Legal Memos File
Truck Insurance Exchange v. Federal Insurance Company (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 211. This is a SLAPP case. A primary insurer filed a complaint against an excess insurer alleging a fraudulently induced settlement. The SLAPP motion by the excess insurer was denied and affirmed with the court of appeal finding that the primary insurer met its burden of showing a probability of prevailing on the merits and evidence of intrinsic fraud rendered the litigation privilege inapplicable.
Towner v. County of Ventura (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 761. This is another SLAPP case. Defendants’ motion was addressed to causes of action for violation of the public safety officer procedural bill of rights and negligence per se. The court of appeal reversed the trial court’s granting of the motion, finding that the defendants’ public disclosure of the investigative confidential personnel records in a writ proceeding was not protected activity because defendants had failed to comply with Penal Code § 832.7 concerning the disclosure of confidential law enforcement personnel records. That failure was illegal as a matter of law under Government Code § 1222.
Verceles v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 776. The District brought a SLAPP motion to a teacher’s complaint for discrimination and retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The court found that the plaintiff’s claims were based upon reassignment and termination of employment decisions rather than communications made regarding the District’s investigation of the teacher’s alleged misconduct, or the investigation as a whole.
Ratcliff v. The Roman Catholic Arch Bishop of Los Angeles (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 869. Plaintiffs were adults who had alleged that they had been molested by a priest when they were children in bringing the action against the defendant. Defendant brought a SLAPP motion on the theory that its purported ratification of molestation or failure to supervise the priest involved constituted speech or litigation conduct which was protected by the SLAPP statute. The SLAPP motion was denied with the court finding that the nature of the suit was not speech, it was molestation and failure to supervise.
Gregory L. McCoy