Also, Contract, Employment Class Action, & Tort Matters
Baker v. Am. Horticulture Supply, Inc., No. B212975, concerned an independent wholesale sales representative's suit for breach of contract, promissory fraud, and a violation under the Independent Wholesale Sales Representatives Contractual Relations Act of 1990. In affirming in part, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting a new trial on the breach of contract and promissory fraud claims in concluding that the award of damages was excessive and that plaintiff was not entitled to a 10% commission in alleged sales. However, the court reversed the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for a directed verdict on the violation of the Act claim as the evidence is sufficient to support a finding that defendant willfully failed to enter into a written contract as required by the Act.
Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Assoc. Inc., No. G041702, concerned a suit brought by about 4000 current and former employees against an employer, claiming that the company, which provides security guard services throughout Southern California, denied meal and rest breaks and failed to pay for overtime. In affirming in part, the court held that the trial court's order denying the motion for class certification as to the meal break class and the rest break class was proper as the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding common issues of law and fact did not predominate over individual issues. However, the trial court's order denying the motion for class certification as to the overtime-pay class is reversed and remanded.
Yanez v. SOMA Envtl. Eng'g, Inc., No. A123893, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendants' motion to reduce the award for medical expenses from $44,519.01 to $18,368.24 in plaintiff's suit for injuries she suffered in an automobile accident. In reversing, the court held that the trial court erred in reducing plaintiff's damages to the amount actually paid by her insurers as the amounts written off by plaintiff's health care providers constitute collateral benefits of her insurance. The court further held that on remand, the trial court is to award plaintiff prejudgment interest under Civ. Code section 3291.
People v. Int'l Fid. Ins., Co., No. G042328, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of a motion to vacate the forfeiture and exonerate bail in a prosecution of defendant for attempted murder and other crimes. In affirming the decision, the court held that the trial court did not err in denying the motion as, although defendant was subject to a greater potential maximum penalty under the first amended information than he had been under the original complaint, the charges in the first amended information were based on the same acts alleged in the complaint. Court also held that the certificate of mailing of the notice of forfeiture which was signed by a deputy clerk on behalf of the clerk of the court was properly executed.
People v. Gastello, No. S153170, concerned People's challenge to the Court of Appeal's reversal of defendant's conviction under section 4573, which makes it a felony for any person to knowingly bring a controlled substance into a custodial setting. In reversing, the court held that the statute applies to someone who has a controlled substance in his possession when arrested for another crime, and who knowingly and voluntarily brings the drugs into jail when booked pursuant to that arrest. Furthermore, the court held that a violation of section 4573 does not involve compelled self-incriminating "testimony," but rather the nontestimonial act of knowingly bringing drugs into a correctional facility.
People v. Low, No. S151961, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for violating Penal Code section 4573, which makes it a felony for any person to knowingly bring into any state prison or into any county jail any controlled substance. In affirming the conviction, the court held that section 4573 applies to someone who is arrested and brought into jail, and who is found to possess a controlled substance during the booking process. Further, enforcement of section 4573 does not violate the Fifth Amendment ban on the criminal use of compelled incriminating testimony as the statute does not coerce anyone to admit guilt of any crime or punish them for failing to do so.
- Full text of Baker v. Am. Horticulture Supply, Inc [HTML]
- Full text of Baker v. Am. Horticulture Supply, Inc. [PDF]
- Full text of Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Assoc. Inc [HTML]
- Full text of Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Assoc. Inc. [PDF]
- Full text of Yanez v. SOMA Envtl. Eng'g, Inc [HTML]
- Full text of Yanez v. SOMA Envtl. Eng'g, Inc. [PDF]
- Full text of People v. Int'l Fid. Ins., Co [HTML]
- Full text of People v. Int'l Fid. Ins., Co. [PDF]
- Full text of People v. Gastello [HTML]
- Full text of People v. Gastello [PDF]
- Full text of People v. Low [HTML]
- Full text of People v. Low [PDF]