Lemon Law

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Procedural Posture

Plaintiff construction company sought review of an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California, denying its motion to strike 18 causes of action in a cross-complaint filed against defendant City of Los Angeles.

Overview

It is unknow whether the parties engaged the legal services from a business law lawyer in the transaction. A construction company sued the City of Los Angeles, California, claiming it was owed payment for work on a reconstruction project. The City cross-complained, alleging causes of action for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The construction company moved under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16 to strike the amended cross-complaint as a SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) suit. The trial court only struck one cause of action. The construction company contended the other causes of action should have been stricken. The appellate court disagreed. Concessions made by the construction company defeated the SLAPP motion, because they demonstrated the alleged improper conduct did not arise from the company’s free speech activities but rather from its bidding and contracting practices.

Outcome

The judgment was affirmed.

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff appealed from an order of the Santa Clara County Superior Court (California) which granted summary adjudication in favor of defendant employer alleging wrongful discharge under Cal. Gov’t Code § 12945.2. Defendant appealed judgment and damages in favor of plaintiff on claim alleging breach of an implied contract.

Overview

Plaintiff sued defendant, alleging claims for wrongful termination in violation of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Cal. Gov’t Code § 12945.2, public policy, and implied contract. Upon defendant’s motion, the trial court granted summary adjudication on the first two claims, but adopted the referee’s decision finding an implied contract not to terminate employment without cause, and awarded plaintiff $ 29,800 and costs, as prevailing party. Both parties appealed. The appellate court affirmed, holding that plaintiff may state a claim for tortious wrongful discharge based upon the CFRA but that the defendant had met its burden of production in articulating a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its action, therefore, summary adjudication was properly granted. The appellate court then affirmed the judgment, holding that substantial evidence supported the findings and that the damages awarded were not excessive, supported by the evidence, and did not constitute an abuse of discretion.

Outcome

Summary adjudication affirmed, because defendant met its burden in articulating a nondiscriminatory reason for termination of its employee; Judgment in favor of plaintiff and damage award affirmed, because substantial evidence supported the finding of an implied contract and that the damages were neither excessive nor constituted an abuse of discretion.

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