Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Suit Against E*Trade, Juvenile, Tort, Insurance, Contract & Property Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on September 02, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Miranda v. Bomel Constr. Co., Inc., G042073, involved a plaintiff's negligence suit against a general subcontractor and a subcontractor, claiming that defendants negligently, carelessly and unlawfully allowed excavated dirt, located in a vacant lot next to his office, to be in a dangerous, defective, and unlawful condition so as to cause plaintiff to suffer severe injuries and damages when he breathed the particles from the excavated dirt.  In affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the court held that the defendants met their burden of proof that it was only a possibility, not a reasonable medical probability, plaintiff contracted Valley Fever by inhaling an airborne Cocci spore that originated from the soil at the site.  Further, the trial court properly sustained the evidentiary objections to plaintiff's experts' speculative conclusions about causation.


In re R.R., B221140, concerned a challenge to the juvenile court's order declaring petitioner-father's daughter a person described by Welfare and Institutions Code section 300(b) based on the father's past and current drug use, in dependency proceedings.  The court affirmed where: 1) the juvenile court did not err in denying father's motion to quash subpoena of his hospitalization; 2) any error in not hearing the motion to quash was harmless because as a matter of substantive law the motion would have been denied as father's hospital records were admissible; 3) father's claim that his right to privacy was violated by dissemination of his medical records is rejected; 4) substantial evidence supported the finding that the daughter was a person described by section 300; and 5) juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by ordering monitored visits.

HCM Healthcare, Inc. v. California Ins. Guarantee Ass'n, B213373, involved a residential nursing facility's suit against California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) for breach of contract and for violating the Insurance Code for refusing to provide plaintiffs with defense counsel and indemnification for underlying lawsuits for elder abuse.  In affirming the judgment in favor of defendant, the court held that, as a creature of statute, and not of contract, in some instances CIGA may not be responsible for an insured loss to the same extent as the insolvent insurer might be under the terms of its insurance contract.  Also, Pennsylvania's liquidation order imposed a June 30, 2005 deadline for filing against an insurer and because plaintiff did not meet the deadline, CIGA may not honor their claims.

Doe v. Lincoln Unified Sch. Dist., C062554, involved a plaintiff-teacher's suit against a school district and various school officials, seeking a writ of mandate to compel the defendants to initiate proceedings under Education Code section 44942.  In affirming the trial court's conclusion that the school district was required to initiate section 44942 proceedings before placing plaintiff on involuntary sick leave and ordering defendants to pay plaintiff's full salary during the period she was forced to use sick leave credits and to reinstate any other accumulated benefits lost during the period, the court held that the defendants' standing argument is not well taken and they have forfeited any other argument they may have regarding plaintiff's use of a fictitious name.

Critzer v. Enos, H033913, involved a plaintiffs' suit against a homeowners association (HOA), and a property owner and its successor in interest, involving a dispute concerning a window installed in defendant-property owner's upstairs bathroom.  In reversing the trial court's order enforcing the parties' settlement, the court held that the order enforcing the settlement finally determined the rights of the parties, and therefore, the order is amended to include an appealable judgment.  The court went on to hold that, because there was neither an oral settlement all parties personally agreed upon, nor a written settlement signed by all of the parties, the court lacked authority under the summary procedure of section 664.6 to enforce any settlement.

Ajaxo Inc. v. E*Trade Fin. Corp., H033631, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of plaintiff's request for award of reasonable royalties, in plaintiff's suit against E*Trade Financial Corporation (E*Trade) for misappropriation of trade secrets under the California Uniform Trade Secret Act.  In reversing, the court remanded the matter as, given the jury's finding that E*Trade did not profit from its misappropriation of trade secrets, unjust enrichment is not "provable" within the meaning of section 3426.3.  Also, since E*Trade had consistently and successfully taken the position that plaintiff's actual losses are not provable, E*Trade is estopped from arguing otherwise now.  Lastly, because neither actual loss nor unjust enrichment is provable, the trial court had discretion pursuant to section 3426.3(b) to order payment of a reasonable royalty.

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