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Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[08/14] Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company
Affirming the grant of summary judgment to the defendant in the case of a plaintiff who was injured when, while inspecting a home offered for sale, the diving board he was standing on collapsed and he fell into the property's empty pool, because although the plaintiff claimed that they were also arguing the existence of a dangerous condition this claim was never pled and even if it had been it would have failed because the accident was not reasonably foreseeable.

[08/10] Towery v. State of California
Affirming the determination, in the case of a man who caught valley fever while incarcerated in a state prison, that the State is immune from liability against a Bane Act cause of action because, subject to exceptions not relevant to the claim, a public entity is not liable for an injury to any prisoner.

[08/10] Parrish v. Watkins
Affirming the Court of Appeals determination that while a case's success after a hearing on the merits typically forecloses subsequent malicious prosecution claims; a case that survives a motion for summary judgment but is determined to have been brought in bad faith after trial does not foreclose malicious prosecution actions under the interim adverse judgment rule.

[08/10] Parrish v. Watkins
Affirming the Court of Appeals determination that while a case's success after a hearing on the merits typically forecloses subsequent malicious prosecution claims; a case that survives a motion for summary judgment but is determined to have been brought in bad faith after trial does not foreclose malicious prosecution actions under the interim adverse judgment rule.

[07/27] Toeppe v. City of San Diego
Reversing the final judgment following a motion for summary judgment by the defendant city in the case of an injury that occurred when a tree branch fell on a woman walking through a city park because trail immunity did not apply and a disputed issue of material fact existed as to where the woman was when the tree branch struck her.

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Labor & Employment Law

[08/17] Moon v. Breathless Inc.
Reversing and remanding a case involving a contract between a dancer and a men's club where the District Court held that an arbitration clause in a signed contract covered statutory claims because under New Jersey law an arbitration clause must establish that the employee agrees to arbitrate all statutory claims, reference the claims waived, and explain the difference between arbitration and litigation, and the agreement at issue did not meet all requirements.

[08/16] Merrick v. Hilton Worldwide, Inc.
Affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defense on age discrimination claims because the plaintiff failed to establish one of the requirements for such a claim, namely that following the plaintiff's discharge he was not replaced by substantially younger employees or discharged under circumstances that inferred discrimination.

[08/15] McNelis v. Pennsylvania Power & Light Company
Affirming the judgment of the District Court holding that a worker, complaining of his termination after failing a fitness for duty examination and averring that his termination was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because the court found that he was fired because he lacked a legally mandated job requirement, namely unrestricted security access authorization required by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Committee.

[08/14] Retirement Committee of Dak Americas LLC v. Brewer
Partially affirming and partially vacating a decision awarding summary judgment to the plaintiffs and denying defendants' cross motion for summary judgment in the ERISA case of a lawsuit to recover alleged overpayment into the retirement benefits of certain employees who asserted they were entitled to the payments they received, holding that the summary judgment was correctly entered, but vacating the decision as it applied to a single defendant whose unique claims raised issues of triable fact.

[08/14] Hermes of Paris Inc. v. Swain
Affirming the district court's diversity jurisdiction in a discrimination and hostile work environment suit in which a plaintiff argued that the lack of complete diversity in the suit, because the plaintiff and the Hermes employee whose acts gave rise to the suit both resided in the same state, left the court without subject matter jurisdiction to compel arbitration, but the court cited precedent that established that requiring complete diversity would undermine the intent of the Federal Arbitration Act.

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Workers' Comp

[07/28] Baker v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board
Affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board that the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund benefits commence at the time the employer's obligation to pay permanent disability benefits begin.

[07/21] Chugach Management Services Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Jetnil
Denying the petition for review of the award of disability benefits under the Defense Base Act and the application of a judicially-created 'zone of special danger' doctrine to a local national injured while employed by a government contractor overseas.

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

[04/26] City of Jackson v. WCAB
In a workers' compensation case, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision disregarding the apportionment determination of the qualified medical evaluator (QME) on the ground the determination was not substantial medical evidence and directing the workers' compensation administrative law judge (ALJ) to make an award of unapportioned disability, is annulled where: 1) apportionment may be properly based on genetics/hereditability; 2) the QME properly apportioned disability; and 3) the QME's opinion Is based on substantial medical evidence.

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