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New CA Torts Case

duty negligence torts May 31, 2022

To do the best job possible as a mediator, arbitrator and referee, I keep up with and summarize the new published California civil cases. In this blog I discuss a new civil case that was published last month. 


The issue of duty is an important concept in negligence. Last month, the Fourth District Court of Appeal published a new case addressing whether a contract between a Costco store and an independent contractor operating food sample tables in the store could effectively limit the duty the independent contractor owed to Costco customers in the store. A video discussing the case is above and my summary of the case is below.

New Torts Decision 

Hassaine v. Club Demonstration Services, Inc. (2022) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2022 WL 1195331: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's action alleging negligence and damages arising out of her slip and fall on a slippery substance on the floor of a Costco store. Defendant was an independent contractor that operated food sample tables within the store. The trial court erred in concluding that defendant owed no duty to plaintiff because defendant's contract with Costco Wholesale Warehouse Corporation (Costco) limited defendant's maintenance obligations to a 12-foot perimeter around each sample table, and plaintiff's fall occurred outside that boundary. The Court of Appeal ruled that businesses have a common law duty of ordinary care to their customers that extends to every area of the store in which they are likely to shop, and while the agreement between Costco and defendant might allocate responsibility and liability as a matter of contract between those parties, it did not limit the scope of defendant's common law duty to customers. (C.A. 4th, April 22, 2022.)

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I help attorneys and their clients as a mediator, arbitrator and referee with ADR Services, Inc. I handle cases in the areas of business, commercial, employment, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, land use, landlord-tenant (commercial and residential), legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, real property and wrongful death. I also keep up with the new civil case law published in California. I offer Zoom services throughout California and also in-person services. I've been a California civil trial lawyer since 1980 and a member of ABOTA since 1995. I've represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil cases including the areas listed above. If you'd like to work with me, please contact my case manager at ADR services, Haward Cho, [email protected], (213) 683-1600.  

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Since 2012, I've helped many California lawyers easily keep up with the new case law in their practice areas by publishing California Case Summaries™ with short summaries (one paragraph), organized by legal topic, of every new CA civil case published in monthly, quarterly and annual subscription editions. My publications are available to a limited number of subscribers, giving them a competitive advantage, and are periodically opened to new subscribers. Subscribers save time, win more, and make more money.
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Until my next blog post, stay safe and healthy.

Best regards,
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
California Case Summaries™
CA Civil Trial Attorney Since 1980
ABOTA Member Since 1995
Past President San Diego County Bar Assn., SD ABOTA Chapter
Phone: (619) 990-4312. Email: [email protected]

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