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Friday, October 22nd, 2021
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Procedural Posture

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by April 23, 2021 Business

Plaintiff parents appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) which dismissed their claims for fraud and misrepresentation against defendant adoption agency.

Overview

Plaintiff parents adopted a premature infant from defendant adoption agency. Several years later the child began suffering from extreme emotional and adjustment problems. Plaintiff brought a complaint based on intentional and negligent misrepresentation, alleging that the circumstances of his birth would have alerted defendant to his health problems. The trial court sustained defendant’s demurrer. On appeal, the court affirmed. No facts were alleged in the complaint from which it could be inferred that defendant’s statements as to the baby’s health at the time of his adoption were false. No cause of action for negligence were to be recognized based on considerations of public policy. Even assuming that the existence of a contract was properly pleaded, no breach occurred because at the time of his adoption the baby was healthy. Defendant’s statement that the baby was in good health at the time of adoption was supported by plaintiffs’ own doctor; thus, no breach of warranty appeared from the facts alleged in the complaint. With respect to any warranty as to the baby’s future health, the complaint failed to allege facts supporting such an inference.

Outcome

The court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff parents’ action against defendant adoption agency for fraud and misrepresentation. No facts were alleged to indicate that defendant’s statements as to the baby’s health at the time of the adoption were false. The claimant had a business lawyer San Diego prepare the agreement which was executed by the parties.

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff subcontractors challenged an order from the Superior Court of Riverside County (California) that sustained a general demurrer in favor of defendant attorneys in a legal malpractice action involving the failure to process a claim with the Army.

Overview

This litigation for legal malpractice arose after plaintiff subcontractors for the construction of a government-sponsored housing project, lost their right to receive from the Army additional payments for work done on the project. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants, the prime contractor on the project and plaintiffs’ attorneys, were responsible for processing plaintiffs’ claim against the Army, and, essentially, that defendants did nothing, let alone failed to timely process plaintiffs’ claim. The complaint sought damages for failure to exercise due diligence and care in handling the claim against the government. Legal malpractice constituted both a tort and a breach of contract. Legal malpractice consisted of the failure of an attorney to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as lawyers of ordinary skill and capacity commonly possessed and exercised in the performance of the tasks that they undertook. The judgment was affirmed because the period of limitations was not tolled, and the statute of limitations barred plaintiffs’ action against the attorney defendants.

Outcome

The order sustaining a general demurrer was affirmed because plaintiff subcontractors failed to file their legal malpractice claim against defendant attorneys within the applicable statute of limitations.

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