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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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Article

Longtime CA Appellate Justices Bigelow, Benke Retiring

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (July 2021) – Presiding Justice Tricia A. Bigelow, who serves the Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight, retired effective June 30 after 35 years of public service in California. Bigelow was confirmed to her position in 2010 after serving as an associate justice for the division. She’s received two prestigious legal awards and has authored several publications during her career. 
 

Article

CA Supreme Court Declines to Review Safety Issues under UCL and CLRA

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (July 2021) – On July 14, the California Supreme Court denied review in Scott Nalick v. Seagate Technology, S268227. Last month, 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? 
 

Press Release

Asms. B. Rubio and Choi Receive 2021 Civil Justice Gavels

June 14, 2021

Two Assemblymembers Recognized as Champions of Legal Reform

Civil Justice Association of California Announces 2021 “Civil Justice Gavel” Award Recipients

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 14, 2021)—The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) is pleased to announce that it has selected Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-48) and Assemblymember Steven Choi (R-68) to receive the 2021 Civil Justice Gavel award.

Article

CA Privacy Agency Holds Off on Regulatory Authority

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – The Board for the California Privacy Protection Agency (CalPPA) held its inaugural meeting on June 14, during which the board took up the topic of whether to provide notice to the Attorney General of its intent to assume rulemaking authority for the California Privacy Rights Act.

Article

California Ranks Fifth Best on 2020 ‘Justice Index’

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – The National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ) has released its latest Justice Index for 2020, which evaluates and ranks every state in the U.S. on its ability to provide all people with meaningful access to justice.

California came in at number five on the list and is the highest ranked state in the Western U.S.

Article

Non-Lawyer Legal Practice “Sandbox” Developing

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – The California state bar is continuing efforts to create a “regulatory sandbox” that would allow for experimentation with legal services, including non-lawyer legal practice.

In 2018, the bar set out to make regulatory changes that would allow better access to and delivery of legal resources. Out of that process came the Closing the Justice Gap working group, which then proposed the sandbox concept.

Article

Stalled: Bill Increasing Healthcare Costs, Creating New PAGA Action

CJAC Liabilty Reform Insider (June 2021) – AB 650 (Muratsuchi), which requires additional hazard pay and retention bonuses for health care employees who worked during the pandemic, went to the inactive file on June 3, causing it to miss the house of origin deadline and halting it for the year. Proponents may attempt to revive it with another vehicle, however.

Article

Set of Contractor Employee Liability Cases Before CA Supreme Court

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – Two cases are currently before the California Supreme Court dealing with the issue of liability for injuries sustained by contractor employees – Gonzalez v. Mathis and Sandoval v. Qualcomm. CJAC filed amicus briefs in both cases.

Article

Hearing Set in “Reasonable Value” of Medical Services Case

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – Oral argument has been set for June 29 in the Second Appellate District, Div. Eight in Qaadir v. Figueroa, et al., B306011. CJAC filed an amicus brief in the case in April.

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 hyperinflated prices in return for a lien on the plaintiff’s litigation recovery?
 

Article

CJAC Joins Ag., Other Trade Organizations in Challenge to Prop 65

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (June 2021) – CJAC, along with a large number of other trade associations, filed an amici brief on May 19 in National Association of Wheat Growers v. Rob Bonta, Attorney General of California.

In the brief, amici argue that requiring Prop 65 cancer warnings for glyphosate violates the First Amendment as the warnings are compelled false speech.

OP Ed

Provide reasonable COVID-19 liability protections for small businesses

Monterey Herald - May 3, 2021

Monterey Herald published version here.

By Kyla Christoffersen Powell and John Kabateck

For months, California businesses have been on edge about potential lawsuits tied to the pandemic, such as those alleging COVID-19 exposure at the business or issues tied to novel remote work situations.

Post

Pain and Suffering Damages Expansion Bill Passed By Senate

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (May 3, 2021) – SB 447 (Laird), which will dramatically expand pain and suffering damages, was passed by the Senate last week and is headed to the Assembly.
 
SB 447 seeks to change existing California law to allow pain and suffering damages in survival actions. Existing law prevents such recovery but allows punitive and economic damages. The bill is a massive expansion of damages and could affect all industries subject to personal injury actions in California.

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Online Marketplace Strict Liability Bill Shelved Following Appellate Decision

Computer with shopping cart

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (May 3, 2021) – Assemblymember Mark Stone (D) announced last week that he has decided to hold AB 1182, following a recent decision by the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal in Kisha Loomis v. Amazon.com LLC.

AB 1182 proposes to expand strict liability to online marketplaces for defects in products sold by sellers via the marketplaces. The bill is similar Stone’s AB 3262, which stalled at the end of session last year.

Post

Covid Liability Protection Bill Refused Hearing

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (April 22, 2021) – CJAC is continuing to advocate for Covid liability protections this year, including through AB 247. We are co-sponsoring the bill with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).  
 

Post

Courts Split on Website Accessibility Obligations, Federal Legislation Reintroduced

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (April 29, 2021) – In early April, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. that websites are not a place of public accommodation under the ADA. The court also rejected the Ninth Circuit’s view that a website or app is covered by the ADA if it has a “nexus” to a physical place of accommodation, adopted in Robles v. Domino’s in which a blind plaintiff sued Domino’s pizza.
 

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