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When employees of contractors are injured while performing work on behalf of a third party, they generally cannot hold the company that hired the contractors liable for their injuries. However, exceptions exist when the hirer retains control over the safety conditions of the work environment, fails to disclose a hidden, dangerous condition, or affirmatively contributes to the workers’ injuries. In Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., Cal. S. Ct., No. S252796 (2021), the California Supreme Court…
Is an insurance company required to disclose and tender policy limits in California?  When insurance companies receive accident claims that are likely to involve damages far exceeding their policy limits, they are required to try to settle the claims within their insured’s policy limits. In Hedayati v. Interinsurance Exchange of the Auto. Club, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. G058189, the Court of Appeal considered whether an insurance company had acted in bad faith when…
When people are seriously injured at work, they are generally limited to pursuing remedies under their employers’ workers’ compensation policies. However, when their employers fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance, they can file lawsuits against their employers in court. In the case of Hollingsworth v. Heavy Transport, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B306127, the court considered whether the trial court had erred when it denied a jury trial to determine whether an employer…
Under California law, when people are working within the course and scope of their jobs, their employers may be vicariously liable when they negligently injure others. Employers might also be directly liable when their employees injure others when the employers negligently hired, supervised, or retained incompetent or unqualified workers. Recently, the California Republican Party paid a settlement of $11 million after one of its precinct workers caused serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.[1] Background…
Each year, millions of people visit California for vacations and sightseeing. According to data from the California Travel and Tourism Commission, an estimated 42 million people visited California in 2018 alone and added $140.6 billion to the state’s economy.[1] Many people who vacation in California rent vehicles and try to navigate their way around the state’s interstates, freeways, highways, and streets. Unfortunately, some visitors to California sustain serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents during…
In California, victims of sexual assault and abuse have a right to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers and other parties responsible for what happened. However, when the defendant is a third party that did not cause the abuser’s conduct or the resulting abuse, the court will generally find that no duty exists. There is an exception to this general rule when the third party has a special relationship with either the perpetrator or…
Property owners owe a duty of care to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors and those who come to their properties for lawful business purposes. They also have a duty to warn people on their premises about dangers that are not open and obvious that could foreseeably cause harm. In Zuniga v. Cherry Avenue Auction, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. F074802 & F078557, the court considered whether a property owner was liable…
At construction sites in California, it is common for several different companies to perform different types of work. When an employee of one company is injured while working on a construction site by a company other than his or her employer, he or she has the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party while also recovering benefits through his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. In some construction accidents, several third parties may…
In California, family members who witness their loved ones’ serious injuries may file claims against the responsible parties for negligent infliction of emotional distress. In the past, the California Supreme Court has held that people must be present at the time of the incidents and witness them before they will have valid claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress. However, technology has advanced since the California Supreme Court established its bright-line rule for NIED cases.…
People who suffer injuries while they are engaged in recreational activities or sports are generally prevented from recovering damages in a lawsuit by the primary assumption of the risk doctrine. However, this doctrine does not apply when a defendant’s actions increase the risks beyond what is normal for the sport or intentionally injures someone else. In Szarowicz v. Birenbaum, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. A156312, the appeals court considered a case in which the…