a tobacco manufacturer for her husband’s death from lung cancer that he contracted after decades as a heavy smoker…

Direct Capital Corp. v. Brooks

A spouse is liable for the other spouse’s debts incurred for the “necessaries of life” before separation, but only for debts incurred for the “common necessaries of life” after separation and before divorce; the former includes only the basics of food, clothing, and shelter, whereas the latter is a broader category that takes into account…

Stoetzl v. State of California

Unionized prison guards’ pay is governed by the union’s memorandum of understanding, which was passed as state legislation, not general state wage and hour laws; but those general laws do apply to non-unionized prison workers.  State prison guards spent time before and after performing their principal guard duties at state prisons with activities including checking…

Aviles-Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Community College Dist.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act’s one year statute of limitations starts to run from the date of termination of employment of a faculty member, rather than the earlier date on which he was denied tenure for allegedly discriminatory reasons.  Following Romano v. Rockwell Internat., Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 479, this case holds that FEHA’s…

Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1

CIVIL PROCEDURE—STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS The last act in a series of sexual abuses remains the date of accrual of the claim for purposes of Gov. Code 901 and 905 requiring, as a condition of suing a government entity, that a claim be filed within 6 months of the accrual of the cause of action.  Following…