Decisions in Criminal, Contracts, Tort, Labor & Administrative Matters - Contract Law - California Case Law
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Decisions in Criminal, Contracts, Tort, Labor & Administrative Matters

Ted Jacob Eng'g. Group, Inc. v. Ratcliff Architects, A122932, involved a subcontractor's suit against defendant-architects for breach of contract and other causes of action, in connection with a city hospital renovation and expansion project.  In affirming the judgment of the trial court, the court held that in the absence of a negotiated agreement upon price, and assuming no contrary contractual provision applies, a subcontractor may still pursue a claim seeking a judicial determination of additional fees when it performs work demanded of it by the general contractor constituting a material change in the scope of work defined under the contract.  Further, if good faith negotiation between the parties fails to result in agreement on price, the subcontractor is not required to elect between the job and forfeiting its right of recovery if it elects to perform the required work.

 

People v. Russell, D054408, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for first-degree murder, evading an officer and causing serious bodily injury or death, residential burglary, and vehicle theft, and a sentence of indeterminate term of 26 years to life.  In affirming both the conviction and the sentence, the court held that the escape rule does apply to the crime of burglary whether or not anyone was home at the time that the burglary was committed.  The court also held that there is substantial evidence to support the felony murder conviction, and that defendant's sentence is not cruel or unusual.

People v. Moore, B215307, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for second degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, and related crimes.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that a properly instructed jury found implied malice and under all the circumstances, the finding is reasonable.  Also, the jury could reasonably conclude that defendant's prior conviction for driving while intoxicated put him on notice of the consequences of driving with extreme recklessness and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling the evidence admissible under Evidence Code section 352.

Morton v. Thousand Oaks Surgical Hosp., B212585, concerned a challenge to the trial court's dismissal after sustaining a demurrer to plaintiffs' cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), in plaintiffs' suit against a hospital and physicians alleging a cause of action for NEID, arising from their mother's surgery for a sigmoid colon resection.  In affirming, the court held that the plaintiffs' allegation, that they were "experienced in the medical field and understood and appreciated the dangers faced by their mother" in the event remedial action was not taken, is insufficient to establish that plaintiffs knew and appreciated the medical circumstances affecting their mother.

Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, Inc., B212062, involved plaintiffs' putative class action lawsuit against California Commerce Club, Inc. (Club), claiming that they and other similarly situated members of the class were injured by the defendant's unlawful policy and practice of denying meal and rest breaks to certain hourly, non-union employees.  In reversing the trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend, the court held that it was premature for the trial court to make determinations pertaining to class suitability on demurrer as plaintiffs' allegations of the operative complaint are sufficient to move the action beyond the pleading stage.

Ruiz v. Podolsky, S175204, involved a medical malpractice and wrongful death suit, brought by decedent's wife and children, against an orthopedic surgeon and other health care providers.  In reversing the judgment of the court of appeal, the court remanded as, in accordance with the intent of the Legislature that enacted Code of Civil Procedure section 1295 and related statutes, all wrongful death claimants are bound by arbitration agreements entered into pursuant to section 1295, at least when, as here, the language of the agreement manifests an intent to bind these claimants.

Murray v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., S162570, involved a plaintiff's suit against Alaska Airlines claiming wrongful termination and retaliation for whistleblowing, brought after a final decision by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the whistleblower protection provision of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21).  In answering a certified question from the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court found that, given the factual and procedural circumstances of this case, the Secretary's factual findings on the issue of causation,

People v. Russell, D054408, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for first-degree murder, evading an officer and causing serious bodily injury or death, residential burglary, and vehicle theft, and a sentence of indeterminate term of 26 years to life.  In affirming both the conviction and the sentence, the court held that the escape rule does apply to the crime of burglary whether or not anyone was home at the time that the burglary was committed.  The court also held that there is substantial evidence to support the felony murder conviction, and that defendant's sentence is not cruel or unusual.

People v. Moore, B215307, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for second degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, and related crimes.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that a properly instructed jury found implied malice and under all the circumstances, the finding is reasonable.  Also, the jury could reasonably conclude that defendant's prior conviction for driving while intoxicated put him on notice of the consequences of driving with extreme recklessness and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling the evidence admissible under Evidence Code section 352.

Morton v. Thousand Oaks Surgical Hosp., B212585, concerned a challenge to the trial court's dismissal after sustaining a demurrer to plaintiffs' cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), in plaintiffs' suit against a hospital and physicians alleging a cause of action for NEID, arising from their mother's surgery for a sigmoid colon resection.  In affirming, the court held that the plaintiffs' allegation, that they were "experienced in the medical field and understood and appreciated the dangers faced by their mother" in the event remedial action was not taken, is insufficient to establish that plaintiffs knew and appreciated the medical circumstances affecting their mother.

Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, Inc., B212062, involved plaintiffs' putative class action lawsuit against California Commerce Club, Inc. (Club), claiming that they and other similarly situated members of the class were injured by the defendant's unlawful policy and practice of denying meal and rest breaks to certain hourly, non-union employees.  In reversing the trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend, the court held that it was premature for the trial court to make determinations pertaining to class suitability on demurrer as plaintiffs' allegations of the operative complaint are sufficient to move the action beyond the pleading stage.

Ruiz v. Podolsky, S175204, involved a medical malpractice and wrongful death suit, brought by decedent's wife and children, against an orthopedic surgeon and other health care providers.  In reversing the judgment of the court of appeal, the court remanded as, in accordance with the intent of the Legislature that enacted Code of Civil Procedure section 1295 and related statutes, all wrongful death claimants are bound by arbitration agreements entered into pursuant to section 1295, at least when, as here, the language of the agreement manifests an intent to bind these claimants.

Murray v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., S162570, involved a plaintiff's suit against Alaska Airlines claiming wrongful termination and retaliation for whistleblowing, brought after a final decision by the U.S. Secretary of Labor under the whistleblower protection provision of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21).  In answering a certified question from the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court found that, given the factual and procedural circumstances of this case, the Secretary's factual findings on the issue of causation, embodied in a final non-appealable order should be afforded preclusive effect in this subsequent court action between the same parties, as the AIR 21 statutory scheme gave plaintiff the right to formal de novo hearing of record before an ALJ, and further gave him the right to appeal the Secretary's order to the appropriate United States Court of Appeals in accordance with the Administrative Act.

Related Resources:

•Full text of Ted Jacob Eng'g. Group, Inc. v. Ratcliff Architects, A122932
•Full text of People v. Russell, D054408
•Full text of People v. Moore, B215307
•Full text of Morton v. Thousand Oaks Surgical Hosp., B212585
•Full text of Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, Inc., B212062
•Full text of Murray v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., S162570
•Full text of Ruiz v. Podolsky, S175204

 embodied in a final non-appealable order should be afforded preclusive effect in this subsequent court action between the same parties, as the AIR 21 statutory scheme gave plaintiff the right to formal de novo hearing of record before an ALJ, and further gave him the right to appeal the Secretary's order to the appropriate United States Court of Appeals in accordance with the Administrative Act.

Related Resources:

•Full text of Ted Jacob Eng'g. Group, Inc. v. Ratcliff Architects, A122932
•Full text of People v. Russell, D054408
•Full text of People v. Moore, B215307
•Full text of Morton v. Thousand Oaks Surgical Hosp., B212585
•Full text of Gutierrez v. California Commerce Club, Inc., B212062
•Full text of Murray v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., S162570
•Full text of Ruiz v. Podolsky, S175204