In the News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[11/20] Griffin v. The Haunted Hotel, Inc.
In an suit against the operator of an outdoor haunted house type of attraction for injuries sustained by plaintiff when he fell while fleeing from scary actor employed by defendant, the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) under the primary assumption of risk doctrine, there is no duty to eliminate or protect a plaintiff against risks that are inherent in a sport or recreational activity; 2) the risk that a patron will be frightened, run, and fall is inherent in the fundamental nature of a haunted house attraction; and 3) there is no evidence creating triable issue that defendant unreasonably increased the risk of injury beyond those inherent risks or acted recklessly.

[11/20] County of San Diego v. Super. Ct. (Casteen)
In a suit against a county for injuries suffered by plaintiff while rope swinging, the trial court's denial of the public entity's motion for summary judgment is reversed where the undisputed material facts show the public entity was immune from liability under Government Code section 831.7, which provides that unless a specified exception applies, public entities are immune from liability to persons who suffer injury while engaging in

[11/17] Pasternack v. Laboratory Corp.
In an action arising after defendant drug-testing companies allegedly mishandled plaintiff's random drug test required by federal regulations governing aviation safety, the court certified two questions to the New York Court of Appeals: 1) whether drug testing regulations and guidelines promulgated by the FAA and DOT create a duty of care for drug testing laboratories and program administrators under New York negligence law; and 2) whether a plaintiff may establish the reliance element of a fraud claim under New York law by showing that a third party relied on a defendant's false statements resulting in injury to the plaintiff.

[10/30] Brady v. Calsol, Inc.
In a coordinate case involving plaintiffs who were diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia allegedly caused by exposure to a cleaning solvent distributed by defendant, summary judgment to defendant, based on the raw material or component parts doctrine, is reversed and remanded where there remains a triable issue as to whether the mineral spirits supplied by defendant were inherently dangerous.

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Workers' Comp

[09/25] Contra Costa County v. WCAB
In an action challenging a Workers' Compensation Appeal Board's (WCAB) decision awarding a worker a permanent disability rating of 79 percent, which was initially set at 59 percent but was successfully rebutted by the worker, the WCAB's decision resetting the disability rating at 79 percent is reversed where worker's attempted rebuttal did not comport with any of the methods approved in Ogilvie v. WCAB (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 1262, and is therefore foreclosed by Ogilvie.

[07/22] Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
In a writ of review challenging the failure of the WCAB to address its claim that the hearing officer failed to adjudicate a deceadent's widow's petition to determine her entitlement to special death benefits under the public employees' retirement system (PERS), Gov. Code section 21537, 21541, the decision of the WCAB upholding the finding of its hearing officer that there was an industrial cause for the death of decedent and the award of a workers' compensation death benefit to widow, is annulled and the matter is remanded with directions to join the PERS Board as a defendant and calculate the coordinated death benefits within each board's purview.

[06/29] Angelotti Chirporactice, Inc. v. Baker
In a suit claiming Senate Bill 863, which was enacted to combat an acute "lien crisis" in its workers' compensation system, violated the Takings Clause, the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed as to dismissal of plaintiffs' claims under the Takings Clause and Due Process Clause challenging California Senate Bill 863; 2) vacated as to the grant of preliminary injunction; and 3) reversed as to denial of defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Equal Protection Clause claim.

[05/28] South Coast Framing, Inc. v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Bd.
In a case in which the family of decedent was awarded workers' compensation death benefits after he died from the combination of drugs prescribed following a fall at work, the Court of Appeal's judgment overturning the award is reversed where there was sufficient evidence that the drugs prescribed for the work injury contributed to the death.

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