In the News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[05/19] Van Audenhove v. Perry
In a suit for malicious prosecution, alleging that defendant contacted the police and falsely accused plaintiff of stalking, and that the police arrested him, but the district attorney's office ultimately declined to prosecute, the trial court's judgment sustaining a demurrer and dismissing the action is affirmed where the complaint failed to allege a prosecution, as required for a claim of malicious prosecution.

[05/18] Gillotti v. Stewart
In a construction defect law suit by a homeowner, the trial court's judgment and post-trial orders denying motions for new trial or judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and ordering plaintiff to pay defendant's expert witness fees due to plaintiff not obtaining a judgment more favorable that defendant's settlement offer, Code Civ. Proc. section 998, are affirmed where plaintiff fails to show any basis for reversal.

[05/18] Petras v. Simparel Inc.
In suit alleging a reverse False Claims Act (FCA) claim against plaintiff's former employer, contending that defendants knowingly and improperly avoided a contingent obligation to pay accrued dividends to an investing entity after the entity had been placed into receivership and was being operated by the SBA, the district court's dismissal of the first and second amended complaint is affirmed where under the FCA provision?s plain language, the defendants could not have knowingly and improperly avoided or decreased an obligation to pay the accrued dividends at the time of their alleged misconduct because the obligation did not yet exist; and 2) even if the SBA qualified as the Government for purposes of plaintiff's FCA action, the reverse FCA claim would still be dismissed.

[05/16] US ex rel. Badr v. Triple Canopy, Inc.
In a qui tam suit on remand from the United States Supreme Court, the prior Court of Appeals' decision is affirmed where, applying Universal Health Services, Inc. v. US ex rel. Escobar, 136 S.Ct. 1989 (2016), the Government has stated a claim under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. section 3729(a) against defendant.

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Workers' Comp

[04/26] City of Jackson v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision disregarding the apportionment determination of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) on the ground the determination was not substantial medical evidence and directing the workers' compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) to make an award of unapportioned disability, is annulled where: 1) apportionment may be properly based on genetics/hereditability; 2) the QME properly apportioned disability; and 3) the QME's opinion Is based on substantial medical evidence.

[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.

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