Decisions in Products Liability, Tort, Criminal & Juvenile Law Matters

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

Robinson v. Endovascular Technologies, Inc., H033951, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the ground that plaintiff's state law claims were preempted under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA), in plaintiff's products liability and personal injury suit against defendants for suffering severe injuries after he was implanted with the Ancure Endocraft System during a clinical study.

In affirming, the court held that, applying the test set forth in Riegel, the FDA has established requirements applicable to the Ancure Device under the investigational device exemption (IDE), thereby satisfying the first prong of the Riegel test.  Further, the second prong of the Riegel test has also been satisfied, as to the extent that plaintiff's complaint alleged that the Ancure Device was unsafe and its warnings were inadequate, he was seeking to impose state law requirements that were "'different from, or in addition to'" the MDA.

People v. Puentes, H034546, Conviction of defendant for statutory rape of someone more than three years younger and placed on felony probation for three years, is reversed as the People did not carry their burden to dispel the presumption of vindictiveness where, here, the prosecutor believed that justice had been served by the misdemeanor conviction only until defendant prevailed on appeal, and the magistrate's finding that the prosecutor was honest, serious, and acting in good faith belief that she could prove the felony beyond a reasonable doubt does not overcome the undisputed fact that the prosecutor changed her mind about the interests of justice only after defendant prevailed on appeal.

People v. Hollinquest, A124613, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for first degree murder with a special circumstance.  In affirming , the court held that the prosecutor did not deny defendant the right of confrontation by refusing to grant immunity to a witness who testified at the preliminary hearing but was subsequently charged with murder.  Further, the prosecutor's reference in closing argument to defendant's post-arrest silence in discussions with a friend was misconduct, but was not prejudicial to the defense.

 Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, Inc. v. W. Farm Serv., Inc., H033718, concerned a plaintiff's suit claiming that pesticides defendant supplied to fields near plaintiff's farm migrated to plaintiff's land, contaminated plaintiff's crop, and rendered the crop unmarketable.  The jury rendered a verdict against the defendant in awarding plaintiff $1 million for the 2007 loss but nothing for 2006.

In affirming, the court held that defendant's argument that the trial court lacked jurisdiction, except as allowed by the pesticide laws, to issue an injunction controlling the place where pesticides may be applied, is dismissed as moot.  The court also held that plaintiff's causes of action for negligence, trespass, and nuisance are not displaced by the pesticide laws, as the statutory scheme leaves ample room for such claims.  Further, the negligence and trespass causes of action were not barred by an administrative determination that defendant had complies with the pesticide laws.  Lastly, the trial court did not err by instructing the jury in the doctrine of negligence per se, and Civil Code section 3482 does not bar the nuisance cause of action.

In re Grace C., A127208, concerned a challenge to a juvenile court's orders dismissing dependency proceedings as to defendant's children after relatives were appointed as legal guardians for the minors.  In affirming, the court held that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in terminating its dependency jurisdiction as the juvenile court's conclusion that the legal guardians supported continued visitation was supported by substantial evidence.  The court also held that the juvenile court's visitation order was not an abuse of discretion and the court properly considered the need for flexibility and allowed for adjustments if necessary after the termination of jurisdiction.  Lastly, because neither the defendant nor the child's father provided anything more than the barest suggestion that the minors were Indian children, defendant's argument that the Social Services Agency was obligated to provide ICWA notice is rejected.

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