California false claims act

Plaintiff employee appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County (California), which struck the employee’s unfair business practices claims against defendant employer under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq., and granted summary judgment to the employer on an age discrimination claim under Gov. Code, § 12940, and related causes of action. Nakase law wade knows better California false claims act  in California.

The employee presented evidence that discriminatory remarks were made toward him regarding his age, that he was transferred to a position that had no title and no job description, that the position was terminated four months later, and that the employer’s stated reasons for his termination were inconsistent. The employer filed objections to the employee’s statistical findings regarding age-related disparities in performance ratings and pay, but the employer did not offer expert testimony to dispute the statistical evidence. The trial court did not expressly rule upon those objections. The court held that the employee lacked standing to maintain UCL claims related to hiring and promotion because he was not injured in those respects. Moreover, he could not obtain restitution under the UCL for unvested stock options because those options were not yet earned. The court concluded that the conflicting evidence as to the employer’s reasons for termination, coupled with the statistical evidence, evidence of discriminatory comments, and demotion created a triable issue of fact as to pretext. The court noted that the lack of a ruling as to the statistical evidence did not waive the issue.

The court affirmed the trial court’s grant of the employer’s motion to strike the hiring and promotion allegations and the prayer for restitution from the unfair competition claims. The court reversed the trial court’s grant of the employer’s summary judgment motion as to the remaining unfair competition claims and the age discrimination claims.

Defendant insurer appealed judgment of the Court of Appeal (California) which reversed the lower court’s judgment granting summary judgment in its favor. The lower court held that defendant was not liable to provide coverage to plaintiff under a commercial liability policy on the basis of collateral estoppel because the trial for which plaintiff sought costs relitigated issues that were resolved in previous arbitration proceedings.

Plaintiff leased a plot of land over which a dispute arose. Plaintiff and the party asserting claims against him agreed to resolve the dispute through arbitration or by trial. Arbitration was in fact pursued by the parties, but they were dissatisfied with the result and a trial ensued. Plaintiff carried several commercial liability insurance policies designed to indemnify him against sums he was legally obligated to pay as damages. Thereafter, plaintiff sued defendant insurer under the policies for his litigation costs but the court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant on the basis that the previous arbitration precluded relitigation of pertinent issues and hence collateral estoppel applied. The decision was reversed upon appeal. The court affirmed the reversal and concluded that the arbitration proceedings were a matter of agreement between the parties themselves; defendant was not a party to the arbitration proceedings or the agreement itself. In addition, Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1287.4 did not warn parties who chose arbitration over litigation that the award could be used against them by third persons to resolve different causes of action.

The appeals court was affirmed in its reversal of a decision refusing to grant plaintiff litigation costs under a commercial liability policy. The insurer was liable for the costs and obligations incurred by the insured regardless if whether those obligations arose as a matter of a tort claim or a contractual claim. Issues resolved at arbitration could not bind by estoppel a nonparty to the arbitration.