Personal Injury

Premises Liability: Concealed Dangerous Conditions

By on August 6, 2014 - Comments off

Hall v. Aurora Loan Services LLC (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1134, 155 Cal.Rptr.3d 739

A real estate agent who fractured her leg when a stairway ladder broke while she was showing a house to prospective buyers, filed suit for personal injuries against the loan services company which owned the property, as well as the listing agents. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had been negligent in failing to disclose to visitors the concealed dangerous condition, because a licensed contractor who had inspected the house a few months earlier had written a report stating “remove and replace attic stair.”

The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that they had no notice or knowledge of a defect in the stairway, in that the report did not express any safety concerns about the stairway ladder.  The contractor himself had testified the ladder did not appear to be dangerous, and that if there had been a problem other than with its appearance he would have noted it in his report. The trial court granted summary judgment but the court of appeal reversed, holding that triable issues of fact remained as to whether the defendants should have known the ladder was a concealed danger: Read the rest »


Elder Abuse:  Outpatient Treatment

By on July 28, 2014 - Comments off

Winn v. Pioneer Medical Group, Inc. (2013)  216 Cal. App. 4th 875, 157 Cal.Rptr.3d 124

The heirs of an 83-year old woman who died of blood poisoning several months after two amputation surgeries due to gangrene, filed a complaint for elder abuse against a medical group and physicians who had been caring for her on an outpatient basis for several years prior to her hospitalization. The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent had suffered from impaired vascular flow which the defendants had charted but ignored for years, and that they should have referred her to a specialist in vascular care.

The trial court sustained the defendants’ demurrer without leave to amend, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to provide facts showing that care had been rendered in a reckless sense as is required under the Elder Abuse Act. However, the court of appeal reversed, finding the question of recklessness was for a jury to decide, and rejecting the defendants’ contention that outpatient care does not fall within the scope of the Act: Read the rest »


Duty of Care: Furnishing Alcohol to Minors

By on July 21, 2014 - Comments off

Rybicki v. Carlson, (Second District, May 22, 2013) 216 Cal. App.4th 758, 157 Cal.Rptr.3d 660

A bicyclist who was injured when he was stuck by a drunk driving on the wrong side of the road, filed an action for personal injuries against the driver and her four female passengers. The plaintiff alleged that the five friends, who were all under 21, had collectively solicited adults to purchase alcoholic beverages for them, which they brought to a male friend’s home to consume, along with other alcoholic beverages provided at the residence. The plaintiff further alleged conspiracy and aiding and abetting theories, contending that some of the alcohol had been furnished in violation of Civil Code § 1714(d), which provides that an adult who furnishes alcoholic beverages to a minor at his or her residence may be liable for resulting injuries. Read the rest »