CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Bogus coffee burn photos lead to arrest of McDonald's customer for fraud

Posted on 11/10/2014 @ 03:00 PM

According to a recent California Department of Insurance press release, a Victorville woman was arrested on 21 felony counts of insurance and workers' compensation fraud, including submitting a fraudulent insurance claim, false statements, and false evidence associated with an alleged fraudulent claim against McDonald's for second-degree burns to her hand from spilled coffee.

She claimed that when handed a cup of coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru, the lid was not secured and the coffee spilled on her right hand. Her injury claim included photos of a hand with second-degree burns. However, detectives discovered that the photos had been copied from a hospital website.

In addition to the photos, the woman submitted counterfeit documentation for treatment that she claimed to have received from a local hospital.

The woman, by copying, then submitting the legitimate burn photos as her own, “attempted to make a profit from another person’s pain and suffering and for this she will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

To read the press release, click here.

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LA Lakers Threatened by Class Action Over Text Messages

Posted on 10/27/2014 @ 04:00 PM

A fan of the Los Angeles Lakers has filed a class action lawsuit against the team under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for text messaging him. The TCPA was passed in 1991, prior to text messaging, in order to regulate unwanted and spam phone calls. Many teams, including the Lakers, offer fans the opportunity to have custom text messages displayed on arena screens during games. First, the fan sends the text message. Then, the team automatically sends a “thank you” response. However, this fan has filed suit against the team under the TCPA reasoning that the law covers text messaging, even though he initiated text communications to participate in the offer.

This is not the first case filed against a Los Angeles team under the TCPA. A lawsuit against the Clippers was recently settled.

To read more, click here.

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Woman suing Disney, claims 'Frozen' is my life story – told to “let it go.”

Posted on 10/02/2014 @ 10:00 AM

A woman has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Disney, claiming that mega-hit Frozen is her life story, saying the animated film took elements from her 2010 autobiography.

Court documents include a list of motifs the author claims were taken from her book like: two sisters, open doors or gates, and a moon setting.

In addition to damages, the author wants Disney to "cease and desist from any and all sales, distribution and marketing of Frozen in any media format."

A Disney spokeswoman responded to her claim, saying, "This is beyond ridiculous, she needs to let it go."

To read more, click here.

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Riverside County Supervisors Delay Lawsuit Transparency Vote

Posted on 09/25/2014 @ 10:00 AM

On September 23, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors punted on a proposal to shine a light on how much civil litigation costs taxpayers. The proposal, introduced by Kevin Jeffries, would require county department budgets reflect settlement costs and judgments stemming from lawsuits concerning departmental activities. Just last year, Riverside County departments paid nearly $21 million to satisfy civil settlements and judgments. It is unclear how many other local governments are saddled with these costs.

Taxpayers ought to know how their money is spent. Jeffries notes that “[e]very dollar paid out is one less dollar that we can utilize for basic services.” The proposal is expected to come back to the board on October 21st.

To read The Press Enterprise article, click here.

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CJAC-Sponsored Bill Signed Today by Governor Brown

Posted on 09/18/2014 @ 05:00 PM

We are pleased to announce that CJAC-sponsored AB 2494, authored by Assemblymember Ken Cooley, was signed into law today by Governor Brown. This bill sailed through the Legislature, garnering no “No” votes along the way. AB 2494 was supported by a broad coalition because it would authorize judges to award attorney’s fees when litigants employ bad-faith tactics. A previous law had provided that litigants subject to bad-faith and unmeritorious tactics could seek sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees, if the act was objectively without merit and had a subjective bad-faith motive, but that law was repealed in 1995. Since then, lawsuit abuse has cost Californians millions of dollars each year, and national studies consistently rank California at the bottom of the 50 states in terms of having a fair and reasonable litigation environment. AB 2494 would restore that previous law and curb lawsuit abuse in California.

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