A variety of criminal acts can be the basis of civil suits for damages. When defending a civil action with potential criminal charges, or an unresolved criminal case, defense handling can get complicated. Specifically, when a civil plaintiff notices the deposition of a defendant who potentially risks self-incrimination. Often, motor vehicle-related deaths result with both a criminal prosecution for vehicular manslaughter and a civil suit for wrongful death. In light of potential criminal charges, it is critical for civil defense counsel to monitor the statute of limitations and delay the civil action accordingly.
EMPLOYMENT – OBESITY DISCRIMINATION
Cornell v. Berkeley Tennis Club, 18 Cal.App.5th, First District Court of Appeal, Division 1 (Opinion filed 12/21/2017)
Plaintiff was a severely obese employee, weighing over 350 pounds, who was fired from Berkeley Tennis Club after having worked there for over 15 years. She alleged multiple claims including three under the California Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) for discrimination related to her obesity disability, failure to accommodate her disability, disability harassment, and retaliation. The trial court granted Berkeley Tennis Club’s motion for summary judgment regarding the FEHA claims on the grounds Plaintiff failed to produce evidence her obesity qualified as a disability. Plaintiff timely appealed.
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.
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.)