May 24, 2013

Summary of May 22, 2013 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, S209836—Review Granted—May 22, 2013

In this action against a hospital by a patient injured when she fell from her hospital bed after its rail collapsed, the questions presented are: (1) Does the one-year statute of limitations for claims under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (Code Civ. Proc., § 340.5) or the two-year statute of limitations for ordinary negligence (Code Civ. Proc., § 335.1) govern an action for premises liability against a hospital based on negligent maintenance of hospital equipment? (2) Did the injury in this case arise out of “professional negligence,” as that term is used in Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, or ordinary negligence?

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, held in a published decision, Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1386, that the complaint sounded in ordinary negligence since “the negligence did not occur in the rendering of professional services.” Therefore, it held the action is governed by the two-year statute of limitations.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)



Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen (Legislature of the State of California), S209368—Depublished—May 22, 2013

The issue in this case was whether the California Constitution allows the Legislature to identify “spot bills” (blank bills with an assigned number but no substance) in the budget bill, pass the budget, and thereafter add content to the placeholder and approve it by a majority vote as urgency legislation.

The Court of Appeal, Third District, held in a formerly published opinion, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen (2013) 212 Cal.App.4th 1298, that “spot bills which remain empty of content at the time the budget is passed are not bills that can be identified within the meaning of article IV, section 12, subdivision (e)(2) of the California Constitution and enacted as urgency legislation by a mere majority vote.”

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