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California Tort Guide

Now includes 20+ attorney-drafted sample forms

 

Contains in-depth discussions about the principles, authorities, causes of action, and defenses that control 12 specific personal injury situations. Includes chapters on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and consumer manufacturers. Contains sample forms and commentary on drafting complaints and responsive pleadings, discovery requests, and settlement demands and offers for the most common personal injury actions.

 

Contains in-depth discussions about the principles, authorities, causes of action, and defenses that control 12 specific personal injury situations. Includes chapters on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and consumer manufacturers. Contains sample forms and commentary on drafting complaints and responsive pleadings, discovery requests, and settlement demands and offers for the most common personal injury actions.

  • Airplanes
  • Animals
  • Automobiles
  • Carriers
  • Construction work
  • Electricity
  • Governmental liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Railroad crossings
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
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Contains in-depth discussions about the principles, authorities, causes of action, and defenses that control 12 specific personal injury situations. Includes chapters on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and consumer manufacturers. Contains sample forms and commentary on drafting complaints and responsive pleadings, discovery requests, and settlement demands and offers for the most common personal injury actions.

  • Airplanes
  • Animals
  • Automobiles
  • Carriers
  • Construction work
  • Electricity
  • Governmental liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Railroad crossings
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices

1

General Principles

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope Note  1.1
    • B.  New Torts
      • 1.  Generally  1.2
      • 2.  Spoliation of Evidence  1.3
  • II.  NEGLIGENCE
    • A.  Terminology; Ordinary Care Standard  1.4
    • B.  Negligence Causes of Action: Elements  1.5
      • 1.  Duty
        • a.  Need for Duty Determination  1.6
        • b.  Applying Rowland or Bily Factors  1.7
        • c.  Inferring Duty From Affirmative Conduct; Negligent Undertaking Doctrine  1.8
        • d.  Court’s Role in Determining Duty  1.9
        • e.  Foreseeability of Risk as Duty Component  1.10
      • 2.  Breach of Duty
        • a.  Misfeasance and Nonfeasance  1.11
        • b.  Intentional Breach of Duty  1.12
        • c.  Engaging in Ultrahazardous Activity  1.13
      • 3.  Causation
        • a.  Substantial Factor Test  1.14
        • b.  Defining “Proximate” or “Legal” Cause  1.15
        • c.  Proving Causation  1.16
        • d.  Concurring Cause; Alternative Cause  1.17
        • e.  Superseding Cause  1.18
      • 4.  Injury  1.19
    • C.  Special Standards and Duties
      • 1.  Minors  1.20
      • 2.  Disabled Persons  1.21
      • 3.  Occupational Standards; Professionals; Specialists  1.22
    • D.  Liability for Conduct of Third Persons; Special Relationships  1.23
      • 1.  Law Enforcement Personnel  1.24
      • 2.  Health Care Providers  1.25
      • 3.  Family Members; Friends  1.26
      • 4.  Employers  1.27
      • 5.  Businesses; Suppliers of Dangerous Chattels  1.28
      • 6.  Schools and School Districts  1.29
      • 7.  Clergy and Religious Organizations  1.30
    • E.  Presumptions Affecting Proof
      • 1.  Violation of Statute, Ordinance, or Regulation  1.31
        • a.  Excluded Situations  1.32
        • b.  Violations Shifting Burden of Proof  1.33
        • c.  Rebutting the Presumption  1.34
      • 2.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  1.35
        • a.  Conditions  1.36
          • (1)  Negligence Ordinarily the Cause  1.37
          • (2)  Instrumentality Controlled by Defendant  1.38
          • (3)  No Voluntary Contribution by Plaintiff  1.39
        • b.  Rebutting the Presumption  1.40
    • F.  Defenses to Negligence Claims
      • 1.  Comparative Fault  1.41
        • a.  Contributory Negligence  1.42
          • (1)  Secondary Assumption of Risk  1.43
          • (2)  Rescue Situations  1.44
        • b.  Contributory Willful Misconduct  1.45
      • 2.  Assumption of Risk  1.46
        • a.  Primary Assumption of Risk  1.47
          • (1)  Distinguishing Primary From Secondary Assumption of Risk  1.48
          • (2)  Sports or Recreational Activities Involving Inherent Risk  1.49
          • (3)  Nature of Duty Depends on Defendant’s Role  1.49A
          • (4)  Other Contexts in Which Doctrine Applies  1.49B
          • (5)  Liability of Instructors, Coaches, and Trainers  1.50
          • (6)  Liability of Equipment Suppliers  1.51
          • (7)  Liability for Risks Deemed Not “Inherent”  1.52
          • (8)  Effect of Violating Statute or Ordinance  1.53
          • (9)  Federal Causes of Action  1.54
        • b.  Express Assumption of Risk: Exculpatory Agreements; Pre-Injury Releases  1.55
        • c.  Firefighter’s Rule  1.56
      • 3.  Failure to Mitigate Damages  1.57
  • III.  WILLFUL MISCONDUCT
    • A.  Definition; Elements; Effect of Finding  1.58
    • B.  Defenses to Willful Misconduct Claims
      • 1.  Contributory Negligence  1.59
      • 2.  Contributory Willful Misconduct  1.60
      • 3.  Assumption of Risk  1.61
    • C.  Punitive Damages  1.62
  • IV.  COMPARATIVE INDEMNITY
    • A.  Defendants’ Claims Against Cotortfeasors  1.63
    • B.  Particular Situations
      • 1.  Successive Tortfeasors  1.64
      • 2.  Loss of Consortium  1.65
      • 3.  Strict Liability  1.66
      • 4.  Willful Misconduct  1.67
    • C.  Defenses to Comparative Indemnity Claims  1.68
    • D.  Comparative Indemnity for Commercial Losses  1.69
  • V.  PROPOSITION 51 (FAIR RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1986)  1.70

2

Airplanes

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  2.1
  • II.  LIABILITY
    • A.  Applicability of Basic Tort Law  2.2
      • 1.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  2.3
      • 2.  Violation of Statute or Regulation  2.4
      • 3.  Expert Testimony  2.5
    • B.  Choice of Law; Jurisdiction; Inconvenient Forum  2.6
    • C.  Persons Liable
      • 1.  Pilots  2.7
      • 2.  Airplane Owners and Lessors  2.8
      • 3.  Employers  2.9
      • 4.  Manufacturers, Suppliers, Repairers  2.10
      • 5.  Chart Publishers  2.11
      • 6.  Landing Strip Operators  2.12
      • 7.  Air Show Organizers  2.13
      • 8.  United States
        • a.  Air Traffic Control  2.14
        • b.  Federal Aviation Administration Functions  2.15
        • c.  Military Activities  2.16
    • D.  Air Carriers’ Duties to Passengers
      • 1.  Common Carrier’s Duty to Passenger for Reward  2.17
        • a.  Applying Res Ipsa Loquitur  2.18
        • b.  Applying Federal Preemption  2.19
      • 2.  Private Carrier’s Duty to Passenger for Reward  2.20
      • 3.  Carrier’s Duty to Guest or Gratuitous Passengers  2.21
    • E.  Warsaw Convention; Montreal Convention; Montreal Agreement  2.22
      • 1.  Effect of Airline’s Willful Misconduct  2.23
      • 2.  Events Within Definition of “Accident”  2.24
      • 3.  Preemption of State Tort Law  2.25
      • 4.  Preboarding and Postdisembarking Injuries  2.26
      • 5.  Notice to Passengers  2.27
      • 6.  Damages Preclusions: Emotional Distress; Wrongful Death  2.28
      • 7.  Damage to Freight  2.29
  • III.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Contributory Negligence; Comparative Fault and Indemnity  2.30
    • B.  Assumption of Risk; Exculpatory Agreements  2.31
    • C.  Statute of Limitations  2.32

