April 23

California Supreme Court Determines How to Compute Overtime When an Employee Earns a Flat Sum Bonus

California Supreme Court Determines How to Compute Overtime When an Employee Earns a Flat Sum Bonus

On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the method for calculating an employee’s overtime rate when an employee has earned a flat sum bonus during a single sum pay period. In Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California (2018) 4 Cal. 5th 542, the Supreme Court ruled that the value of the flat sum bonus is determined by dividing the amount of the bonus by the total number of non-overtime hours actually worked during the relevant pay period and using 1.5, not .5, as the multiplier for determining the employee’s overtime pay rate.

March 9

Brand Name Drug Manufacturers: Seller Beware

Brand Name Drug Manufacturers: Seller Beware

In the past, liability of a product was limited to only those entities within the stream of commerce. A new California Supreme Court case, T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (2017) 4 Cal. 5th 145, has recently allowed a cause of action to proceed when a seller’s product was not actually the one used by a plaintiff.

February 23

California Court of Appeal Confirms that Insureds Are Not Entitled to Appointment of Cumis Counsel Where Only a Potential Conflict Exists

On January 22, 2018, in Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 789, the Third Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal held that a possible or potential conflict of interest did not suffice under Code of Civil Procedure section 2860 to entitle an insured developer to independent counsel. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary adjudication in favor of the insurer regarding a coverage dispute over the defense it provided to the developer, Centex Homes, subject to a reservation of rights issued in connection with a construction defect lawsuit.

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