Archive for the ‘ Case Dismissal’ Category

Successfully Defends Constitutionality of Assembly Bill 1775 in Court

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Hurrell Cantrall, LLP recently obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a complex matter where plaintiffs filed suit against defendants the Attorney General of California and a local District Attorney for declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin and prohibit the Attorney General and the district attorneys of the State of California from enforcing Assembly Bill (“A.B.”) 1775.

Specifically, in the lawsuit, plaintiffs claimed that A.B. 1775’s recent amendment to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (“CANRA”), Penal Code § 11165.1(c), requiring psychotherapists to report to law enforcement authorities any patient who has downloaded or viewed child pornography on the internet or on his cell phone, violates the patient’s constitutional right to privacy regarding his confidential communications with a psychotherapist under the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, and subjects psychotherapists to criminal prosecution and loss of their licenses if they fail to comply with this alleged illegal reporting requirement.

We demurred to the Complaint, arguing that plaintiffs failed to state a claim for declaratory relief because the recently amended California Penal Code § 11165.1 does not violate patients’ rights to privacy under Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The Los Angeles Superior Court agreed and sustained our demurrer to plaintiffs’ Complaint without leave to amend.

Hurrell Cantrall Secures Dismissal of a Toxic Tort Case at the Pleading Stages

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

In this products liability case, the surviving plaintiffs alleged that the decedent developed and died of acute myelogenous leukemia due to his

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occupational exposure to benzene, which was allegedly released from the manufacturing processes at our client’s chemical plant. At the early stages of litigation, we engaged in a series of informal negotiations with the plaintiffs’ counsel. We urged the plaintiffs’ counsel to dismiss our client from the action based on the lack of sufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims. Before our demurrer and motion to strike was heard, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss our client with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of costs.

Dismissal of Toxic Tort Action

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Plaintiffs brought an action alleging that their decedent developed heart, kidney and liver disease due to exposure to numerous chemical products in the course of the decedent’s employment as a laborer. We filed a Demurrer as to all causes of action on the grounds that plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint failed to assert a sufficient factual connection or causal nexus between our client’s products and the decedent’s injuries. The Court agreed and sustained the Demurrer without

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leave to amend, thereby disposing the entire action as to our client.

Hurrell Cantrall Victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision that granted our law enforcement clients summary judgment on a civil rights action involving an officer on officer shooting.  In affirming the decision, the appellate court agreed with our arguments in the motion for summary judgment and in our respondent’s brief that there was no “seizure,” and hence no violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  

Dismissal of Employment Law Action

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

The plaintiff brought an action in federal court arising out of his termination from employment with a public entity. The plaintiff alleged claims for, inter alia, Title VII discrimination, breach of contract, hostile work environment, and defamation. On behalf of our public entity client, we filed a motion to dismiss the action on numerous procedural and substantive grounds, which was granted by the court despite plaintiff’s fierce opposition.  While the plaintiff was granted leave to amend initially, our motion to dismiss the first amended complaint was granted without leave to amend, resulting in a dismissal of the entire action against our client. In addition, while the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, his appeal was dismissed.

Dismissal of Breach of Contract and Tortious Interference with Contract Case

Friday, November 6th, 2009

In this case, the plaintiff owned and operated a daycare and preschool on property owned by our clients, who were individuals and business entities. The plaintiff filed suit against our clients claiming that they breached oral and written contracts related to the operation of the daycare and preschool. Plaintiff also alleged that defendants tortiously interfered with her business and prospective business opportunities. Finally, plaintiff alleged that her business was wrongfully evicted from the property. The lawsuit sought damages for loss business profits and future business profits, as well as punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Defendants demurred to the initial complaint, which was procedurally defective on its face. In lieu of filing an opposition, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint, which completely changed the facts from the initial Complaint to get around the procedural defects of the statute of limitations and statute of fraud defenses. Defendants demurred based on the “sham pleading” doctrine. The Court dismissed all individual defendants and gave plaintiff leave to amend as to the business entities. Also, the Court found that the tortious interference with contract and prospective economic advantage claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint alleging the same facts as the previous

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two complaints and attached the alleged contract. Defendants again demurred based on the fact that there was no privity of contract and because the facts alleged did not show that the remaining entity defendants caused or contributed to plaintiff’s alleged damages. The Court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend, dismissing the case in its entirety and entitling

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defendants to its costs.

Dismissals of Hurrell Cantrall LLP’s Clients are Affirmed on Appeal

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

In this products liability case, the plaintiffs, a widow and three children, filed a wrongful death and survival action against numerous defendants, including our clients, alleging that decedent’s exposure to benzene and other alleged toxins from defendants’ chemical products caused him to develop kidney disease and brain cancer. We filed a demurrer as to all of plaintiffs’ survival causes of action, arguing that those claims are barred by the statute of limitations, and that equitable tolling did not save plaintiffs’ claims. The trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. On appeal, the plaintiffs argued that equitable tolling and the relation back doctrines applied. We argued that neither doctrines applied as to our clients, and that the trial court properly sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision as to our clients, and ordered plaintiffs to bear the costs of our clients’ appeal.

Dismissal in Product Liability/Toxic Tort Action

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The plaintiff in this product liability action alleged that while he was employed as a painter in Illinois from 1958 to 2000, he was exposed to defendants’ chemical products which contained benzene. He further alleged that his exposure to benzene from these products caused him to develop serious bodily injuries, including Myelodysplastic Syndrome (“MDS”). The plaintiff filed an action in the Los Angeles Superior Court against approximately 40 corporate defendants alleging claims of negligence, strict liability, and breach of express and implied warranties.  The Court granted a motion to dismiss on the theory of forum non conveniens, thereby terminating the entire action in California.

Hurrell Cantrall LLP’s Clients Dismissed from Governmental Liability Action

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

In this matter, four plaintiffs who had been charged with assault on a peace officer claimed that they were falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force. The plaintiffs sued those officers as well as the public entity that employed them. We filed a motion to dismiss all of the individual defendants based on various procedural and substantive grounds, which the Court granted without leave to amend, leaving only the public entity as a defendant in the action. Through further negotiations between our office and the plaintiffs’ counsel, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss all of their claims against the public entity. The Court

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therefore ordered the dismissal of the case, terminating the action.

Toxic Tort Dismissal and Nominal Settlement

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Bronstein case is a products liability action based upon the alleged toxic injuries sustained by decedent Ely Bronstein and plaintiff Roger Lewis, as a result of alleged exposure to toxins while employed by National Steel and Ship Building (NASSCO). Mr. Bronstein was employed by NASSCO as a pipe fitter/welder for 36 years. Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Bronstein’s Acute Mylegenous Leukemia, which lead to his death in November 2003, was related to exposure to toxins. Mr. Lewis was employed by NASSCO as a welder for 29 years. In 1986, Mr. Lewis was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. On February 2, 2005, plaintiffs commenced an action against over 50 defendants alleging causes of action for negligence, negligence per se, strict liability-warning defect, strict liability- design defect, and breach of implied warranties.

After over four years of litigation, Hurrell Cantrall LLP was successful in obtaining outright dismissals on behalf of two of its clients, and a nominal settlement of $1,000 on behalf of another client. Hurrell Cantrall LLP advanced the argument that plaintiffs could not maintain their burden of proving that decedent Ely Bronstein and plaintiff Roger Lewis were exposed to the alleged products, or that their exposure was the cause of their injuries.

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