[UPDATED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 21, 2016]
Does an Abutting Owner Have a Duty to Provide Safe Passage Across a Public Street? After the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Does one who owns, possesses, or controls premises abutting a public street have a duty to an invitee to provide safe passage across that public street if that entity directs its invitees to park in its overflow parking lot across the street? Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church, S235412 (opinion below, C074801, 248 Cal.App.4th 146). Review was granted on 9/21/16.
What Are the Liability Limits of a Brand Name Manufacturer? After the Court of Appeal reversed to allow plaintiff to file an amended complaint after the demurrer was sustained, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: May the brand name manufacturer of a pharmaceutical drug that divested all ownership interest in the drug be held liable for injuries caused years later by another manufacturer’s generic version of that drug? T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., S233898 (opinion below D067839, 245 Cal.App.4th 589). Review was granted 6/8/16.
May an Injured Worker Bring a Separate Medical Malpractice Claim Against Workers’ Compensation Utilization Review Company? After the Court of Appeal sustained the demurrer, but reversed to allow leave to amend, the Supreme Court granted review of the following issues: (1) Is a claim by an injured worker for medical malpractice brought against a workers’ compensation utilization review company barred by workers’ compensation as the exclusive remedy? (2) Does a workers’ compensation utilization review company that performs medical utilization reviews on behalf of employers owe a duty of care to an injured worker? (3) Did the Court of Appeal err in finding that plaintiffs should be given leave to amend their complaint in this case? King v. CompPartners, Inc., S232197 (opinion below E063527, formerly 243 Cal.App.4th 685). Review was granted 4/13/16.
When Is Industry Custom and Practice Admissible in a Strict Products Liability Action? After the Court of Appeal affirmed judgment for the manufacturer, and attempted to reconcile opposing appellate decisions on this issue, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Is evidence of industry custom and practice admissible in a strict products liability action? Kim v. Toyota Motor Corp., S232754 (opinion below B247672, formerly 243 Cal.App.4th 1366, as modified 244 Cal.App.4th 643b). Review was granted 4/13/16. Update 5/11/16: The Court limited the issue on review to the following: Did the trial court commit reversible error in admitting, as relevant to the risk-benefit test for design defect, evidence of industry custom and practice related to the alleged defect?
Do Public Universities Have a Duty to Warn Students about other Students? After the Second District Court of Appeal granted a petition for peremptory writ of mandate, finding that a public university has no such general duty, the Supreme Court granted review of the following issue: Do California public institutions of higher education and their employees have a duty of care to their students while in the classroom to warn them of and protect them from foreseeable acts of violence by fellow students? Regents of University of California v. Superior Court, S230568, (opinion below B259424, formerly 240 Cal.App.4th 1296). Review was granted 1/20/16.
Is a Petition for Relief Needed to Support a Claim When a Timely Application to File a Late Claim Was Filed? After the Fourth District, division three, Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying a petition for relief under the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 810, et seq.), the Supreme Court granted review of the following issue: Must a claimant under the Government Claims Act file a petition for relief from Government Code § 945.4’s claim requirement, as set forth in Government Code § 946.6, if he has submitted a timely application for leave to present a late claim under Government Code § 911.6(b)(2), and was a minor at all relevant times? J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School Dist., S230510, (opinion below G049773, formerly 240 Cal.App.4th 1019). Review was granted 12/16/15.
Does the Right to Repair Act Bar Other Common Law Claims for Damages? After the Fifth District Court of Appeal granted a petition for peremptory writ of mandate, thus staying the litigation, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Does the Right to Repair Act (Civ. Code, § 895 et seq.) preclude a homeowner from bringing common law causes of action for defective conditions that resulted in physical damage to the home? McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court, S229762, (opinion below F069370, formerly 239 Cal.App.4th 1132). Review was granted 11/24/15.
Is there Jurisdiction for a Nonresident Plaintiff Against a Nonresident Manufacturer? After the Court of Appeal found specific jurisdiction, after concluding there was no general jurisdiction in light of recent USSC decisions, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issues: (1) Did the plaintiffs in this action who are not residents of California establish specific jurisdiction over their claims against the nonresident pharmaceutical drug manufacturer? (2) Does general jurisdiction exist in light of Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 571 U.S. __ [134 S.Ct. 746, 187 L.Ed.2d 624]? Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, S221038 (opinion below A140035, formerly 228 Cal.App.4th 605; in an issue arising from JCCP 4748). Review was granted on 11/17/14. Update 7/22/15: Review granted in BNSF Railway Co. v. Superior Court, S226284 (opinion below B260798, formerly 235 Cal.App.4th 591), after the Second Appellate District found general jurisdiction lacking. Briefing is deferred pending decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court. Update 5/12/16: Oral argument scheduled for 6/2/16. The briefs are here. Update 6/2/16: Care argued and submitted. Update 8/29/16: Opinion filed. The Court unanimously held that there was no basis for general jurisdiction. However, in a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal, with the majority finding specific jurisdiction over the nonresident pharmaceutical product claims alleged here. While acknowledging that the product was not developed or manufactured in California, and that the nonresident plaintiffs had no connection with California, the majority noted that Bristol-Myers “maintains substantial operations in California.” The majority then concluded that the claims by residents and nonresidents were based on the same national conduct, that these claims were sufficiently related to the existing California contacts, and that Bristol Myers did not show that the assertion of specific jurisdiction would be unreasonable. The majority also stated the specific jurisdiction must be decided on a case-by-case basis. The dissent found no evidence of contacts with California that would support specific jurisdiction over the claims of nonresidents
Does Employer Using Asbestos Owe a Duty to Employee’s Family?
The Supreme Court granted review in a pair of cases on the following issue: If an employer’s business involves either the use or the manufacture of asbestos-containing products, does the employer owe a duty of care to members of an employee’s household who could be affected by asbestos brought home on the employee’s clothing? Haver v. BNSF Railway Co., S219919 (opinion below B246527, formerly 226 Cal.App.4th 1104, as modified 226 Cal.App.4th 1376b); and Kesner v. Superior Court, S219534 (opinion below A136378, formerly 226 Cal.App.4th 251). Review was granted on 8/20/14. Update 2/11/15: Review granted in Beckering v. Shell Oil, S223526 (opinon below B256407, nonpublished opinion), with briefing deferred pending a decision in Haver. Update 5/12/16: Oral argument scheduled for 6/2/16. Update 5/17/16: Case called and continued to September 2016 calendar. The Haver and Kesner cases are consolidated. Update 6/2/16: Case called and continued to September 2016. Update 8/3/16: Oral argument calendared for 9/7/16. The briefs are here. Update 9/7/16: Cause argued and submitted.
What Is the Duty of Salespersons from the same Brokerage Firm Who Handles Both Sides of a Residential Sale? The Supreme Court granted review of the following issue: When the buyer and the seller in a residential real estate transaction are each independently represented by a different salesperson from the same brokerage firm, does Civil Code §2079.13(b), make each salesperson the fiduciary to both the buyer and the seller with the duty to provide undivided loyalty, confidentiality and counseling to both? Horiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co., S218734 (opinion below B246606, formerly 225 Cal.App.4th 427). Review was granted 7/16/14. Update 5/12/16: Oral argument scheduled for 6/2/16. Update 5/17/16: Case called and continued to September 2016 calendar. Update 8/3/16: Oral argument rescheduled for 9/8/16. Update 8/8/16: Oral argument rescheduled to 9/7/16. The briefs are here. Update 9/7/16: Cause argued and submitted.