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Business | Consumer 


  • Appeal by a customer, following the trial court’s judgment on the pleadings, alleging that a drug store discriminated against her on the basis of race in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, engaged in unfair business practices, and falsely imprisoned her. The store denied any racial animus, claiming instead that in limiting the use of coupons to a single set of purchases, its manager complied with the Department of Treasury’s Prepaid Access Rules on anti-money laundering. When the customer confronted the manager and refused to leave after her purchase, the store called the police, who encouraged the customer to leave the premises without incident. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by public relations company challenging the trial court’s grant of an anti-SLAPP motion in favor of a personal service business on its assigned indemnity rights. The underlying complaints, cross-complaint and partial settlement arose from a right of publicity action on the misuse of several models’ names and likenesses by its agent and the public relations company. The public relations company asserted that the trial court erred in granting the personal services businesses’ anti-SLAPP motion. Resolved globally on second mediation by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by a septuagenarian visitor alleging premises liability against a commercial building owner. En route to her doctor’s appointment in the building, visitor was severely injured when she struck the lobby’s floor-to-ceiling glass window under the mistaken belief that it was an open doorway. Visitor alleged building owner was negligent in breaching its duty to post markings on the glass to prevent such foreseeable injuries. Building owner alleged that it would be obvious to a reasonable person that the framed and tinted window was not an open doorway, and that no one else had walked into the window in the 40 years of the building’s history. It further alleged that, when visitor was at the same location and accompanied by her daughter just a week earlier, she had used a clearly marked doorway for ingress and egress without incident. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Action by consumer alleging that a golf course discriminated against him on the basis of sex under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Gender Tax Repeal Act when it sponsored a woman’s golf day, which offered women discounts on playing golf, golf ball rentals, green fees, cart rentals, wine and other amenities. The golf course alleged that it had partnered with a women’s sports foundation to encourage women to play golf, a sport that has historically excluded women. As a result of the litigation, women’s golf days are no longer sponsored in California. Resolved following mediation.


  • Action by the seller, a Chinese distributer, alleging that the buyer, an American start-up that planned to make personal protective equipment in the COVID-19 pandemic, breached the sales contract for failing to pay for the machines and raw materials shipped to the buyer. The buyer alleged that, while the machines were in good order, the raw materials were damaged in the way they were packed, and thus could not be used to make surgical face masks. Seller claimed that the buyer neither notified seller of any alleged damage nor provide it an opportunity to cure, and buyer’s complaint was a pretext to not pay seller in a now less profitable face mask market. Resolved following mediation.


  • Appeal by a funeral home challenging the trial court’s default judgment in an action brought by parents, Mexican tourists whose child died unexpected while visiting California, for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant to provide dignified funeral services, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud.  Parents alleged that funeral home had filed incorrect paperwork, untimely transported the body back to Mexico, mishandled the corpse, and delayed the burial of their child.  Funeral home alleged that it had fulfilled the terms of the contract as written, and that it was the victim of the ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

  • Appeal by consumer challenging the trial court’s post-trial determination of bad faith prosecution and award of attorneys’ fees/costs to the defense. The consumer alleged that the auto dealership violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act by charging him more than the MSRP sticker price and that he sued in good faith.The auto dealership alleged the consumer had buyer’s remorse, sued in bad faith, provided testimony that contradicted his complaint, and caused the dealership to expend resources in mounting a defense, which it won. Resolved following mediation.


  • Appeal by consumer challenging the trial court’s denial of class certification in an action against mattress store alleging unfair competition and unfair advertising of its mattress size and price matching offer. Mattress store alleged consumer lacked standing, her claim had no merit, she had kept and enjoyed the mattress she bought, and she had declined a full refund. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.


  • Appeal by subcontractor, an electrical business, challenging the trial court’s judgment in a mechanic’s lien action against a building contractor and a property owner on construction of a condominium complex. Subcontractor alleged both the contractor and owner failed to fully compensate it for services rendered. Contractor alleged owner failed to fully compensate it for its work.  Owner alleged contractor and subcontractor failed to complete the job and performed substandard work, creating delay, cost overruns and habitability problems.  Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

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