New CA Torts Case


California Case Summaries™
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California courts publish around 500 new civil cases each year and many of them significantly change California law. California lawyers need to know the new case law in their practice areas! 

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Can a corporation that is solely owned by an alleged sexual molester of minors be liable for the acts of its owner?

Last month, the Second District Court of Appeal addressed this issue in a case arising from the actions of Michael Jackson. 

New CA Tort Decision  

Safechuck v. MJJ Productions, Inc. (2023) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2023 WL 5317832: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order sustaining defendants’ demurrer, without leave to amend, in a case alleging sexual molestation of a minor by Michael Jackson, and reversed the trial court’s order granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment in another similar sexual molestation case involving Jackson. The trial court concluded that the two corporations, wholly owned by the Jackson, did not have a duty to protect plaintiffs from sexual abuse Jackson is alleged to have inflicted on them for many years while they were children because the corporations had no ability to control Jackson—their sole owner—or his interactions with plaintiffs. The Court of Appeal disagreed, and following the guidance in Brown v. USA Taekwondo (2021) 11 Cal.5th 204, concluded that a corporation that facilitates the sexual abuse of children by one of its employees is not excused from an affirmative duty to protect those children merely because it is solely owned by the perpetrator of the abuse. Concluding that it would be perverse to find no duty based on the corporate defendant having only one shareholder, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgments entered for the corporations. (C.A. 2nd, August 18, 2023.) 

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I help attorneys and their clients settle cases as a mediator, fairly decide cases as an arbitrator, and fairly decide issues as a referee at ADR Services, Inc. in the areas of business, employment, insurance (bad faith, coverage, UIM) probate (trusts and estates), real property, and torts (elder abuse, medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability and wrongful death). As a Zoom expert, I conduct Zoom and in-person hearings throughout California. To schedule a matter, please contact my case managers at ADR Services, Inc., Haward Cho, (213) 683-1600, 
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Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee at ADR Services
Master Lawyer Mentoring™: Trial training & Associate training 
Publisher: California Case Summaries™
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ABOTA Member Since 1995
Past President San Diego County Bar Assn., SD ABOTA Chapter
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