Publications Archives

Another Good Reason to Analyze your Business Automobile Policies and Insurance

By: Kyle D. Kring

You are an employer and your employee is driving home from work when he or she accidentally hits another vehicle, injuring a third party. Do you think your business is legally responsible for the third party's injuries?

An Unpaid Self-Insured Retention

By: Brendan J. Coughlin

Earlier this year the United States District Court, Southern District of California, issued a decision that will undoubtedly influence the issue of self-insured retentions ("SIR's") and insurance coverage in our state. In Phillips v. Noetic Specialty Insurance Co. (2013) 919 F.Supp.2d 1089, it was held that under certain circumstances the failure to pay a SIR, which is the amount paid before there is coverage, did not prevent the insurance from being triggered.

Surviving the Holidays During Divorce

By: Hoang-Anh Zapien

It's that time of the year again. Lights are being put up on rooftops, stores crowd with shoppers buying presents, and holiday planning for family gatherings begin. The holiday season is usually an occasion of festive and happy times. However, for those who are coping with divorce, the effects of separation and loss are magnified as the holiday season approaches.

Another Important SIR Decision

By: Brendan J. Coughlin

The recent California case of American Safety Indemnity Co. v. Admiral Insurance Co. (2013) 220 Cal. App. 4th 1, confirms that policy language must be unambiguous when an insurer seeks to limit its obligations under an insurance policy. In this matter, the Court of Appeal found that while the language at issue clearly imposed a $250,000 Self-Insured Retention ("SIR") on damages paid to third parties, this SIR was inapplicable to the insurer's duty to defend claims made.

Employer Drives Away From Liability for Employee's Use of Employer's Car

By: Allyson K. Thompson

A California Appellate Court recently ruled in Baker v. Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. that an employer could not be found vicariously liable for injuries its employee sustained while driving a company car on personal business. While this was a fact specific case, it nonetheless is a helpful case for employers.

SB 800 - Fact or Fiction?

Senate Bill (SB) 800, now codified as Civil Code § 895, et seq. ("SB 800"), was supposed to revolutionize construction defect litigation. Approved by the California Legislature and signed into law on September 20, 2002, SB 800 promised to give construction contractors the "Right To Fix" claimed construction defects, rather than being launched into litigation. The law applies to sales of new home units beginning on January 1, 2003.

Why Social Media Should Be Avoided During a Divorce

By: Hoang-Anh Zapien

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media websites have become an integral part of how people interact with one another in today's culture. When something happens in our lives, it is automatically relayed to our friends and families through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and is often documented by lots and lots of photos. However, keeping friends and families updated about every triumph and tragedy in our lives is not always the best course of conduct when going through a divorce. Parties often post things via social media without thinking through all the potential consequences. Especially during a divorce process, parties need to realize that not every "friend" is a friend.

Event Data Recorders and Automobile Accident Litigation

By: Robert L. Thompson

As technology continues to develop, cars are increasingly more computerized each year. One of the main developments over the past decade has been the installation of "Event Data Recorders" (EDR) in modern motor vehicles. EDRs are commonly known as the car's "black box." They are actually small silver boxes attached to the floor of the car that house a variety of sensors from throughout the vehicle. (Doug Newcomb, "Car Black Box Recorders Capture Crash Data", December 18, 2012.) In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently proposing that all new consumer vehicles be equipped with them by September, 2014. 49 CFR Part 571. Furthermore, the NHTSA estimates that as of 2011, 91.6% of light motor vehicles are already equipped with these EDR devices.

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