Insights

Featured Insights

Payne & Fears provides high quality legal and business insights, and we are committed to delivering practical and timely updates for a diverse range of issues, businesses and industries.

Labor and Employment Law
May 23 | Labor and Employment Law
On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., holding unpaid meal and rest break premiums can give rise to derivative claims for waiting time penalties (Labor Code section 203) and inaccurate wage statements (Labor Code section 226). This consequential ruling may significantly increase the exposure for employers in class action lawsuits involving unpaid meal and rest break premiums.
Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Insurance Coverage
In a decision that further muddies the already murky waters of “occurrence” jurisprudence, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a general liability policy does not cover a homeowner who mistakenly grades the wrong piece of land because the act of grading land is not “accidental.”
Business Litigation
Apr 29 | Business Litigation
The California Court of Appeal recently provided much needed clarification regarding the application of Proposition 65, which prohibits businesses from knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to certain chemicals without first providing a written warning. In Lee v. Amazon.com, Inc., 76 Cal. App. 5th 200 (March 2022), the court addressed two key questions: (1) whether constructive knowledge of hazardous chemicals and potential exposure is sufficient under the statute, or if actual knowledge is required; and (2) what level of specificity is required in a Proposition 65 Notice of Violation. Lee’s ruling is important for every company that sells consumer products because Proposition 65 obligations apply “to any retailer, manufacturer, producer, packager, importer, supplier, or distributor of the product.” Lee, 76 Cal. App 5th at 231. A company found to have violated Proposition 65 can be fined up to $2,500 per violation per day, which can quickly add up, especially if the violator sells multiple offending products on a regular/daily basis.
E.g., 06/26/2022
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Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In a decision that further muddies the already murky waters of “occurrence” jurisprudence, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a general liability policy does not cover a homeowner who mistakenly grades the wrong piece of land because the act of grading land is not “accidental.”
Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
Third-party claims seeking damages for faulty workmanship that results in property damage are covered under general liability policies in most jurisdictions. Virginia is not one of them. A federal district court recently reaffirmed that Virginia remains in the small minority of states that view construction defect claims as a business risk to be borne by the builder, even when the claims arise out of negligent conduct that results in property damage.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
May 23 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., holding unpaid meal and rest break premiums can give rise to derivative claims for waiting time penalties (Labor Code section 203) and inaccurate wage statements (Labor Code section 226). This consequential ruling may significantly increase the exposure for employers in class action lawsuits involving unpaid meal and rest break premiums.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
May 16 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
April's case summaries include decisions on waiting-time penalties for freelance photo shoot models, another attempt at using arbitration to defeat PAGA claims, and the application of various employment laws on smaller companies.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
Apr 29 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
The California Court of Appeal recently provided much needed clarification regarding the application of Proposition 65, which prohibits businesses from knowingly and intentionally exposing individuals to certain chemicals without first providing a written warning. In Lee v. Amazon.com, Inc., 76 Cal. App. 5th 200 (March 2022), the court addressed two key questions: (1) whether constructive knowledge of hazardous chemicals and potential exposure is sufficient under the statute, or if actual knowledge is required; and (2) what level of specificity is required in a Proposition 65 Notice of Violation. Lee’s ruling is important for every company that sells consumer products because Proposition 65 obligations apply “to any retailer, manufacturer, producer, packager, importer, supplier, or distributor of the product.” Lee, 76 Cal. App 5th at 231. A company found to have violated Proposition 65 can be fined up to $2,500 per violation per day, which can quickly add up, especially if the violator sells multiple offending products on a regular/daily basis.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Apr 28 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
A new, third revised version of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) has been approved by Cal/OSHA, and is expected to go into effect on May 6, 2022. This updated ETS will likely be in effect through Dec. 31, 2022. The language still needs to be reviewed, finalized, and filed with the Secretary of State by the Office of Administrative Law, but a redline of the proposed changes that Cal/OSHA has approved is available here. Much of the previous ETS (which took effect in January 2022) will remain in effect. But the new version includes some key changes.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
Apr 22 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
California hospitals should be aware of a new California Court of Appeal decision that explores whether hospitals can be held liable for failing to disclose their emergency room fees to patients prior to evaluating/treating them for emergency medical conditions. Prior cases addressing the issue uniformly have found in favor of the hospitals on a variety of grounds. The new case, Torres v. Adventist Health, discusses the issue in depth and, despite holding in favor of the hospital, contains dicta that appears to give plaintiff lawyers a roadmap into how to successfully plead such a cause of action. However, the roadmap it provides is problematic (and not likely to be followed in future cases) as the court did not consider important considerations that make its discussion of the issues incomplete.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Apr 11 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
March 2022 Case Summaries include issues with forum-selection clauses in California employment agreements subject to Labor Code Section 925, employment arbitration agreements, and the ability of trial courts to strike down PAGA claims.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Mar 16 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
Case summaries for January and February 2022 include determining standards for evaluating whistleblower retaliation, rest-period requirements for motor carrier drivers, at-will employees suing employers for willful misrepresentation, and jury trials for PAGA actions.

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