Trial court judgment sustaining the demurrers of Class Counsel is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff is collaterally estopped from pursuing a malpractice claim against Class Counsel based on the theory that counsel breached their duty of care to the class by failing to negotiate a different settlement notice procedure than that approved by the trial court in the prior action; and 2) plaintiff's argument that Class Counsel breached their duty of care by failing to contact him specifically once they knew or should have known that he had not submitted a timely claim form fails, as there is no authority imposing such an obligation on counsel in a class action suit. The court's award of sanctions to plaintiff's former employer Allstate under Code of Civil Procedure sec. 128.7 is reversed where Allstate did not satisfy the safe harbor requirements of the statute in seeking monetary sanctions against plaintiff and his counsel.
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Yvette M. Palazuelos, Judge. Affirmed in part and reversed in part.
SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT
Filed: July 1, 2009
Before ZELON, J., PERLUSS, P.J., WOODS, J.
Opinion ZELON, J.
For Plaintiff: Law Offices of Bennett Rolfe and Bennett Rolfe.
For Defendant: Marlin & Saltzman, Louis M. Marlin and Stanley D. Saltzman; Nemecek & Cole, Jonathan B. Cole, Mark Schaeffer and Janette S. Bodenstein; Seyfath Shaw, Andrew M. Paley and Laura Reathaford.