Category - Professional Liability

1
California’s Court Of Appeal Confirms That Comparative Fault Applies To Professional Malpractice Claims And That Pre-Judgment Interest Is Not Recoverable Where Issues Exist On Fault And Apportionment
2
Failure to Maintain Equipment “Integrally Related” to Medical Diagnosis or Treatment Resulting in an Injury is Professional Negligence Under MICRA and Therefore Subject to a One Year Statute of Limitations
3
CPAs’ Audit Report and Qualified Opinion Did Not Cause Company’s Or Investors’ Losses Where There Was No Evidence Of Reasonable Reliance
4
An Architect Owes A Duty Of Care To Future Homeowners Where The Architect Is The Principal Design Professional On The Project
5
Salespersons Acting Under the Broker Have the Same Fiduciary Duty to the Buyer and the Seller as the Broker When a Broker is a Dual Agent of Both the Buyer and the Seller in a Real Property Transaction

California’s Court Of Appeal Confirms That Comparative Fault Applies To Professional Malpractice Claims And That Pre-Judgment Interest Is Not Recoverable Where Issues Exist On Fault And Apportionment

By: Ashley H. Verdon
May 25, 2017

In Yale v. Bowne (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 649, Yale sued her former attorney for negligence in the preparation of an estate plan which, contrary to Yale’s wishes, transmuted all of her separate property to community property, and ultimately forced her to enter into an unfavorable settlement with her ex-husband so that Yale could avoid potentially losing half of everything in her divorce.  In the negligence case, the jury found that Yale’s attorney was professionally negligent and that Yale was comparatively negligent, allocating 90% fault to her attorney and 10% fault to Yale.

Read More

Failure to Maintain Equipment “Integrally Related” to Medical Diagnosis or Treatment Resulting in an Injury is Professional Negligence Under MICRA and Therefore Subject to a One Year Statute of Limitations

By: Kacey R. Riccomini
September 30, 2016

Recently, in Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (2016) 63 Cal.4th 75, the California Supreme Court clarified whether and when the general negligence statute of limitations or, alternatively, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act’s (“MICRA”) special statute of limitations, applies to health care providers. Generally, a two-year statute of limitations for general negligence applies to personal injury actions. (Code Civ. Proc. §335.1.) However, under MICRA, claims for professional negligence against health care providers must be brought within the earlier of (1) “three years after the date of injury,” or (2) “one year after the plaintiff discovers, or…should have discovered, the injury.”  (Code Civ. Proc. §340.5.)

In Flores, the plaintiff was injured when one of the rails on her hospital bed collapsed. The rail had been raised per the doctor’s orders following a medical assessment of her condition. Almost two years later, Flores sued the hospital, claiming that it negligently failed to inspect and maintain the equipment. The hospital, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (“PIH”), sought to dismiss the claim by way of a demurrer, arguing that the claim was barred by §340.5’s one-year statute of limitations since Flores knew about her injury when she fell out of her hospital bed over a year before filing suit. Flores, on the other hand, argued that PIH’s conduct was ordinary negligence, subject to the two-year statute of limitations under §335.1. The trial court agreed with PIH, and sustained the demurrer without leave to amend.

Read More

CPAs’ Audit Report and Qualified Opinion Did Not Cause Company’s Or Investors’ Losses Where There Was No Evidence Of Reasonable Reliance

By: Kacey R. Riccomini
April 24, 2016

Accountants can breathe easier after Mosier v. Stonefield Josephson, Inc., CPAs (9th Cir., Feb. 23, 2016, No. 13-56453) 2016 WL 703104. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, found that Stonefield, an accounting firm that was hired by PEMGroup and its related entities to audit financial statements, did not cause PEMGroup or its investors’ losses where there was no evidence the company or its investors actually or reasonably relied on the CPAs’ audit report, particularly when PEMGroup’s management defrauded investors and Stonefield issued qualified opinions of PEMGroup’s financial statements. Going forward, the Ninth Circuit’s decision will greatly impact professional liability suits against accountants, among others.

Read More

An Architect Owes A Duty Of Care To Future Homeowners Where The Architect Is The Principal Design Professional On The Project

Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Ownigs, & Merrill LLP 2014 No. S208173 (Cal. Sup. Ct)

By: Richard H. Glucksman, Jon A. Turigliatto and David A. Napper
July 10, 2014

In a seminal ruling the California Supreme Court issued its decision on July 3, 2014 that an architect owes a duty of care to future homeowners where the architect is the principal architect on the project. The Court further held that the duty of care exists even when the architect does not actually build the project or exercise ultimate control over construction.

Design professionals Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and HKS Inc. (collectively “Design Professionals”) provided architectural and engineering services for construction of The Beacon residential condominiums in San Francisco, California (“Project”). The Beacon Residential Community Association (“Association”) eventually brought a construction defect action against various entities including the Design Professionals. The Design Professionals were the only architects on the Project and played an active role throughout the construction process, coordinating the design and construction teams, conducting weekly site visits and inspections, recommending design revisions as needed, and monitoring compliance with design plans. The Design Professionals demurred, contending they owed no duty of care to the Association. They further contended that even if the architect initiated the substitutions, changes, and other elements of design, so long as the final decision rested with the owner there is no duty owed by the design professionals to the future condominium owners.

Read More

Salespersons Acting Under the Broker Have the Same Fiduciary Duty to the Buyer and the Seller as the Broker When a Broker is a Dual Agent of Both the Buyer and the Seller in a Real Property Transaction

Horiike. v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. 2014 WL 1384226 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)

By: Richard H. Glucksman, Jon A. Turigliatto, and David A. Napper
June 4, 2014

The Second District Court of Appeal held that when a broker is the dual agent of both the buyer and the seller in a real property transaction, the salespersons acting under the broker have the same fiduciary duty to the buyer and the seller as the broker.

In 2006, a salesperson at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company (“Coldwell Banker”) listed a Malibu property on a multiple listing service. The salesperson stated the home offered approximately 15,000 square feet of living areas and created a flier stating the same. In March of 2007, a couple made an offer to purchase the property. The salesperson provided a letter from the architect stating the size of the house was approximately 15,000 square feet and suggested the couple hire a qualified specialist to verify the square footage. The deal eventually fell through when the seller would not extend the time for an inspection of the property. The salesperson subsequently changed the approximate square footage of the living areas to be “0/O.T.” meaning zero square feet and other comments.

Read More

© Copyright 2000-2016 Chapman, Glucksman, Dean, Roeb & Barger apc - All Rights Reserved