Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - March 8, 2016

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USS-Posco Industries v. Case (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 197.  In this case an employee attended a voluntary, employer paid-for educational program, and had agreed to reimburse the employer if the employee quit within 30 months of completing the program.  The employee did quit and the employer sued seeking reimbursement of those costs.  The court found that the reimbursement provision was enforceable, did not constitute an invalid restraint on employment under Business and Professions Code § 16600, did not violate the Labor Code and was not procedurally unconscionable or a taking of wages.  It however did not support an award of attorney's fees to the employer under Labor Code §§ 221, 222 and 223.

Highland Springs Conference & Training Center v. City of Banning (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 267.  In this case the court finds that a judgment creditor may seek to amend a judgment to add an additional judgment debtor at any time, and that the facts in this case with respect to a four-year delay did not automatically result in a denial of the judgment creditor's motion.  The court finds that no statute of limitations applies to a CCP§ 187 motion to amend a judgment to add a judgment debtor.  Laches however can be asserted as a defense, which must be evaluated equitably, and not as a matter of a fixed limitations period.

Karnazes v. Ares (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 344.  This is a SLAPP case.  The issue here was that the SLAPP motion was filed more than 60 days after the initial filing of the complaint and would therefore on its face appear to be untimely, but the court found that it was nonetheless timely because a change of venue extends the time to file pursuant to CRC 3.1326, and a delay in actually scheduling the hearing could not be grounds for denial of the SLAPP motion.

Monschke v.Timber Ridge Assisted Living, LLC (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 583.  In this case the personal representative of a decedent brought an action for wrongful death and elder abuse against an assisted living facility.  Defendant sought to compel arbitration on the ground that the plaintiff, on behalf of the decedent, had signed an agreement with an arbitration clause before enrolling the decedent in the assisted living facility.  The petition to compel arbitration was denied.  The plaintiff had entered into the residence agreement on behalf of the decedent, not in plaintiff's personal capacity.  As the personal representative of the decedent's estate, plaintiff could assert a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent's heirs, not the decedent, and would not be bound by the arbitration provision.

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