Case Involving Anti-SPAM Law, Plus Contracts, Tort, Corporate, & Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on June 22, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Myrick v. Mastagni, B209854, concerned a wrongful death action against building owners for negligence in failing to perform seismic retrofitting of the building that killed two women in a 2003 earthquake.  In affirming the judgment of the trial court, the court held that a city ordinance requiring hazardous buildings to be retrofitted by a certain date does not insulate owners of unreinforced masonry buildings from negligence causing death or injuries prior to the compliance date.  The court also held that the Civ. Code section 1431.1 and 1431.2 do not apply to defendants in a joint venture.     

In Thrifty Payless, Inc. v. Mariners Mile Gateway, LLC, No. G041414, the Fourth District faced a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for nonsuit and expert witness fees is in a tenant's suit against the defendant-landlord over a lease for new commercial property.  In affirming, the court held that the trial court's decision granting the nonsuit was proper as a matter of law, and that the trial court did not err by allowing defendant to recover its expert witness fees pursuant to the lease.     

Fox v. JAMDAT Mobile, Inc., No. B212672, concerned a stockholder's suit against a company and individual directors, claiming that both the acquisition process, and the common stock arising from the acquisition were unfair.  In reversing in part, the court held that the doctrine of shareholder ratification does not bar the intervenor's claims.  The court also held that the intervenor's complaint, which consists of a single cause of action states facts sufficient for a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duties as to the individual directors.  However, the trial court's judgment sustaining the demurrer as to the company is affirmed.     

In People v. Fontana, No. S170528, the California Supreme Court faced a challenge to the judgment of the court of appeal reversing defendant's sex offense related conviction.  In reversing, the court held that, although the trial court erred in failing to conduct a hearing under Evidence Code section 782 to investigate whether the victim's prior sexual activity could have provided an alternative explanation for her oral and vaginal injuries, and even assuming the hearing would have established the existence and relevance of sexual conduct by the victim earlier that day, the exclusion of such evidence was harmless under any standard. The court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of the victim's sexual conduct earlier that day, to the extent it was offered to corroborate defendant's testimony.  

Lastly, Kleffman v. Vonage Holdings Corp., No. S169195, concerned a plaintiff's class action suit under section 17529.5(a)(2), which makes it unlawful to advertise in a commercial e-mail advertisement (i.e. spam) that "contains or is accompanied by falsified, misrepresented, or forged header information."   In affirming the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim, the court held that sending commercial e-mail advertisements from multiple domain names for the purpose of bypassing spam filters is not unlawful under section 17529.5(a)(2). 

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