3

Animals

  • I.  PERSONS LIABLE; THEORIES
    • A.  Keeper or Owner  3.1
      • 1.  Strict Liability
        • a.  Dog-Bite Statute  3.2
        • b.  Dangerous Animal Rule; Known Dangerous Traits  3.3
          • (1)  Traits Other Than Biting  3.4
          • (2)  Knowledge of Trait
            • (a)  Proof  3.5
            • (b)  Constructive and Imputed Knowledge  3.6
        • c.  Trespassing Animals  3.7
      • 2.  Negligence  3.8
        • a.  Failure to Warn, Restrain, or Control  3.9
        • b.  Failure to Vaccinate Dog for Rabies  3.10
        • c.  Violation of Local Leash Law  3.11
        • d.  Livestock on Highway
          • (1)  Duty to Keep Highway Clear  3.12
          • (2)  Proof of Negligence  3.13
    • B.  Owner’s Employer  3.14
    • C.  Owner’s Landlord
      • 1.  Injury on Premises  3.15
      • 2.  Injury off Premises  3.16
    • D.  Seller; Bailor  3.17
    • E.  Business or Entity That Permits Animals on Premises  3.18
    • F.  Carrier  3.19
    • G.  Stablekeeper Furnishing Horses
      • 1.  Furnishing Safe and Suitable Horse
        • a.  Duty to Determine Suitability  3.20
        • b.  Proving Knowledge or Negligence  3.21
        • c.  Effect of Warning  3.22
      • 2.  Care in Saddling; Safe Equipment  3.23
    • H.  Liability of Instructors and Trainers  3.24
  • II.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Statute of Limitations  3.25
    • B.  Contributory Negligence
      • 1.  As Defense to Strict Liability Cause of Action  3.26
      • 2.  As Defense to Negligence Cause of Action  3.27
      • 3.  Secondary Assumption of Risk  3.28
    • C.  Assumption of Risk That Bars Recovery  3.29
      • 1.  Injury Caused by Dog; Veterinarian’s Rule  3.30
      • 2.  Injury Caused by Horse
        • a.  Primary Assumption of Risk  3.31
        • b.  Express Assumption of Risk: Exculpatory Agreements (Releases)  3.32
    • D.  Willfully Invited Injury  3.33
    • E.  Public Entity Immunities  3.34
    • F.  Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA)  3.35
  • III.  SAMPLE FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries  3.36
    • B.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries and Property Damage (Judicial Council Form PLD-PI-001)—Strict Liability for Dog Bite Under CC §3342  3.37
    • C.  Form: Sample Case Questionnaire—For Limited Civil Cases (Under $25,000) (Judicial Council Form DISC-010)  3.38

4

Automobiles

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  4.1
  • II.  PERSONS LIABLE; DUTIES
    • A.  Drivers
      • 1.  Duty to Use Ordinary Care: Standard for Adults, Minors, and Impaired Persons  4.2
        • a.  Vigilance, Control, and Lookout  4.3
          • (1)  Limited Visibility; Range of Vision  4.4
          • (2)  Inference of Negligence From Loss of Control (Res Ipsa Loquitur)  4.5
        • b.  Right to Assume Due Care by Others  4.6
        • c.  Sudden Emergency; Imminent Peril  4.7
        • d.  Sudden Illness or Disability  4.8
        • e.  Private Roads or Premises  4.9
      • 2.  Duties Based on Statutes
        • a.  Rules of the Road; Presumption of Negligence  4.10
        • b.  Persons Subject to Traffic Laws  4.11
          • (1)  Highway Workers  4.12
          • (2)  Emergency Vehicle Drivers  4.13
        • c.  Particular Traffic Rules
          • (1)  Right Side of Road  4.14
          • (2)  Right-of-Way Rules  4.15
          • (3)  Speed
            • (a)  Basic Speed Law  4.16
            • (b)  Maximum Limits  4.17
            • (c)  Prima Facie and Posted Limits  4.18
            • (d)  Racing on Streets  4.19
            • (e)  Minimum Speed Law  4.20
          • (4)  Stopping, Standing, and Parking  4.21
          • (5)  Following; Rear-End Collisions  4.22
          • (6)  Duties to Pedestrians  4.23
          • (7)  Duty to Stop and Render Aid; Hit-and-Run Accidents  4.24
          • (8)  Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drug  4.25
      • 3.  Intentional, Willful, and Reckless Misconduct  4.26
      • 4.  Duty to Riders in Vehicle  4.27
    • B.  Owners
      • 1.  Vicarious Liability for Permissive Use  4.28
        • a.  Liability Limits  4.29
        • b.  Who Is an Owner
          • (1)  Co-Owners; Legal, Registered, and True Owners; Personal Representatives  4.30
          • (2)  Spouses  4.31
          • (3)  Effect of Sale; Transfer Requirements  4.32
        • c.  Permission to Use Vehicle  4.33
          • (1)  Implied Permission  4.34
          • (2)  Restrictions on Permission  4.35
          • (3)  Use by Subpermittee  4.36
        • d.  Availability of Driver’s Defenses to Owner  4.37
      • 2.  Negligent Entrustment  4.38
      • 3.  Failure to Equip and Maintain Safe Vehicle  4.39
      • 4.  Failure to Take Precautions Against Theft  4.40
    • C.  Adults Liable for Minors’ Fault
      • 1.  Signing Minor’s Driver’s License Application  4.41
      • 2.  Permitting Minor to Operate Vehicle  4.42
      • 3.  Liability Limits  4.43
    • D.  Supervisors of Drivers With Instruction Permits  4.44
    • E.  Employers and Principals
      • 1.  Respondeat Superior  4.45
        • a.  Distinguishing Employee From Independent Contractor  4.46
          • (1)  Right to Control  4.47
          • (2)  Right to Fire or to Quit  4.48
          • (3)  Special Occupations
            • (a)  Truckers; Delivery Drivers  4.49
            • (b)  Salesmen; Retailers  4.50
          • (4)  Dual Employment; General and Special Employment  4.51
          • (5)  Partners and Joint Venturers  4.52
        • b.  Scope of Employment  4.53
          • (1)  Inference From Ownership of Vehicle  4.54
          • (2)  Deviation From Duty or Route; Disobedience of Employer’s Rule or Instruction  4.55
          • (3)  Going to and Coming From Place of Employment  4.56
          • (4)  Special Errands; Social Functions  4.57
      • 2.  Employer’s Personal Negligence
        • a.  Entrusting Vehicle to Unfit Driver  4.58
        • b.  Failing to Equip or Maintain Vehicle  4.59
      • 3.  Liability for Independent Contractors’ Fault
        • a.  Public Franchise Rule; Carriers  4.60
        • b.  Contractor Hired to Do Dangerous Work  4.61
        • c.  Negligent Hiring  4.62
    • F.  Persons Furnishing Alcoholic Beverages  4.63
    • G.  Service Stations, Shops, and Repairers  4.64
    • H.  Law Enforcement Officers; Other Persons  4.65
  • III.  DEFENSES: INJURED PERSON’S FAULT
    • A.  Contributory Negligence  4.66
      • 1.  Riders
        • a.  Failing to Observe and Warn of Danger  4.67
        • b.  Interfering With Driver  4.68
        • c.  Riding in Unsafe Vehicle or With Unfit Driver  4.69
        • d.  Imputed Driver’s Negligence  4.70
        • e.  Failing to Use Seatbelt  4.71
      • 2.  Pedestrians
        • a.  Duties Generally  4.72
        • b.  Minors  4.73
      • 3.  Workers on Roadway  4.74
      • 4.  Avoiding Application of Contributory Negligence
        • a.  Rescue Doctrine  4.75
        • b.  Defendant’s Willful Misconduct  4.76
    • B.  Assumption of Risk
      • 1.  General Principles  4.77
      • 2.  Rider’s Consent to Driver’s Conduct  4.78
      • 3.  Firefighter’s Rule  4.79
    • C.  Plaintiff’s Willful Misconduct  4.80
    • D.  Felons; Uninsured and Drunk Drivers  4.81
  • IV.  POLICE PURSUITS
    • A.  Immunities Under the Vehicle Code  4.82
    • B.  42 USC §1983  4.83
  • V.  SAMPLE FORMS
    • A.  Form: Sample Request for Client’s Billing and Medical Records  4.84
    • B.  Form: Sample Letter Advising Defendant of Client’s Representation by Attorney  4.85
    • C.  Form: Sample Letter Advising Defendant’s Insurance Carrier of Client’s Representation by Attorney  4.86
    • D.  Form: Sample Settlement Demand Letter to Defendant’s Insurance Carrier  4.87
    • E.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages in Automobile Collision Case (Judicial Council Form PLD-PI-001 and Attachments)  4.88

