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Yearly Archives: 2013

  • An interesting question evolved several months ago upon creation of the Federal and State run insurance exchanges. Would payments stemming from private insurance companies participating in the public exchanges and accepting public subsidies now become subject to the Federal Anti-Kickback law, prohibiting the remuneration of consideration in exchange for services, referrals and the like? Providers felt sheltered from the Anti-Kickback law as long as the payment came from either a cash or private payor because the Federal law only extended to payments from Federal health programs. However, this assumption was now somewhat in flux with the creation of the public […]

  • On July 31, 2013, the California Court of Appeal placed employers on notice that they better control holiday party drinking. In Purton v. Marriott International, Inc. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 499, the court extended the already broad scope of the Respondeat Superior Doctrine to embrace an employee’s negligent conduct which occurred at a time the employee was no longer acting within the scope of his employment. The facts in the Marriott case are simple but tragic. In December 2009, The Marriott threw a holiday party for the staff at its Del Mar Hotel. The hotel managers planned to serve only beer and […]

  • In the closing days of its annual session, the California Legislature approved a minimum wage hike last week. The bill which passed both the California State Assembly and Senate by wide majorities will increase the state minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by July 2014 and to $10.00 per hour by January 2016. For now, the boost will make California’s minimum wage the highest state minimum wage in the United States. The minimum wage increase will also necessarily increase the minimum salary payable to “exempt” employees under California law (employees must be paid a monthly salary of at least twice […]

  • Increasingly, California and other states are funding construction projects for public use through public-private partnerships. In these types of arrangements, the public entity provides the land and authorizes the private entity to design, build and, often times, operate the resulting completed public work. On a typical California public work of improvement, the direct contractor awarded a public works contract in excess of $25,000 is required to furnish surety bonds in an amount not less than 100% of the total contract to ensure that the project will be completed and that subcontractors and suppliers will be paid.  To entice private developers […]

  • Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 462, California law (Labor Code §218.5) required a court to award attorneys’ fees and costs to the prevailing party in any action brought for the nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare pension fund contributions. Thus, if an employer were to successfully defeat an employee’s action to recover unpaid wages, the employer would generally be entitled to recover its attorney’s fees from the employee. On August 26, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 462 (sponsored by the California Employment Lawyers Association) amending Labor Code §218.5 to provide that when the […]

  • In 2011, a California appellate decision (Kelley v. Conoco Companies) called into question a key element of proof required in sexual harassment claims. After Kelley, sexual harassment plaintiffs were faced with the prospect that in order to prevail on a claim, they must prove that the sexually harassing conduct was motivated by sexual desire. On Monday, August 12, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 292. SB 292 amends section 12940 of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to address the Kelley decision and clarifies that a sexual harassment plaintiff is not required to prove, in all […]

  • JOHN CORENBAUM v. DWIGHT LAMPKIN  Court of Appeal Case # B236227  FILED: 4/30/13  May 7, 2013  California Court of Appeal in Corenbaum v Lampkin extends application of Hanif limitations to limit the admissibility of the full amount billed by a medical provider when a lesser amount is accepted as payment in full. The Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Corenbaum v Lampkin on April 30, 2013 interpreting and applying the California Supreme Court case of Howell v Hamilton Meats & Provision, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal. 4th 541. The Court in Corenbaum extended the principles of Hanif v. Housing Authority […]

  • Yelp and other websites that rely on user reviews and ratings have been a flash point for many recent lawsuits. Businesses have sued other businesses and consumers for allegedly defamatory online reviews. Businesses have also accused Yelp and similar websites of extortive business practices by, for example, removing positive reviews if businesses refuse to advertise with the online review company.  In order to preserve consumer trust and demonstrate integrity, companies that publish business reviews have filed suit against companies that allegedly create fake user reviews to boost ratings. Last month, Yelp filed suit against and in the United […]

  • In winning the settlement, Victorville’s attorneys successfully argued that an engineer’s responsibility to its client can be, at times, much more than the customary standard of care. Read more about this case and its far reaching implications here. For more information about this topic please contact:  Glenn E. Turner, III, Esq. or Marion T. Hack, Esq. Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP 1880 Century Park East, 12th Floor Los Angeles, California 90067 Phone: (310) 552-3400 email: or  The content contained herein is published online by Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP (“GGLTSW”) for informational purposes only, may […]

  • Last week, WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest insurers, settled a HIPAA violation case brought by the Department of Health and Human Services. In a self-reported violation, WellPoint was found to have exposed the personal information of over 612,000 individuals in what WellPoint termed a “lapse in its online security during a routine upgrade of its system.” The “lapse” occurred during a routine online upgrade of WellPoint’s tracking system. HHS said, in a statement, “This case sends an important message to HIPAA covered entities to take caution when implementing changes to their information systems, especially when those changes involve updates […]