In the News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[04/21] General Refractories Co v. First State Insurance Co.
In a dispute involving the rightful allocation of asbestos-related losses under thirty-year-old excess insurance policies, and to decide which of two companies, a historical manufacturer of asbestos-containing products and its insurer, will bear costs associated with a staggering number of asbestos claims, the district court's judgment that the policy is ambiguous is reversed where the phrase 'arising out of' asbestos, when used in a Pennsylvania insurance exclusion, unambiguously requires 'but for' causation.

[04/21] Kwan v. SanMedica Int'l
In a suit alleging that defendants made claims concerning its product, SeroVital, that were unsubstantiated, the district court's ed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of plaintiff's second amended complaint is affirmed where: 1) pursuant to the holding in National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc. v. King Bio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 107 Cal. App. 4th 1336, 1344 (Cal. App. 2003), the panel held that the district court did not err in concluding that neither the Unfair Competition Law nor the Consumer Legal Remedies Act provided plaintiff with a private cause of action to enforce the substantiation provisions of California's unfair competition and/or consumer protection laws; and 2) the district court did not err in concluding that the second amended complaint failed to allege facts that would support a finding that defendants' claims regarding its product, SerioVital, were actually false.

[04/20] In re Tronox Inc.
In an appeal of a district court order enforcing a permanent anti?suit injunction issued after a bankruptcy settlement, involving the toxic tort claims of than 4,300 individuals who allege significant injuries from the operation of a wood?treatment plant in Avoca, Pennsylvania between 1956 and 1996, the appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where the claims are barred by the injunction because they are generalized 'derivative' claims that fall within the property of the bankruptcy estate.

[04/19] Camerano v. US
In a wrongful death action lawsuit arising out of a fall decedent suffered while on a 'respite/nursing stay' at a facility operated by defendant, a federal entity under the purview of the United States Public Health Service, the district court's grant of summary judgment is affirmed where the two-year limitations period established by Congress expired.

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Workers' Comp

[03/29] Marin Community Services v. WCAB
In a writ proceeding seeking to set aside the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) holding that firefighter-petitioner was entitled to the benefit of the rebuttable presumption under Labor Code section 3212.1 that his cancer arose out of his employment, the WCAB's decision is affirmed where: 1) the WCAB's determination that petitioner was an employee of Marinwood was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statutes; and 2) the WCAB's determination that the extension of the cancer presumption ran from the date petitioner last worked as a firefighter for any agency was based on a reasonable interpretation of the relevant statute.

[03/29] Ramirez v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation writ proceeding, seeking review of worker-petitioner's independent medical review on the ground the underlying utilization review was based on an incorrect standard, the order of the administrative law judge (ALJ) taking the matter off calendar is reversed and remanded for further proceedings where: 1) this is not a proper ground for appeal of a utilization review determination because it goes to the heart of the determination of medical necessity; 2) the independent medical reviewer is in the best position to determine whether the proper standard was used to evaluate the medical necessity of the requested treatment, and the statutory scheme requires the independent medical reviewer to use the proper standard in determining medical necessity; and 3) the Legislature's plenary power over the workers' compensation system precludes any separation of powers violation, and the process afforded workers under the system affords sufficient opportunity to present evidence and be heard.

[03/24] Co. of Riverside v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case involving a sheriff, the findings by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board are affirmed over a County's challenge where: 1) plaintiff's the application for adjudication of claim was timely filed; and 2) Labor Code section 5500.5(a), did not bar liability on the County?s part.

[03/23] People v. Riddles
Conviction of workers' compensation insurance fraud in violation of Insurance Code section 11760(a) and restitution order are affirmed where: 1) a workers' compensation insurer may recover, as restitution under Penal Code section 1202.4, the premiums it would have earned in the absence of misrepresentations by an insurance applicant; and 2) the court did not err in imposing a fine.

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