5

Carriers

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  5.1
    • B.  Civil Code Definitions
      • 1.  Carriage; Passenger-Carrier Relationship  5.2
      • 2.  Distinctions Affecting Duty  5.3
        • a.  Liability of Uber Drivers  5.3A
        • b.  Liability of Private Motor Carriers  5.3B
    • C.  Obligation to Carry  5.4
    • D.  Kinds of Conveyances  5.5
  • II.  CARRYING PASSENGERS FOR REWARD
    • A.  Carrier’s Duties
      • 1.  Duty to Use Utmost Care and Diligence  5.6
      • 2.  Duty to Provide and Maintain Safe Equipment  5.7
      • 3.  Duty to Protect Passengers From Assault  5.8
    • B.  Duration of Passenger Status
      • 1.  Boarding  5.9
      • 2.  Alighting  5.10
      • 3.  In Stations  5.11
      • 4.  Duties When Assisting Passengers  5.12
    • C.  Proving Breach: Res Ipsa Loquitur  5.13
      • 1.  Movements of Carrier’s Vehicle  5.14
      • 2.  Collision With Another Vehicle  5.15
      • 3.  Failure of Carrier’s Equipment  5.16
      • 4.  Conditional Res Ipsa Loquitur  5.17
  • III.  CARRYING PASSENGERS WITHOUT REWARD  5.18
  • IV.  CARRYING FREIGHT
    • A.  Carriers’ Duties
      • 1.  Duties of “For Reward” and Common Freight Carriers  5.19
      • 2.  Duties of Gratuitous and Private Freight Carriers  5.20
    • B.  Liability Under Federal Interstate Commerce Law  5.21
  • V.  CARRIERS’ DEFENSES
    • A.  Passengers’ Injury Claims
      • 1.  Contractual Limitations; Design Immunity  5.22
      • 2.  Passenger’s Contributory Negligence  5.23
        • a.  Boarding; Alighting; Leaving Seat  5.24
        • b.  Riding or Protruding Outside Vehicle  5.25
        • c.  Conduct at Station  5.26
      • 3.  Assumption of Risk; Exculpatory Agreements  5.27
    • B.  Shippers’ Claims for Damage to or Loss of Freight or Baggage
      • 1.  Contractual Liability Limits  5.28
      • 2.  Liability Limits in Bills of Lading or Shipping Documents  5.29
      • 3.  Statutory Liability Limits; COGSA  5.30
      • 4.  Other Defenses  5.31
  • VI.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Client Authorization to Release Medical Information  5.32
    • B.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries Based on Carrier’s Negligence (Judicial Council Form PLD-PI-001)  5.33
    • C.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories—Personal Injuries in Carrier Liability Case  5.34
    • D.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Letter Proposing Settlement—Personal Injuries in Carrier Liability Case  5.35

6

Construction Work

  • I.  OWNERS’ AND GENERAL CONTRACTORS’ LIABILITY
    • A.  Liability to Workers
      • 1.  Duty to Use Ordinary Care  6.1
        • a.  Failure to Warn of Dangers  6.2
        • b.  Failure to Correct Dangerous Conditions  6.3
      • 2.  Violation of Safety Statute or Regulation  6.4
        • a.  Cases Under 1972–2000 Law [Deleted]  6.5
        • b.  Cases Under Pre-1972 Law [Deleted]  6.6
      • 3.  Contractual Safety Obligations  6.7
    • B.  Liability to Other Construction Site Visitors  6.8
    • C.  Liability for Acts of Independent Contractors and Subcontractors
      • 1.  General Rule: Nonliability  6.9
      • 2.  Bases for Liability
        • a.  Control; Hiring; Inspection; Supplying Defective Equipment  6.10
        • b.  Negligent Actor Was Employee, Not Independent Contractor  6.11
        • c.  Peculiar Risk Doctrine: Failure to Take Special Precautions for Dangerous Work  6.12
    • D.  Liability After Completion of Work
      • 1.  Negligent Performance  6.13
      • 2.  Strict Liability for Defects  6.14
      • 3.  Breach of Warranty  6.15
  • II.  HIGHWAY CONTRACTORS’ LIABILITY TO TRAVELERS  6.16
  • III.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Missing or Inadequate Certificate of Merit  6.17
    • B.  Statutes of Limitations  6.18
      • 1.  Patent Deficiencies: 4 Years  6.19
      • 2.  Latent Deficiencies: 10 Years  6.20
    • C.  Employer-Employee Relationship (Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity)  6.21
    • D.  Contributory Negligence; Causation  6.22
    • E.  Assumption of Risk; Firefighter’s Rule  6.23
    • F.  Employer’s Concurrent Fault  6.24
    • G.  Other Tortfeasors’ Fault (Proposition 51)  6.25
  • IV.  INDEMNIFICATION  6.26
  • V.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages in Construction Case  6.27
    • B.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Requests for Admission  6.28
    • C.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Statement of Damages  6.29

7

Electricity

  • I.  LIABILITY
    • A.  Basic Duty: Care Commensurate With Danger  7.1
    • B.  Power Lines
      • 1.  Insulation; Clearance  7.2
      • 2.  Inspection of Lines; Constructive Notice of Defects and Changes  7.3
      • 3.  Protecting Against Foreseeable Risks  7.4
      • 4.  Nondelegable Duties  7.5
    • C.  Strict Product Liability  7.6
    • D.  Duty Based on Statute, Regulation, or Order  7.7
    • E.  Liability of Owners and Contractors  7.8
    • F.  Persons to Whom Duty Owed  7.9
  • II.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Contributory Negligence  7.10
    • B.  Assumption of Risk  7.11
    • C.  Plaintiff’s Violation of Statute, Regulation, or Order  7.12
    • D.  Recreational Use Immunity  7.13

