Jump to Navigation

In The News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[10/23] Mastafa v. Chevron
In this case, five Iraqi nationals who claim that they and their family members were tortured, imprisoned, and executed by the Saddam Hussein regime brought suit against defendants, alleging that defendants illicitly diverted money to the regime in violation of customary international law. Dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint is affirmed, where: 1) Mohamed v. Palestinian Authority indisputably forecloses plaintiffs' claims brought under the Torture Victim Protection Act; and 2) this court does not have jurisdiction over plaintiffs' Alien Tort Statute claims pursuant to Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. and Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, Inc.

[10/22] Izell v. Union Carbide Corp.
In this personal injury litigation involving plaintiff's alleged exposure to defendant Union Carbide asbestos and subsequent diagnosis with mesothelioma, the jury awarded plaintiffs $30 million in compensatory damages plus $18 million in punitive damages against Union Carbide. By remittitur, the trial court reduced the compensatory damage award to $6 million. Judgment is affirmed, where: 1) the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict, as well as the compensatory and punitive damage awards; and 2) a punitive damage award equal to less than five times Union Carbide's share of the compensatory award is not constitutionally excessive, given the financial condition of the company and its highly reprehensible conduct in this case.

[10/22] Gottschall v. Crane
In this wrongful death action, the decedent died from mesothelioma allegedly inflicted on him during his work in shipyards and similar places. Summary judgment was thereafter entered in favor of defendant on the basis that a Pennsylvania federal court's summary judgment in favor of another manufacturer - applying the "sophisticated user" doctrine - was collateral estoppel of the present action. The order granting summary judgment is vacated, where: 1) the Pennsylvania federal court ruled wrongly in their application of the "sophisticated user" doctrine, as employees of a sophisticated user are not, by virtue of their employment, deemed to be sophisticated users; and 2) because the ruling was wrong, collateral estoppel necessarily does not apply.

[10/21] Davis v. Boeheim
Pre-answer dismissal of plaintiffs’ defamation action is reversed, where the challenged statements are reasonably susceptible to a defamatory connotation, and not otherwise privileged, non actionable “pure opinion.”

Read More

Workers' Comp

[08/06] LeFiell Manufacturing Co. v. Superior Court (Watrous)
In an action brought by plaintiff-employee under Labor Code section 4558, which provides an exception to the exclusivity of the workers' compensation system for employees injured as a result of the employer's knowing removal of, or knowing failure to install, a point of operation guard on a power press, the trial court erred in denying defendant-employer's motion for summary judgment, where: 1) the door that was removed from the Fenn 5F swaging machine operated by plaintiff-employee is not a point of operation guard as a matter of law; and thus, 2) defendant -employer is entitled to summary judgment.

[07/18] Benavides v. WCAB
The decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board rescinding petitioner's disability rating is annulled, where there was good cause for the Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) to reopen the case and therefore the appeals board is directed to reinstate the WCJ's award of a 72 percent disability rating. (Opinion after rehearing)

[06/27] Old Republic Construction Program Group v. Boccardo Law Firm
The trial court's order denying defendants' motion under the anti-SLAPP law, to strike three causes of action asserted against them by plaintiff, alleging that defendants law firm and attorney wrongfully withdrew settlement funds derived from a now-defunct lawsuit, which they had deposited in their trust account pursuant to a stipulation requiring plaintiff's consent to any withdrawal, is affirmed, where: 1) in determining whether a cause of action arises from conduct protected by the statute, the focus is on the wrongful, injurious conduct identified in the complaint, and whether that conduct comes within the statute's description of protected conduct; 2) unless the wrongful conduct is communicative in character, it is protected by the statute only if it was undertaken in connection with an issue of public importance; and here, 3) because the withdrawal of funds underlying the causes of action at issue was neither communicative nor related to an issue of public interest, the trial court properly denied a motion to dismiss those causes of action.

[06/26] Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co.
In an action brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) alleging that defendant-employer failed to reasonably accommodate plaintiff's physical disability and refused to rehire him in retaliation for plaintiff's having filed a workers' compensation claim, the Court of Appeal's decision holding that plaintiff's action was barred by the doctrines of after-acquired evidence and unclean hands based on the defendant-employer's later discovery that plaintiff had used another man's Social Security number to gain employment with defendant, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) Senate Bill No. 1818, which extends state law employee protections and remedies to all workers "regardless of immigration status," is not preempted by federal immigration law except to the extent it authorizes an award of lost pay damages for any period after the employer's discovery of an employee's ineligibility to work in the United States; and 2) contrary to the Court of Appeal's holdings, the doctrines of after-acquired evidence and unclean hands are not complete defenses to a worker's claims under California's FEHA, although they do affect the availability of remedies.

Read More

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. Users may not download or reproduce a substantial portion of the AP material found on this web site. AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Meet Our Team

At The Walthew Law Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to clients who suffered injuries and those who are being denied the Workers' Compensation benefits they deserve.

Click to View Attorney Profiles