Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - March 4, 2014

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Ahn v. Kumho Tire USA, Inc. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 133.  This is an action in which the plaintiff responded to various discovery requests with responses of, "We don't know" and "Discovery is continuing" and defendant thereafter filed a summary judgment motion contending that plaintiff should not be allowed to vary these answers as part of its response to summary judgment.  While the trial court upheld defendant's position, the Court of Appeal reversed on the basis that the discovery responses provided by the plaintiff were not clear and unequivocal admissions of fact which could not thereafter be credibly contradicted or amended, and in reaching this conclusion, the court seemed to rely upon plaintiff's counsel's explanation that the discovery responses were a mistake.

Thornbrough v. Western Placer Unified School District (2013) 223 Cal.App.4th 169.  In this case an assistant director of maintenance, a classified employee, for a school district sought a writ of mandate contending that he had been denied due process as part of his dismissal.  The court denied the mandamus request, finding that the employee had not established any due process notice violations, and that the record indicated that he in fact had been offered continuances to meet amended charges as they arose and there was nothing which precluded the filing of amended charges.  Similarly, the court found that the employee's challenge to the neutrality of the hearing officer was both untimely and without merit.  The court found that the evidentiary record established ample grounds for termination.

Welco Electronics, Inc. v. Mora (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 202.  The plaintiff brought an action for conversion of money based upon the defendant, its former quality assurance manager, had misused a credit card, debit card and Paypal information.  The court found that this could be the subject of an action for conversion and an unauthorized transfer of plaintiff's property rights supported the cause of action which plaintiff had pled.

Rutherford Holdings, LLC v. Plaza Del Rey (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 221.  This case is interesting for a number of factors.  It holds that in a real estate purchase agreement for a mobile home park the parties had concurrent obligations and in such a situation neither party is in default until one party performs or tenders performance.  Here the buyer had failed to fully tender performance but the matter was remanded because although the contract claimant's claim was defective, the buyer should have been granted leave to amend that claim.  The court found that the plaintiff had properly pled a claim for money had and received and a quasi-contract claim for restitution based on unjust enrichment.

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