8

Governmental Liability

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  8.1
    • B.  General Principles  8.2
  • II.  LIABILITY FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ CONDUCT
    • A.  Respondeat Superior
      • 1.  Ascertaining Employee Status  8.3
      • 2.  Determining Whether Employee Acting in Scope of Employment  8.4
      • 3.  Liability Based on Negligence: Breach of Duty of Care  8.5
      • 4.  Vicarious Liability for Intentional Torts  8.6
      • 5.  Effect of Immunities  8.7
    • B.  Need to Provide Defense, Pay Damages  8.8
    • C.  Liability for Failure to Perform Mandatory Duty  8.9
    • D.  Liability for Acts of Independent Contractors or Joint Venturers  8.10
    • E.  General Immunities
      • 1.  Discretionary Acts and Omissions of Public Employees  8.11
      • 2.  Other General Immunities  8.12
    • F.  Liabilities and Immunities in Specific Functional Areas
      • 1.  Police and Correctional Activities
        • a.  Liabilities  8.13
        • b.  Immunities  8.14
      • 2.  Fire Protection Activities
        • a.  Liability  8.15
        • b.  Immunities  8.16
      • 3.  Other Areas of Liability  8.17
  • III.  LIABILITY FOR DANGEROUS CONDITION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY
    • A.  Liability in General  8.18
      • 1.  Definition of Dangerous Condition  8.19
      • 2.  Substantial Risk of Injury  8.20
      • 3.  Conditions on Adjacent Property  8.21
      • 4.  Due Care Analysis  8.22
      • 5.  Reasonably Foreseeable Manner of Use  8.23
      • 6.  Causation  8.24
      • 7.  Actual or Constructive Notice  8.25
    • B.  Available Defenses  8.26
      • 1.  Comparative Negligence  8.27
      • 2.  Assumption of Risk  8.28
      • 3.  Third Party Negligence  8.29
    • C.  Statutory Immunities
      • 1.  Design Immunity
        • a.  Elements and Burdens of Proof  8.30
        • b.  Loss of Immunity Due to Changed Conditions  8.30A
      • 2.  Traffic Signals, Signs, and Markings; Warning Signals  8.31
      • 3.  Effect of Weather  8.32
      • 4.  Natural Condition of Unimproved Property  8.33
        • a.  Natural Conditions  8.34
        • b.  Roads and Trails, Paved and Unpaved  8.35
      • 5.  Recreational Use Immunity  8.36
      • 6.  Reservoirs, Canals, Conduits, and Drains  8.37
  • IV.  CLAIMS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES AND EMPLOYEES
    • A.  General Requirements
      • 1.  When and How Claim Must Be Presented  8.38
      • 2.  When Claim Accrues  8.39
      • 3.  Public Entity Must Provide Necessary Information  8.40
    • B.  Form and Content of Claim  8.41
    • C.  Consideration of Claim
      • 1.  Response Time to Grant or Deny Claim  8.42
      • 2.  Reconsideration of Claim  8.43
    • D.  Public Entity Must Notify Claimant of Defects  8.44
    • E.  Assessing Substantial Compliance  8.45
    • F.  Estoppel From Invoking Claims Statute  8.46
    • G.  Grounds and Procedure for Late Claim Relief
      • 1.  General Requirements for Application  8.47
      • 2.  Extensions of Time  8.48
      • 3.  If Application to File Late Claim Denied  8.49
      • 4.  Application Granted on Showing of Mistake, Inadvertence, Surprise, or Excusable Neglect  8.50
      • 5.  Effect of Minority  8.51
      • 6.  Effect of Physical or Mental Disability  8.52
      • 7.  Death of Injured Person  8.53
    • H.  When Insurer Involved  8.54
  • V.  ACTIONS AGAINST PUBLIC ENTITIES AND EMPLOYEES
    • A.  Must Present Claim Before Filing Suit
      • 1.  Action Against Public Entity  8.55
      • 2.  Action Against Public Employee  8.56
    • B.  Time Limitations  8.57
      • 1.  Application for Late Claim Relief
        • a.  When Application Granted  8.58
        • b.  Petition to Sue After Late Claim Denied  8.59
      • 2.  Criminal Charge Pending  8.60
    • C.  Award of Defense Costs for Action Not Brought or Maintained in Good Faith or With Reasonable Cause  8.61
    • D.  Damages Assessed Against Employee  8.62
    • E.  Punitive Damages  8.63
    • F.  Available Defenses  8.64
    • G.  Cross-Claims
      • 1.  Claim Filing Requirements  8.65
      • 2.  Comparative Indemnity; Proposition 51  8.66
  • VI.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Petition for Relief From Claim Requirement  8.67
    • B.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages for Personal Injury—Dangerous Condition of Public Property  8.68
    • C.  Form: Sample Answer to Complaint for Damages—Governmental Liability Case (Judicial Council Form PLD-PI-003)  8.69
    • D.  Form: Sample Memorandum in Support of Demurrer to Complaint  8.70

