Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - May 26, 2015

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Pouzbaris v. Prime Healthcare Services -- Anaheim, LLP (2015, 236 Cal.App.4th 116).  A hospital patient sued a hospital after the patient had slipped and fallen on a recently mopped floor that lacked any warning signs.  The trial court granted judgment to the defendant based on the one year statute of limitations for professional negligence.  The Court of Appeal reversed, noting that professional negligence occurs when one is rendering professional services, and the complaint here involving a recently mopped floor did not occur in the rendering of professional services, but was instead ordinary negligence, and therefore subject to the two year statute of limitations in CCP section 335.1.

Anderson v. Geist (2015, 236 Cal.App.4th 79).  This is a SLAPP case.  The complaint alleged that sheriff’s deputies had made defamatory statements and unlawfully entered into a residence while attempting to execute a bench warrant that had been recalled.  The SLAPP motion was denied, and the Court of Appeal affirmed the denial, finding that the deputies were not acting in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition with regard to executing the warrant, nor was there any issue of public interest shown and the alleged defamatory statements were not made in a judicial procedure or in preparation for litigation.  The deputies therefore could not meet their burden showing that the plaintiff’s claims arose from protected activity and the burden never shifted to the plaintiff to establish a probability of prevailing on the merits.

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