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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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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.

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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.

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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).  
 

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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.
 

Press Release

Civil Justice Association of California Announces 2021 Triple Threat Bills

April 15, 2021

Bills on the list will lead to frivolous suits, excessive lawyer fees and fiscal problems

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – April 15, 2021 – The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has released its list of Triple Threat Bills for the 2021 legislative year, highlighting the organization’s top priority bills that threaten to undermine fairness and balance in the state’s civil justice system.

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CJAC Urges CA Supreme Court to Uphold Med-Mal Damages Cap

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (March 2021) – On March 1, CJAC filed an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in Marisol Lopez v. Glenn Ledesma, M.D., et al., S262487.
 
In this case, at bench trial the plaintiff won $11,200 for economic damages and $4.25 million in non-economic damages in her medical malpractice action for the death of her four-year-old daughter. The court then reduced the non-economic damage award to $250,000 pursuant to MICRA.
 

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CJAC Win: Non-Economic Damages Apportionment

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (March 2021) – In a major victory on the side of fair apportionment of non-economic damages, the Second Appellate District Court issued a unanimous, unpublished decision on March 25 in Putt v. CBS Corporation (Ford Motor Co.), which reversed the jury’s apportionment of 100% of fault to Ford for plaintiff’s injury.

CJAC originally filed an amici brief, joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  in the case on January 6.

In the opinion, the court remanded for a new trial on the issues of:

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