9

Medical Malpractice

  • I.  MEDICAL DOCTORS (PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS)
    • A.  Grounds for Professional Liability
      • 1.  Negligence in Diagnosis or Treatment
        • a.  Duty to Possess and Use Professional Knowledge, Skill, and Care  9.1
          • (1)  Standard for Medical Specialists  9.2
          • (2)  Statutory Duties  9.3
          • (3)  Doctors’ Respondeat Superior Liability  9.4
          • (4)  No Strict Liability; Mistakes; Natural Course of Disease  9.5
        • b.  Duty to Consult Specialist or Refer Patient  9.6
        • c.  Duty to Hospitalize  9.7
        • d.  Duty to Attend Diligently; Abandonment  9.8
        • e.  Duties in Prescribing and Administering Drugs and Devices  9.9
        • f.  Duty to Prevent Patient From Harming Self or Others  9.10
        • g.  Duty to Inform Patient
          • (1)  Risks of Treatment  9.11
          • (2)  Risks of Nontreatment  9.12
          • (3)  Patient’s Medical Condition and Nonmedical Interests; Life Expectancy  9.13
          • (4)  Doctor’s Interest in Suggested Treatment  9.14
          • (5)  Statutes Affecting Duty to Inform  9.15
      • 2.  Battery: Unauthorized Surgery or Treatment  9.16
      • 3.  Sexual Contact With, or Harassment of, Patient  9.17
      • 4.  Breach of Guaranty or Warranty of Result  9.18
      • 5.  Fraud (Misrepresentation)  9.19
      • 6.  Inflicting Emotional Distress  9.20
      • 7.  Invading Patient’s Privacy Rights  9.21
      • 8.  Liability in Reproductive Situations
        • a.  Birth of Disabled Child; Prenatal Negligence  9.22
        • b.  Birth of Unwanted Child  9.23
    • B.  Causation: Reasonable Medical Probability  9.24
      • 1.  Aggravation; Reduced (or Lost) Chance of Survival  9.25
      • 2.  Multiple Causes of Injury  9.26
    • C.  Preliminary Procedures in Malpractice Lawsuits
      • 1.  90-Day Notice of Intention to Sue  9.27
        • a.  Required Content; Effect of Failure to Serve; Manner of Service  9.27A
        • b.  When Serving Notice Tolls Statute of Limitations  9.27B
        • c.  When Service of Notice Does Not Toll Statute of Limitations  9.27C
      • 2.  Giving Disclosure Authorization With Presuit Settlement Offer  9.28
      • 3.  Filing Amended Complaint, Showing Probability of Prevailing, When Claiming Punitive Damages  9.29
    • D.  Pleading Medical Malpractice  9.30
    • E.  Proving Medical Negligence and Causation  9.31
      • 1.  Expert Medical Testimony  9.32
        • a.  Expert’s Qualifications  9.33
          • (1)  Specialty or Field of Practice  9.34
          • (2)  Hospital Emergency Department Doctor  9.35
          • (3)  Locality  9.36
        • b.  Defendant’s Testimony and Admissions  9.37
        • c.  Warnings in Labels and Brochures  9.38
      • 2.  Common Knowledge Exception to Expert Testimony Requirement  9.39
      • 3.  Res Ipsa Loquitur: Elements; Evidence; Applicability  9.40
        • a.  Probability That Injury Was Negligently Caused
          • (1)  Shown by Expert Testimony  9.41
          • (2)  Based on Common Knowledge  9.42
        • b.  Defendant’s Control of Instrumentality; Unconscious Patient; Multiple Defendants  9.43
        • c.  Patient’s (or Plaintiff’s) Conduct  9.44
        • d.  Rebutting Res Ipsa Loquitur  9.45
      • 4.  Doctor’s Custom and Practice  9.46
      • 5.  Impeachment Evidence  9.47
      • 6.  Hospital Staff Committee Records and Proceedings  9.48
  • II.  OTHER PRACTITIONERS
    • A.  Dentists  9.49
    • B.  Osteopaths  9.50
    • C.  Chiropractors and Other Drugless Practitioners  9.51
    • D.  Chiropodists or Podiatrists  9.52
    • E.  Nurses  9.53
    • F.  Pharmacists  9.54
    • G.  Blood Banks; Testing Laboratories  9.55
    • H.  Emergency Medical Technicians; 911 Services  9.56
  • III.  HOSPITALS, SANITARIUMS, AND REST HOMES
    • A.  Grounds for Professional Liability
      • 1.  General Standard of Care  9.57
      • 2.  Standard for Adult and Elder Abuse  9.58
      • 3.  Duty to Furnish Competent Nurses, Physicians, and Other Personnel  9.59
      • 4.  Hospitals’ Respondeat Superior Liability  9.60
      • 5.  Diligence in Attending Patient or in Calling Physician  9.61
      • 6.  Duty to Provide Emergency Service and Care or Survival Services  9.62
      • 7.  Defective Equipment; Dangerous Conditions  9.63
      • 8.  Other Injuries, Results, or Treatment  9.64
    • B.  Pleading Hospital Negligence; Preliminary Procedures  9.65
    • C.  Proving Negligence and Causation
      • 1.  Need for Expert Testimony; Common Knowledge  9.66
      • 2.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  9.67
  • IV.  HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHERS  9.68
  • V.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Absence of Doctor-Patient Relationship  9.69
    • B.  Patient’s Contributory Fault; Assumption of Risk; Duty to Mitigate Damages  9.70
    • C.  Statute of Limitations  9.71
      • 1.  Separate Trial of Statute of Limitations Defense  9.72
      • 2.  Three-Year Period: Date of Injury; Effect of Fraud, Concealment, or Object Left in Patient  9.73
      • 3.  One-Year Period: Date of Injury; Discovery of Cause of Action  9.74
      • 4.  Minor’s Actions  9.75
      • 5.  Actions Against Hospitals and Others  9.76
    • D.  Exculpatory Agreements  9.77
    • E.  Arbitration Agreements  9.78
      • 1.  Formal Requirements  9.79
      • 2.  Persons Bound by Agreement to Arbitrate  9.80
      • 3.  Claims and Causes of Action Covered by Arbitration Agreements  9.81
      • 4.  Procedural Aspects of Arbitration  9.82
    • F.  Recovery From (or Release of) Initial Tortfeasor; Indemnity  9.83
    • G.  Good Samaritan Statutes  9.84
  • VI.  MEDICAL INJURY COMPENSATION REFORM ACT (MICRA)  9.85
    • A.  Ceiling on Noneconomic Damages  9.86
    • B.  Restrictions on Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees  9.87
    • C.  Collateral Source Payments  9.88
    • D.  Periodic Payment of Future Damages  9.89
  • VII.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Notice of Claim (“90-Day Letter”) to Health Care Provider  9.90
    • B.  Form: Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries and Proposing Settlement  9.91
    • C.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries Based on Medical Negligence  9.92
    • D.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Memorandum Opposing Defendant’s Demurrer  9.93

10

Premises Liability

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  10.1
    • B.  Liability for Furnishing Alcoholic Beverages  10.2
  • II.  OWNERS’ LIABILITY TO VISITORS
    • A.  Ordinary Care Standard (Rowland v Christian)  10.3
    • B.  Effect of Visitor’s Status  10.4
    • C.  Owner’s Conduct; Active Operations  10.5
    • D.  Owner’s Liability for Others’ Conduct
      • 1.  Owner’s Underlying Duty  10.6
      • 2.  Others’ Criminal Acts; Foreseeability; Prior Similar Instances  10.7
        • a.  Duty to Hire Security Guards  10.8
        • b.  Other Cases Applying Ann M. Balancing  10.9
      • 3.  Establishing Legal (Proximate) Cause  10.10
      • 4.  Liability to Criminal Visitors  10.11
    • E.  Owner’s Liability for Unsafe Condition  10.12
      • 1.  Extent of Premises for Which Owner Is Responsible  10.13
      • 2.  Knowledge of Condition; Inspection  10.14
      • 3.  Nondelegability of Duty to Maintain; Statutory Violation  10.15
      • 4.  Warnings; Obvious Dangers  10.16
      • 5.  Duty to Rescue or Render Aid  10.17
      • 6.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  10.17A
    • F.  Duties to Particular Visitors
      • 1.  Minors  10.18
      • 2.  Firefighters, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Personnel (Firefighter’s Rule)  10.19
        • a.  Exceptions
          • (1)  Independent Acts or Conditions  10.20
          • (2)  Intentional Injury  10.21
        • b.  Ultrahazardous Activities  10.22
        • c.  Private Safety Employees  10.23
      • 3.  Recreational Users
        • a.  Elements of Owner’s Recreational Use Immunity  10.24
          • (1)  Interest in Real Property; “Entry or Use”  10.25
          • (2)  Recreational Use or Purpose; Suitability  10.26
        • b.  Exceptions to Immunity
          • (1)  Consideration; Express Invitation  10.27
          • (2)  Owner’s Willful or Malicious Misconduct  10.28
      • 4.  Resort, Amusement Park, and Swimming Pool Users  10.29
  • III.  LANDLORDS’ LIABILITY TO TENANTS AND THEIR GUESTS
    • A.  Ordinary Care Standard (Rowland v Christian)  10.30
    • B.  Role of Strict Product Liability  10.31
    • C.  Particular Situations
      • 1.  Rental for Public Purpose  10.32
      • 2.  Area Under Landlord’s Control  10.33
      • 3.  Condominiums and Common Interest Developments  10.34
      • 4.  Dangerous Condition Known to Landlord  10.35
      • 5.  Duty or Undertaking to Repair  10.36
      • 6.  Duties Imposed by Statute or Ordinance  10.37
      • 7.  Tenants’ and Others’ Activities  10.38
  • IV.  TENANTS’ DUTIES TO LANDLORDS AND OTHER TENANTS  10.39
  • V.  INJURIES ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS OR STREETS
    • A.  Adjacent Owners’ Liability
      • 1.  Sidewalk Defects  10.40
      • 2.  Conditions Affecting Vehicular Traffic  10.41
    • B.  Street Vendors’ Liability  10.42
  • VI.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Exculpatory Clauses
      • 1.  Limiting Owners’ Liability to Visitors  10.43
      • 2.  Limiting Landlords’ Liability to Tenants  10.44
    • B.  Contributory Fault  10.45
    • C.  Assumption of Risk; Sports Participants and Spectators  10.46
  • VII.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Initial Letter to Defendant Regarding Plaintiff’s Injury and Requesting Insurance Information  10.47
    • B.  Form: Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries and Proposing Settlement  10.48
    • C.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries Based on Premises Liability (Judicial Council Form PLD-PI-001)  10.49
    • D.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories—Personal Injuries in Premises Liability Case  10.50

