Case Summaries

Commercial Law

[12/08] US v. Scott
Affirming the conviction of a man for wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering in association with a Boston area mortgage fraud scheme because his unconditional guilty plea barred him from subsequently raising independent claims relating to the deprivation of constitutional rights and prevented him from complaining about the alleged use of information obtained during plea negotiation proffers where the plea was not involuntary.

[12/06] Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman
Certifying the following question for the New York Court of Appeals a question of state law; 'Does a merchant comply with New York General Business Law so long as a merchant posts the total dollars-and-cents price charged to credit card users' in the case of businesses that wanted to include a surcharge for credit card transactions but were unsure of how to do so legally, given the law, because the answer would impact the court's First Amendment analysis of proposed billing methods.

[12/04] Marathon Petroleum Corporation v. Secretary of Finance for the State of Delaware
Reversing the district court's conclusion that private parties cannot invoke federal common law to challenge a state's authority to escheat property, but holding that the case was not ripe for judgment and vacating the prior order of dismissal for its reentry as a dismissal without prejudice to permit the claim's pursuit at a later time, if appropriate.

[11/29] QDOS, Inc. v. Signature Financial, LLC.
Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment against a merchant in a case involving the sale of a high end sports car because the court determined that the receipt of payment in the form of checks from a third party made out to the merchant does not trigger common law duties not to ignore 'red flags' or 'suspicious' circumstances indicating fraud against a third party because payment by a check not in the customer's own name, by itself, is not a red flag.

[11/27] Flores v. Southcoast Automotive Liquidators, Inc.
Affirming the judgment awarding damages to a consumer from a car dealer and lender for fraud and imposing an injunction on the dealer's advertising under the Unfair Competition Law because the Consumers Legal Remedies Act does not prevent a consumer from pursuing causes of action for fraud and violation of the Unfair Competition Law based on the same conduct because the remedies are cumulative.

[10/12] Wiseman Park LLC v. Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits LLC
Reversing a trial court order sustaining respondent's demurrer and remanding for proceedings the case of a restaurant who purchased alcoholic beverages from a distributor and later sought to recover 'carrying charges' levied against them that they felt were barred by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act where the trial court ruled that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department had exclusive claims over actions involving the sale of alcohol because while the agency has exclusive control over issues relating to licensure the case also invoved contract, unfair competition, and declaratory relief claims.

[10/10] Teixeira v. County of Alameda
Affirming the district court dismissal for failure to state a claim in the case of a man who felt that Alameda County regulations that effectively prevented the opening of a gun shop because the Second Amendment does not protect the right of commercial proprietors to sell firearms.

[10/10] Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. v. Owen
Reversing district court orders dismissing motions for preliminary injunction in a case involving Nationwide's 'biweekly interest savings' mortgage payment model and holding that the company was unlikely to succeed in First Amendment claims that California could not make them include truthful disclosures in mailers, and that the company was likely to succeed in its claim that the Dormant Commerce Clause precludes California from making in-state incorporation a prerequisite of licensure to engage in interstate commerce.

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Workers' Comp

[10/24] Gholipour v. The Superior Court of San Diego County
Denying the petition for writ of mandate challenging an order by the trial court relating to the amount of petitioner's restitution because although the case was transferred to the superior court of another county while her appeal from a workers' compensation fraud conviction was pending, the trial court retained jurisdiction over restitution.

[10/13] American Cargo Express, Inc. v. Superior Court
In a workers' compensation action, arising after the California Self-Insurers' Security Fund (SISF) assumed the workers' compensation obligations of Mainstay Business Solutions and sued it and its clients to recover costs and liabilities, the trial court's grant of SISF's motion on the pleadings is affirmed where Labor Code section 3744, subdivision (c) authorizes SISF to bring such an action in superior court.

[10/06] Ford v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
In a workers' compensation action, the petition for review of an award of benefits is denied where the worker suffered a compensable injury entitling him to benefits, independent of his committing three criminal workers' fraud offenses.

[09/15] Ly v. County of Fresno
In a labor & employment action, brought by three Laotian correctional officers alleging racial discrimination in employment actions and retaliation after complaining about them, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendant county is affirmed where the denial of plaintiffs' separate workers' compensation claims bar their claims in this action on res judicata grounds.

[07/28] Baker v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board
Affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board that the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund benefits commence at the time the employer's obligation to pay permanent disability benefits begin.

[07/21] Chugach Management Services Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Jetnil
Denying the petition for review of the award of disability benefits under the Defense Base Act and the application of a judicially-created 'zone of special danger' doctrine to a local national injured while employed by a government contractor overseas.

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

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