Satisfaction of Spousal Tort Liability in California: Community Property versus Separate Property

Author: Katie Greenbaum

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:23pm

When an act or omission of one spouse gives rise to tort liability, California clients, particularly those with large assets, frequently become concerned with the impact of any judgment on the community estate. Typically, the tortfeasor spouse seeks to protect his or her community property from the tortious conduct and only uses available separate property to satisfy any debts.

Howell Update: Another Victory for Defendants

Author: Cayce E. Greiner, Katie Greenbaum

May 31, 2017 10:12am

Last week the California Court of Appeal issued another huge victory to defendants by extending the reach of the landmark California Supreme Court Howell v. Hamilton Meats case to include future medical benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (“ACA”).  In 2011, Howell sent shock waves through the insurance industry when the Court examined the “billed vs. paid” rule and concluded an injured plaintiff is limited to recovering the discounted amount private health insurance pays on their behalf for as past medical damages, not the inflated amount medical providers bill health insurance companies for their services.  (Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541.)  In 2013, the California Court of Appeal extended Howell‘s “paid” rule to apply to future medical expenses and noneconomic damages.  (Cornenbaum v. Lampkin (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1331-1333.)

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