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Appeals

  • 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 police officer, who prevailed below, challenging the trial court’s rulings and jury verdict in a personal injury action from a traffic accident. When defendant, a driver, made a left turn, the officer fell from his bicycle and sustained injury. The trial court precluded a non-retained, treating physician from opining as an expert witness on medical records the doctor had not reviewed.  Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries. 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.

 

  • Appeal by a county after plaintiff, mother of a deceased newborn, won a jury verdict.  Mother alleged that  the county coroner’s office had violated a mandatory duty under statute by cremating her baby without adequate notice and prior authorization, and that county had waited too long to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, actions that caused mother serious emotional distress.  County alleged that it had not violated a mandatory duty under statute, that it had left a voice mail notice for mother about the cremation, and that mother had failed to timely pick up her voice mail.  Mother cross appealed on some of the claims not adjudicated at trial.  Her attorneys’ fee motion was pending.  Resolved in mediation.

 

  • Appeal by employer, a management services organization for hospital-based physician groups, and its lead doctor challenging the trial court’s denial of their motion to compel arbitration. Former employee, a hospital coordinator, alleged that doctor had created a hostile work environment by his sexually explicit texts and conduct, and that employer had retaliated by wrongfully terminating her after she complained. The defense alleged employee was terminated for poor performance. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

 

  • Appeal by parent alleging a county child protective agency had wrongfully and permanently removed her child without a warrant. She further alleged that the government made false statements about her perceived mental disability in violation of her constitutional due process under 42 U.S.C. §1983, and discriminated against her in violation of the ADA and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, warranting higher attorneys' fees than the amount awarded at trial. The government's cross-appeal alleged plaintiff was not regarded as having a disability, as well as res judicata, instructional error, qualified immunity, lack of substantial evidence, and insufficiency of the evidence. Case litigated for seven years. Resolved in mediation.

  • Appeal by confirmation director with 32 years of service alleging her former employer, a church, wrongfully terminated her in retaliation for being a whistleblower about its financial, employment, record keeping and clergy activities. She also alleged the church breached its oral and implied contract to not terminate her except for good cause, defamed her, and intentionally caused her emotional distress. The employer alleged that the former employee was terminated for insubordination and disruptive behavior. The trial court sustained the church's demurrers, granted summary adjudication, and assessed costs in favor of the employer. The former employee alleged insufficient evidence, reversible error and abuse of discretion on appeal. Resolved in mediation.

  • Appeal by former employer, a solar company, challenging an order denying its motion to compel arbitration of a wage-and-hour and Private Attorney General’s Act (PAGA) action brought by its former employee, an installation supervisor. The employer alleged the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts PAGA. The employee alleged the FAA does not preempt PAGA. Resolved by mediator’s proposal.

  • Appeal by former employer, a bank, challenging an arbitrator’s award of six figures in  plaintiff's attorneys’ fees when the employee had lost on all but one of her many employment claims, awarding $100 out of her multi-million-dollar demand. The employer alleged that any attorneys’ fees should be commensurate with the limited arbitration award. The employee alleged that courts must defer to the arbitrator’s discretion. Resolved in mediation.