11

Product Liability

  • I.  STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY
    • A.  Basic Concepts; Terminology  11.1
    • B.  Elements of Strict Product Liability  11.2
      • 1.  Product Being Used in Foreseeable Way  11.3
      • 2.  Product Defective When Marketed  11.4
        • a.  Types of Product Defects  11.5
        • b.  Proving Product Was Defective  11.6
          • (1)  Manufacturing Defects  11.7
          • (2)  Design Defects  11.8
            • (a)  Consumer Expectations Not Met  11.9
            • (b)  Risks of Design Outweigh Benefits  11.10
            • (c)  Evidence of Postinjury Design Changes  11.11
            • (d)  Other Accidents Involving Same Product  11.12
            • (e)  Absence of Safety Device  11.13
          • (3)  Absence of Adequate Warnings or Instructions  11.14
            • (a)  Adequacy of Warning  11.15
            • (b)  Obvious and Known Dangers; Sophisticated Users  11.16
            • (c)  Manufacturer’s Knowledge; State-of-the-Art Evidence; Others’ Products  11.17
            • (d)  Postaccident Warnings  11.18
          • (4)  Pharmaceuticals; Medical Implants and Devices [Deleted]  11.19
      • 3.  Defect Caused Injury or Damage
        • a.  In General  11.20
        • b.  Causation in Asbestos Cases  11.20A
        • c.  Causation in Toxic Tort Cases  11.20B
        • d.  Product’s “Crashworthiness”  11.21
        • e.  Market Share Liability  11.22
      • 4.  Consumer’s Harm or Loss; Damages
        • a.  Bodily Injury; Wrongful Death; Emotional Distress  11.23
        • b.  Property Damage; Commercial Loss  11.24
        • c.  Punitive Damages  11.25
    • C.  Persons Who May Recover
      • 1.  Purchaser, User, Bystander, Employer  11.26
      • 2.  Corporations; Large Purchasers  11.27
      • 3.  Supplier’s Employee  11.28
    • D.  Persons Who May Be Liable
      • 1.  Persons Engaged in Marketing Product  11.29
      • 2.  Lessors and Bailors  11.30
      • 3.  Successors in Interest  11.31
      • 4.  Out-of-State Suppliers  11.32
      • 5.  Dealers in Used Goods  11.33
      • 6.  Auctioneers  11.34
    • E.  Product Types  11.35
      • 1.  Blood and Biological Products  11.36
      • 2.  Houses and Lots  11.37
      • 3.  Prepared Foods  11.38
      • 4.  Tobacco  11.39
    • F.  Indemnity Among Suppliers  11.40
    • G.  Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  11.41
      • 2.  Contributory Fault; Misuse of Product  11.42
      • 3.  Assumption of Risk  11.43
      • 4.  Adequate Warning Given  11.44
      • 5.  Federal Statutory Immunity or Preemption  11.45
      • 6.  State Statutory Immunities  11.46
      • 7.  Product Unavoidably Unsafe  11.47
  • II.  NEGLIGENCE LIABILITY
    • A.  Negligence as Alternative to Strict Product Liability  11.48
      • 1.  Persons to Whom Duty of Care Owed  11.49
      • 2.  Duty in Design and Manufacture  11.50
      • 3.  Responsibility for Another’s Product; Parts  11.51
      • 4.  Duty in Installation and Maintenance  11.52
      • 5.  Supplier’s Duty to Inspect and Warn
        • a.  Manufacturers and Sellers  11.53
        • b.  Bailors  11.54
      • 6.  Bailee’s Liability  11.55
    • B.  Proof
      • 1.  Product Failure; Res Ipsa Loquitur  11.56
      • 2.  Presumption of Negligence From Violation of Statute or Regulation  11.57
      • 3.  Causation; Lapse of Time  11.58
    • C.  Defenses
      • 1.  Contributory Fault  11.59
      • 2.  Assumption of Risk  11.60
      • 3.  Exculpatory Agreements and Disclaimers  11.61
  • III.  WARRANTY LIABILITY
    • A.  Effect of Strict Product Liability on Warranty Rules
      • 1.  Sales  11.62
      • 2.  Bailments  11.63
    • B.  Elements of Warranty Liability
      • 1.  Implied Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose  11.64
      • 2.  Implied Warranty of Merchantability  11.65
      • 3.  Express Warranties  11.66
      • 4.  Privity of Contract  11.67
      • 5.  Notice of Breach of Warranty  11.68
      • 6.  Measure of Damages; Agreements Limiting Remedy  11.69
    • C.  Defenses
      • 1.  Disclaimers and Limitations of Warranty  11.70
      • 2.  Contributory Negligence; Assumption of Risk  11.71
      • 3.  Statute of Limitations  11.72
  • IV.  MISREPRESENTATION  11.73
  • V.  Sample Forms
    • A.  Form: Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries in Product Liability Case  11.74
    • B.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories to Defendant in Product Liability Case  11.75
    • C.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Demand to Defendant for Production in Product Liability Case  11.76
    • D.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Letter Proposing Settlement—Personal Injuries in Product Liability Case  11.77
    • E.  Form: Sample Plaintiff’s Memorandum Opposing Defendant’s Motion in Limine  11.78

12

Railroad Crossings

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  12.1
  • II.  BASIC STANDARDS OF CARE
    • A.  Reasonable Care Under Circumstances  12.2
    • B.  Willful Misconduct  12.3
  • III.  DUTIES IN OPERATING TRAINS
    • A.  Reasonable Warning of Approach  12.4
    • B.  Regulating Speed  12.5
    • C.  Lookout for Crossing Traffic  12.6
    • D.  Duties at Private Roads and Customary Crossings  12.7
  • IV.  DUTIES IN MAINTAINING CROSSINGS
    • A.  Installing Warning Systems  12.8
    • B.  Designing, Maintaining, and Operating Crossing Protection  12.9
  • V.  DEFENSES
    • A.  Contributory Negligence  12.10
      • 1.  Duty to Stop, Look, and Listen (Modified Rule)  12.11
      • 2.  Disregarding or Relying on Crossing Signal, Gate, Flagman, or Warning  12.12
      • 3.  Vehicle Passengers’ Negligence  12.13
    • B.  Assumption of Risk  12.14

