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Liability Reform Insider

Liability Reform Insider

About the Insider

Overview

Liability Reform Insider is CJAC’s regular update of developments in the California Legislature, appellate courts, and more impacting civil liability.

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Want weekly legislative updates and even more inside information on Sacramento happenings? Become a CJAC member. Visit our Membership page for more information.

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New Privacy Agency Invites Preliminary Comments to Rulemaking

Ahead of formal rulemaking, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) invited preliminary comments on proposed rulemaking under the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA). CJAC collected member feedback and filed comments their behalf in early November.

CPPA asked for input specifically around topics including:

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Review Denied In Qaadir V. Figueroa

Earlier this month the California Supreme Court denied review in Qaadir v. Figueroa, et al. CJAC had filed a letter brief on September 29 urging the review of Second Appellate Court’s decision.

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Ninth Circuit Reinstates AB 51 Ban on Mandatory Workplace Arbitration

Last week, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled, 2-1, in Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta to lift the injunction on California’s Assembly Bill 51, which bans arbitration agreements that are required as a condition of employment. 

The panel held AB 51’s ban is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In a confusing analysis, the court reasoned that AB 51 merely deals with “pre-agreement behavior” and only prohibits agreements that are not “consensual.” 

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CJAC Fights Triple Threat Bills Down to the Wire

This year’s legislative session wrapped up late on Friday, September 10, and unfortunately several remaining Triple Threat Bills CJAC opposed during the last weeks of session were sent to the governor’s desk. CJAC will continue to advocate to the Governor’s office to veto these measures.

Governor Newsom has until October 10, 2021, to sign or veto these bills.
 

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CJAC Victory: Double Win in Contractor Liability Cases

Two significant cases impacting contractor liability received favorable back-to-back California Supreme Court rulings. CJAC advocated in support of the rulings in both cases with amicus briefs. 

After a long wait, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion in Gonzalez v. Mathis in August that said when a homeowner (singing legend Johnny Mathis, in this case) hires a contractor, they delegate the responsibility for workplace safety to the contractor and should not be expected to take measures providing protection against a known hazard. 

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Court of Appeals Releases Opinion on ‘Reasonable Value’ of Medical Services

On August 11, the Second Appellate District, Div. Eight, released a disappointing opinion in Qaadir v. Figueroa, et al., B306011. 
 
The issue: How should a trial court determine the “reasonable value” of medical services for a plaintiff who eschews existing health plan coverage and instead obtains treatment from out-of-plan medical providers who charge hyper-inflated prices in return for a lien on the plaintiff’s litigation recovery?
 

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CA Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Needed Product Disclosure Duty Guidance

On July 14, the California Supreme Court denied review in Scott Nalick v. Seagate Technology, S268227. In June, CJAC submitted a letter brief to the Court urging review.
 
The issue: In a lawsuit under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law based on a material omission by the defendant about its product, must a plaintiff allege and show a safety issue connected to that omission? 
 

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State Bar Names New Chief Trial Counsel

After months of vacancy, the State Bar of California appointed a new Chief Trial Counsel on August 27, 2021, according to a press release. Long-time prosecutor George S. Cardona will lead the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, where he will oversee investigations and prosecution in disciplinary matters. Cardona is expected to start October 4, 2021, pending Senate confirmation. 

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AG Candidate Anne Marie Schubert Raises $1 Million

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (July 2021) – Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has raised $1 million for her 2022 campaign for attorney general since announcing her candidacy two months ago, the Sacramento Bee reported. She is running on a non-partisan, victim-centered platform and said her donors span the political spectrum. She is well known for her role in taking down the Golden State Killer.

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Serial ADA Lawsuit Filer Remains Fast and Furious

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (July 2021) – Sacramento attorney Scott Johnson, who is known for his serial filings of lawsuits for ADA violations around the Sacramento region and the Bay Area, has shown no signs of slowing down in recent months.

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