Are Redevelopment Agencies Dead in California?
by Ferdie F. Franklin (Orange Office)


CaliforniaRedevelopment agencies have been an important part of the political and economic landscape of the State of California since shortly after the end of World War II.  However, on December 29, 2011, the California Supreme Court confirmed the constitutionality of a law that dissolves such agencies while finding a companion law that would have allowed them to exist, subject to agreeing to certain financial compromises, unconstitutional.  Therefore, redevelopment agencies have been dissolved in this state, effective February 1, 2012. 

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California Supreme Court Limits Recovery For Past Medical Expenses
by Stephanie Rothberg (Orange Office)
 
CaliforniaThe California Supreme Court in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541, recently limited the amount a plaintiff can recover for past medical damages to the amounts actually paid by an insurer as opposed to the full amount billed by the medical provider.  The Howell decision resolved a split in authority at the appellate level.
 
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Benzene Litigation Conference On Tap

On April 26-27, 2012, WFBM Partner Dee Cohen Katz will join a nationally-recognized, accomplished group of benzene litigators at the Harris Martin Benzene Litigation Conference: "Recent  Developments in the Law and Science" at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place.

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Meet Our Founder: Jeffrey P. Walsworth
Jeff-headshot-web-nameCaliforniaWhile others his age were hitting the beach with their surfboards, a young Jeff Walsworth began his professional career by pushing a lawnmower over the landscape of a rapidly changing and developing Orange County, California.  He developed a loyal following among local business owners, corporations and professionals who quickly recognized Jeff as personable, motivated and willing to roll up his sleeves and dive into his work.  Even then, he considered his clients invaluable, and listened closely when they shared their thoughts and insight. 

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Prevailing Employers In Overtime Compensation Cases May Be Entitled To Costs
by Reyna Macias (Orange Office)


CaliforniaWage and hour lawsuits can be very costly to employers.  Employees generally had nothing to lose by filing questionable overtime compensation claims - that is until the recent decision of Plancich v. United Parcel Service, Inc., in which the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that an employer that prevails in an overtime compensation claim can recover its costs from the employee.  Plancich was employed by UPS as an onroad supervisor.  He sued UPS based upon a variety of claimed statutory violations, including failing to pay overtime compensation and unfair competition.  He alleged that UPS erroneously classified him as an exempt employee, and that he worked more than eight hours per day, and more than 40 hours per week. 

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Premises Owners' Duty of Care to Independent Contractors' Employees
by Hillary H. Huth (San Francisco Office)


CaliforniaWhat duty of care do premises owners owe to employees of independent contractors hired to perform work at their sites?

Pursuant to a line of California cases, a premises owner who hires a contractor is, with certain exceptions, immune liability for injuries to an independent contractor's employee.  So, if an employee of an independent contractor is injured on the job, his or her remedy is through the employer's Workers' Compensation insurance, and not in an action against the premises owner.

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WFBM Recent RESULTS

Will the Designation of Formaldehyde as a "Known Human Carcinogen" Increase Toxic Tort Litigation?
by Christopher M. McDonald (Orange Office)

CaliforniaOn June 10, 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") released the 12th Report on Carcinogens ("RoC"), a public health and scientific informational document which identifies substances, agents, compounds and exposure conditions that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans. In this report, formaldehyde, a commonly used chemical, was identified as a "known human carcinogen". Formaldehyde was first identified in 1981 as a substance that was "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" based on laboratory studies that showed it caused nasal cancer in experimental animals. The change in the status of formaldehyde to a "known human carcinogen" was based on additional recently published epidemiological human studies that show that individuals with higher exposure levels are at an increased risk for certain cancers, including myeloid leukemia, nasal cancer and throat cancer.

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Pink Day!
As part of the firm's annual tradition, WFBM staff members show their support for breast cancer victims and the race for a cure.

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