13

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

  • I.  STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY
    • A.  Elements  13.1
      • 1.  No Strict Liability for Design Defects  13.2
      • 2.  Manufacturing Defects  13.3
      • 3.  Duty to Warn
        • a.  Elements  13.4
        • b.  Learned-Intermediary Rule  13.5
        • c.  No Duty to Warn of Dangers Obvious or Known to Medical Community  13.6
        • d.  Exception for Nonprescription Drugs  13.7
        • e.  Off-Label Use  13.8
      • 4.  Product Used in Foreseeable Manner  13.9
    • B.  Proving Causation
      • 1.  Expert Testimony  13.10
      • 2.  Causation in Failure to Warn Cases Must Be Proven Through the Physician  13.11
      • 3.  Res Ipsa Loquitur  13.12
    • C.  Damages
      • 1.  Medical Monitoring  13.13
      • 2.  Fear of Developing Cancer or Other Serious Illness  13.14
    • D.  Persons Who May Be Liable  13.15
      • 1.  Physicians Not Liable  13.16
      • 2.  Dentists Not Liable  13.17
      • 3.  Hospitals Not Liable  13.18
      • 4.  Pharmacy Not Liable  13.19
  • II.  NEGLIGENCE
    • A.  Negligent Design  13.20
    • B.  Negligent Manufacturing Claims  13.21
    • C.  Claims for Negligent Failure to Warn  13.22
    • D.  Postsale Duty to Warn or Recall  13.23
    • E.  Presumptions of Negligence (Negligence Per Se)
      • 1.  Based on Violation of Statute or Regulation  13.24
      • 2.  Buckman and Preemption of Negligence Per Se Claims  13.25
  • III.  COORDINATION IN MASS TORT LITIGATION  13.26
  • IV.  FEDERAL PREEMPTION  13.27
    • A.  The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Medical Device Amendments  13.28
      • 1.  Three Classes of Medical Devices  13.29
      • 2.  Exception to Premarket Approval of Certain Class III Devices  13.30
    • B.  Preemption of Certain Medical Device Claims
      • 1.  Express Preemption Under the MDA  13.31
      • 2.  Preemption of Claims for Premarket-Approved Class III Devices  13.32
      • 3.  Preemption of Private Right of Action to Enforce FDA Regulations  13.33
      • 4.  No Preemption of Non-Premarket-Approved Devices  13.34
      • 5.  No Preemption of “Parallel Claims”  13.35
      • 6.  No Preemption of Warranty and Consumer Claims  13.36
      • 7.  Implied Preemption  13.37
    • C.  Preemption of Prescription Pharmaceutical Claims
      • 1.  No Express Preemption of Pharmaceutical Claims  13.38
      • 2.  Implied Preemption and Brand-Name Drug Manufacturers  13.39
      • 3.  Implied Preemption and Generic Drug Manufacturers  13.40
    • D.  The Effect of a Recall on Preemption  13.41

 

CALIFORNIA TORT GUIDE

(3d Edition)

February 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

File Name

Book Section

Title

CH03

Chapter 3

Animals

03-036

§3.36

Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries

CH04

Chapter 4

Automobiles

04-084

§4.84

Sample Request for Client’s Billing and Medical Records

04-085

§4.85

Sample Letter Advising Defendant of Client’s Representation by Attorney

04-086

§4.86

Sample Letter Advising Defendant’s Insurance Carrier of Client’s Representation by Attorney

04-087

§4.87

Sample Settlement Demand Letter to Defendant’s Insurance Carrier

CH05

Chapter 5

Carriers

05-032

§5.32

Sample Client Authorization to Release Medical Information

05-034

§5.34

Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories—Personal Injuries in Carrier Liability Case

05-035

§5.35

Sample Plaintiff’s Letter Proposing Settlement—Personal Injuries in Carrier Liability Case

CH06

Chapter 6

Construction Work

06-027

§6.27

Sample Complaint for Damages in Construction Case

06-028

§6.28

Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Requests for Admission

06-029

§6.29

Sample Plaintiff’s Statement of Damages

CH08

Chapter 8

Governmental Liability

08-067

§8.67

Sample Petition for Relief From Claim Requirement

08-068

§8.68

Sample Complaint for Damages for Personal Injury—Dangerous Condition of Public Property

08-070

§8.70

Sample Memorandum in Support of Demurrer to Complaint

CH09

Chapter 9

Medical Malpractice

09-090

§9.90

Sample Notice of Claim (“90-Day Letter”) to Health Care Provider

09-091

§9.91

Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries and Proposing Settlement

09-092

§9.92

Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries Based on Medical Negligence

09-093

§9.93

Sample Plaintiff’s Memorandum Opposing Defendant’s Demurrer

CH10

Chapter 10

Premises Liability

10-047

§10.47

Sample Initial Letter to Defendant Regarding Plaintiff’s Injury and Requesting Insurance Information

10-048

§10.48

Sample Demand Letter Requesting Compensation for Personal Injuries and Proposing Settlement

10-050

§10.50

Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories—Personal Injuries in Premises Liability Case

CH11

Chapter 11

Product Liability

11-074

§11.74

Sample Complaint for Damages—Personal Injuries in Product Liability Case

11-075

§11.75

Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Special Interrogatories to Defendant in Product Liability Case

11-076

§11.76

Sample Plaintiff’s Initial Demand to Defendant for Production in Product Liability Case

11-077

§11.77

Sample Plaintiff’s Letter Proposing Settlement—Personal Injuries in Product Liability Case

11-078

§11.78

Sample Plaintiff’s Memorandum Opposing Defendant’s Motion in Limine

 

Selected Developments

February 2018 Update

There have been several interesting developments in the area of torts over the last year. Some of the most important are summarized below.

General Principles

The California Supreme Court reversed the court of appeal in Vasilenko v Grace Family Church (2017) 3 C5th 1077, holding that a landowner who sited and maintained a parking lot across the street from its premises did not owe a duty to protect its invitees from the dangers of crossing a public street. See §§1.7, 1.10, 10.13 for discussion.

In Toste v CalPortland Constr. (2016) 245 CA4th 362, the court of appeal held that a defendant’s conduct is not a cause of harm if an accident would have occurred anyway. See §1.14.

A recent court of appeal opinion held that a “professional” standard of care requires only that the professional apply the skill, knowledge, and competence ordinarily possessed by other professionals in similar circumstances. See §1.22 for discussion of Evans v Hood Corp. (2016) 5 CA5th 1022.

Hot-air ballooning involves an inherent risk of injury such that primary assumption of risk applies. See citation of Grotheer v Escape Adventures, Inc. (2017) 14 CA5th 1283 in §1.49.

Airplanes

A recent case out of the Sixth District Court of Appeal has signaled that recovery for emotional distress that accompanies bodily injury will be recoverable under the Montreal Convention of 1999. See §2.28 for discussion of Doe v Etihad Airways, P.J.S.C. (6th Cir 2017) 870 F3d 406.

Animals

See §3.31 for citation to Swigart v Bruno (2017) 13 CA5th 529, which holds that being hit by another’s horse is an inherent risk of horseback riding.

Automobiles

In the recent case of Secci v United Independent Taxi Drivers, Inc. (2017) 8 CA5th 846, the court analyzed the relationship between a taxi association and taxi drivers to determine whether the drivers were employees or independent contractors. See §§4.46–4.47.

Carriers

A hot-air balloon operator is not a common carrier as a matter of law. See §5.5 for citation to Grotheer v Escape Adventures, Inc. (2017) 14 CA5th 1283.

Construction Work

Note that Lab C §§3351–3352 were amended to include automatic repealers, effective July 1, 2018. Different versions of those sections become effective on that date. See §6.21.

Governmental Liability

In the recent case of County of San Mateo v Superior Court (Rowe) (2017) 13 CA5th 724, the appellate court held that triable issues existed as to whether changes in the natural environment in a camping area in a county wilderness park had a causal relationship to the plaintiff’s injuries. See §8.34 for discussion.

Immunity from liability for injuries sustained while on paths adjacent to golf courses was the controlling issue in two recent court of appeal cases, one of which held that immunity applied and the other holding that immunity did not. See §8.35 for discussion of Leyva v Crockett & Co. (2017) 7 CA5th 1105and Garcia v American Golf Corp. (2017) 11 CA5th 532.

Medical Malpractice

In Kumari v The Hosp. Comm. for the Livermore-Pleasanton Areas (2017) 13 CA5th 306, the appellate court held that no special format was required to notify a medical provider of an intention to sue. See §9.27A.

The EADACPA is inapplicable unless the health care provider had a substantial caretaking or custodial relationship with an elderly patient. See §9.58 for discussion of Winn v Pioneer Med. Group, Inc. (2016) 63 C4th 148.

