RCG Gaslamp, LLC v. Ehmcke Sheetmetal Company, Inc. (2020) 56 Cal.App.5th 413.
This is a SLAPP matter. An owner sued a subcontractor for quiet title, slander of title and declaratory and injunctive relief after it had secured a bond to release an original mechanics lien and the subcontractor filed successive identical mechanics liens. The trial court granted, and the court of appeal affirmed, the subcontractor’s SLAPP motion. The filing of the successive mechanics liens after the bond was posted was protected petitioning activity and the filing of the lien also constitutes protected activity even if the lien is invalid or otherwise improper. Nothing else was required, but the owner also did not establish the merit of the claim for slander of title because the filing of the invalid mechanics lien was absolutely privileged under Civil Code §47(b).
Dix v. Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (2020) 56 Cal.App.5th 590. This was an interesting case involving the operator of an electronic music festival and the degree of duty which the operator was found to have with respect to providing security for invitees. The court of appeal determined that the operator had a special relationship with the invitees because they depended on the operator to provide medical care and adequate security. It was known by the operator that dangerous drugs at music festivals could create the need for immediate medical care and that was a foreseeable circumstance. There were triable issues of fact regarding breach of duty and causation, so the matter was returned to the trial court for further review but the significant element of the case is that a duty was found to exist in those circumstances.
Gregory L. McCoy