California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: tort

Alzheimer’s Patients Are Not Liable for Injuries They May Inflict on Home Health Care Workers

Gregory v. Cott, 2014 WL 3805478 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Carolyn Gregory was injured while providing in-home care for Lorraine Cott, an Alzheimer’s disease patient.  Gregory received workers’ compensation benefits but sued the Cotts for negligence and premises liability and asserted a claim against Lorraine for battery.  The trial court granted a defense motion for … Continue Reading

Union Employees’ Tort Claims Against Employer Were Not Preempted By Federal Law

Ward v. Circus Circus Casinos, 473 F.3d 994 (9th Cir. 2007) During a meeting to distribute leaflets and inform other union members of the progress on contract negotiations, one employee, Al Williams, stood on a chair and spoke about union members’ defending their employment rights, which resulted in other participants’ chanting and shouting phrases such … Continue Reading

Statute Permitting Retiring Educators To Work Part Time Does Not Support Public Policy Claim

Sinatra v. Chico Unified School Dist., 119 Cal. App. 4th 701 (2004) Charles F. Sinatra, a former assistant principal at Chico High School, alleged wrongful termination in violation of the public policy purportedly embodied in California Education Code § 44922, which permits a school district to allow older, full-time employees to work part time without … Continue Reading

Off-Duty Employee Injured On Employer’s Water Slide Was Entitled To $4.4 Million Judgment

Mason v. Lake Dolores Group, LLC, 117 Cal. App. 4th 822 (2004) James Mason was rendered a paraplegic after he rode down the “Doo Wop Super Drop” water slide and crashed into a dam at the end of the slide that was owned and operated by his employer, Lake Dolores Group (LDG). Shortly before the … Continue Reading

E-Mail Messages Accusing Individual Of Stealing Copyrighted Material And Plagiarism Were Only “Opinion”

Franklin v. Dynamic Details, Inc., 116 Cal. App. 4th 375 (2004) Bryan Franklin and Franklin-Choi Corporation (FCC) sued Dynamic Details, Inc. (DDi) and Jim Axton for defamation and tortious interference after Axton sent three e-mail messages to companies with which Franklin and FCC did business; the e-mail messages accused Franklin and FCC of plagiarism and … Continue Reading

Employer Was Not Necessarily Liable For Employee’s Actions That Caused Injury To Police Officer

Yamaguchi v. Harnsmut, 106 Cal. App. 4th 472 (2003) San Francisco Police Officer Tadao Yamaguchi and his wife, Tracy, sued Chaiyut Harnsmut and his wife, among others, for injuries Yamaguchi sustained when one of Harnsmut’s employees (Wisan Vatanavkovarun) threw scalding hot oil on Yamaguchi in the midst of an altercation that Wisan was having with … Continue Reading

Employee’s $400,000 Jury Verdict Against Urine- Testing Lab Is Upheld

Ishikawa v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 343 F.3d 1129 (9th Cir. 2003) Yasuko Ishikawa, a Delta Airlines flight attendant, was terminated for failing a drug-detection urine test. Because the test had been performed negligently and had no validity, Delta rehired Ishikawa and paid her her lost income. Ishikawa also sued LabOne, the urine-testing laboratory, for negligence, … Continue Reading

Employee Was Required To Pay Taxes On Part Of $8.73 Million Wrongful Termination Settlement

Banaitis v. CIR, 340 F.3d 1074 (9th Cir. 2003) In his tort claims against his former employer (Bank of California) and its successor (Mitsubishi Bank), Sigitas Banaitis alleged wrongful discharge and interference with his employment agreement. After losing at trial in Oregon state court (where Banaitis obtained a $6.27 million verdict in his favor) and … Continue Reading

Employee Did Not Trespass By Sending Thousands Of E-Mails To Former Employer

Intel Corp. v. Hamidi, 30 Cal. 4th 1342 (2003) Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, a former Intel engineer, formed an organization named Former and Current Employees of Intel (FACE-Intel) to disseminate information and views critical of Intel’s employment and personnel policies and practices. Over a 21-month period, Hamidi sent as many as 35,000 messages to e-mail addresses … Continue Reading

Corporate Agents Were Not Personally Liable For Unpaid Overtime Or Tortious Acts

Reynolds v. Bement, 107 Cal. App. 4th 738 (2003) In this class action lawsuit brought by shop managers and assistant shop managers of Earl Scheib, Inc., the managers asserted that the officers and directors of Earl Scheib were personally liable for unpaid overtime in that they were “employers” within the meaning of Industrial Welfare Commission … Continue Reading

Employee’s Tort Claim Involving Undiagnosed Tumor Was Barred By Workers’ Compensation Act

Weber v. United Parcel Serv., 107 Cal. App. 4th 801 (2003) Gary Weber, who was employed as an aircraft mechanic for UPS, underwent periodic hearing tests in accordance with the company’s internal safety policies and the requirements of the California Code of Regulations. Eventually, the tests revealed that Weber was losing his hearing in his … Continue Reading

Employee Who Sued Uninsured Employer Failed To Prove That Injury Occurred In The Course Of Employment

Huang v. L.A. Haute, 106 Cal. App. 4th 284 (2003) Ai Zhen Huang was employed as a housekeeper at the home of Brad Hunter, but was on the payroll of L.A. Haute, a furniture manufacturing business in which Hunter was a partner. Huang was employed for approximately two years before her employment was terminated on … Continue Reading

Attorneys Who Left Law Firm And Solicited Its Employees Were Liable For Tortious Interference

Reeves v. Hanlon, 106 Cal. App. 4th 433 (2003) Attorney Robert L. Reeves filed a lawsuit against attorneys Daniel P. Hanlon and Colin T. Greene and their law firm, Hanlon & Greene (H&G), after Hanlon and Greene abruptly resigned from their positions with Reeves & Hanlon (R&H) and allegedly persuaded certain R&H employees to join … Continue Reading

Employer May Be Liable For Auto Accident Caused By Employee Who Became Sick From Fumigation

Bussard v. Minimed, Inc., 105 Cal. App. 4th 798 (2003) Barbara Bussard was injured when Irma Hernandez, a Minimed clerical employee, rear-ended Bussard, who was stopped at a red light. Hernandez was on her way home after she became ill at work the day after Minimed had fumigated its premises in order to eliminate a … Continue Reading
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