In a case involving a patient who was injured when she tripped over a scale left on the floor of a medical facility, the court held that the case involved an ordinary premises liability action and was not subject to either MICRA or the 1-year statute of limitations for professional negligence. See Johnson v Open Door Comm. Health Centers (2017) 15 CA5th 153, discussed in §§9.76, 9.85.

The cap on noneconomic damages under MICRA applies only to claims based on professional negligence; it does not apply to other claims that arise out of the same facts. See §9.86 for discussion of Bigler-Engler v Breg, Inc. (2017) 7 CA5th 276.

In the recent case of Cuevas v Contra Costa County (2017) 11 CA5th 163, the court held that the collateral source rule did not bar evidence that health insurance benefits were available to mitigate the cost of future medical care. See §9.88.

Premises Liability

Subsequent to the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Kesner v Superior Court (2016) 1 C5th 1132, the court of appeal held that a property owner owed no duty for secondary asbestos exposure to a wife because she and her husband were not married and did not live together during the time of exposure. See Petitpas v Ford Motor Co. (2017) 13 CA5th 261, discussed in §10.3.

The appellate court held that an invitee exposed himself to an obvious danger by standing on a diving board over an empty pool, and that the premises owner had no duty to warn the invitee of the obvious danger. See §§10.12–10.14 for discussion of Jacobs v Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. (2017) 14 CA5th 438.

In another recent case on the duty a premises owner owes to its invitees, the California Supreme Court held that an owner did not owe a duty to assist invitees in crossing a public street. See §10.13 for discussion of Vasilenko v Grace Family Church (2017) 3 C5th 1077.

A homeowner’s duty to supervise a child in a pool ended when the child’s grandfather said he would supervise the child. See §10.18 for the case of Taylor v Trimble (2017) 13 CA5th 934.

For a recent case discussing the consideration and invitation exceptions to immunity under Govt C §846, see PG&E Co. v Superior Court (2017) 10 CA5th 563, cited in §10.27.

Product Liability

The Judicial Council released a new jury instruction based on Webb v Special Elec. Co., Inc. (2016) 63 C4th 167. See §§11.14, 11.29 for discussion of CACI 1249 and Webb.

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

The Judicial Council released a new jury instruction based on Webb v Special Elec. Co., Inc. (2016) 63 C4th 167. See §§13.5, 13.22 for discussion of CACI 1249 and Webb.

The United States Supreme Court reversed the California Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v Superior Court (2016) 1 C5th 783, holding that California’s exercise of specific jurisdiction over nonresidents’ claims against a nonresident pharmaceutical company violated the Fourteenth Amendment. See §13.26 for discussion of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v Superior Court (2017) ___ US ___, 137 S Ct 1773.

About the Author

PAUL PEYRAT, co-author of the Third Edition, is Managing Editor at California Worker’s Compensation Reporter. He is the author of California Worker’s Damages Practice (2d ed Cal CEB) and is the author of Chapter 12 (Time Limitations) in California Worker’s Compensation Practice (4th ed Cal CEB). Mr. Peyrat speaks, lectures, and acts as an expert witness on worker’s damages. He maintains a Sonoma, California, practice as a consultant to other lawyers, focusing on tort law and damages. Mr. Peyrat received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

About the 2018 Update Authors

ROBERT ABIRI, update author of chapters 3, 4, and 8, is a partner with the firm of Abiri & Szeto LLP, with offices in Orange County and New York. Licensed to practice in California, New York, and Washington, DC, Mr. Abiri handles matters covering many major civil litigation areas, including business litigation, real estate disputes, personal injury, and wrongful death matters. Since entering law practice a decade ago, he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, acquiring a unique grasp of the issues from both viewpoints, as well as representing both public entities and private sector/individuals. In addition to his case and trial work, Mr. Abiri has collaborated on amici curiae briefs, including one that supported a published opinion in the California Supreme Court. He has been named a Southern California “rising star” by Super Lawyers magazine for the past 4 consecutive years and is active in both legal and community-based organizations. In addition, Mr. Abiri has served as an update author for California Tort Damages (2d ed Cal CEB). He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his J.D. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

SUSIE INJIJIAN, update author of chapters 2, 5, and 12, founded her solo law practice, Injijian Law Office, APC, in Berkeley in 2005. For over 25 years she has been representing plaintiffs in a variety of injury cases and appeals, most notably airplane accident, cruise ship accident, and medical malpractice cases. Ms. Injijian has been honored as a California Super Lawyer and a California Lawyer of the Year. She has been recognized for her work in expanding the legal rights of passengers in numerous landmark aviation accident cases, including a victory in the United States Supreme Court. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law.

CYNTHIA B. MCGUINN, update coauthor of chapters 1 and 6, is a principal with Rouda, Feder, Tietjen, & McGuinn, a San Francisco personal injury law firm. With more than 35 years’ experience as a trial attorney, her practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury matters, representing consumers and clients in diverse occupational fields and age groups. She was honored as the 2003 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and has been a Top Woman Trial Lawyer in Super Lawyer magazine since 2005. Ms. McGuinn has obtained a number of eight-figure jury verdicts, including the highest personal injury award in the history of Sonoma County in 2015. She is a member of numerous invitation-only professional associations and is a frequent lecturer to universities and legal organizations on trial practice. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Akron, Ohio, and her J.D. degree from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.

DANIEL B. PLEASANT, update coauthor of chapters 1 and 6, is on the staff of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen, & McGuinn, a San Francisco personal injury law firm. Working with coauthor Cynthia B. McGuinn and other firm members, he specializes in preparing cases for trial as well as in drafting pretrial motions, mediation briefs, and appellate briefs. He has worked on numerous cases that resolved for at least $1 million, including cases that were litigated through trial. Mr. Pleasant is a member of the American Association for Justice and the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and serves on the Executive Committee for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Paralegal Section. Before his law firm work, Mr. Pleasant served as a Legal Officer with the United States Marine Corps. He earned his undergraduate degree (with highest honors) from Guilford College in North Carolina.

KENNETH SEEGER, update author of chapters 10, 11, and 13, is a partner in the San Francisco firm Seeger Salvas LLP. His practice focuses on litigating product liability, insurance bad faith, and commercial disputes. He has been appointed by federal and state judges to leadership positions in coordinated litigation proceedings involving recalled DePuy hips, Medtronic defibrillators, and Zicam nasal products as well as other cases. Mr. Seeger also has acted as national settlement counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer, helping to negotiate and implement a national class action settlement in hundreds of cases involving the drug PPA. He earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, New York, and his J.D. degree from Temple University School of Law.

Robert Abiri, partner with the firm of Abiri & Szeto LLP, in Irvine, California, authors forms that appear in chapter 8.

Christopher R. Aitken, partner of the law firm Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, in Santa Ana, California, authored forms that appear in chapter 4.

Richard A. Cohn, partner of the law firm Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, in Santa Ana, California, authored forms that appear in chapter 9.

Anne J. Kepner, partner of the law firm Needham, Kepner & Fish LLP, in San Jose, California, authored forms that appear in chapter 5.

Micha Star Liberty, owner of Liberty Law in Oakland, California, authored forms that appear in chapters 3 and 10.

Rae Lovko, partner of the firm of Lovko & King, in Berkeley, California, authored forms that appear in chapter 11.

Cynthia B. McGuinn, a principal with Rouda, Feder, Tietjen, and McGuinn, in San Francisco, California, coauthored forms that appear in chapter 6.

Daniel B. Pleasant, on the staff of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen, and McGuinn, in San Francisco, California, coauthored the forms that appear in chapter 6.

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