Karyne T. Ghantous of Ghantous Law Corporation in San Ramon, California, obtained a dismissal with prejudice for her clients, after prevailing on two legal challenges to a wrongful death action filed in Alameda County Superior Court. The firm used a “demurrer” to support its position that the lawsuit was improperly filed and should be dismissed as a matter of law (by the court and, in this case, before the lawsuit even begins). (more…)
When insurers cover a risk the determination of what qualifies as a covered claim is often dependent upon the Court’s interpretation of the alleged toxin in the context of toxic tort litigation. Pet urine and feces can cause bodily injury and/or property damage giving rise to a third party claim but are these claims excluded under a general liability policy? The answer is dependent upon your jurisdiction and the case law interpreting the applicable toxic tort liability policy.
An article on this issue can be found here.
Court orders Chipotle to produce third party consultant reports. When evaluating liabilities, companies often turn to outside consultants in the interpretation of internal activities that would not ordinarily be subject to discovery. To protect these investigations, the company should consider retaining defense counsel to both retain and communicate with the third party consultant. Documents and email communications should be appropriately marked privileged and confidential. Chipotle learned the hard way. Article.
With any construction law claim, the builder or general contractor is usually liable to the owner and cannot delegate the contractual and statutory obligations owing to the owner by simply pointing to a subcontractor. Consequently, the written contract and insurance policies typically govern the liability each party faces when presented with a claim. (more…)
California draws a distinction between communications that enjoy an absolute privilege versus those that are considered to be a qualified privilege. Usually, communications on ordinary business operations are either not deemed to be privileged or falling under a qualified privilege. The burden falls on the party claiming privilege to establish that the communication was made in anticipation of litigation and with the expectation of privacy. (more…)