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Thursday, October 21st, 2021
Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Closed
by April 16, 2021 Business

Plaintiff environmental group appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Francisco County (California), concluding that the group’s designated testing method was not any of the “methods of analysis” permitted by Cal. Code Regs., tit. 22, § 12901, to be used in determining whether there was a discharge by defendant manufacturers under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Health & Saf. Code, §§ 25249.5-25249.13.

Overview

The group alleged that the plumbing parts manufactured and/or distributed by defendants discharged lead into sources of California drinking water. The court held that the trial court’s interpretation of the “specific medium” as requiring actual California drinking water, for determining the existence of a discharge under the Act, was an unduly narrow interpretation. Nothing in Cal. Code Regs., tit. 22, § 12901, or the final statement of reasons in support of the enactment required an exact identity of medium. Moreover, as a remedial statute, the Act had to be broadly construed to effectuate its remedial purpose. The conditions only had to be substantially identical, not absolutely identical. The misinterpretation was harmless, however. The repeal of § 12901, was not to be given retroactive application because it was substantive. Parties’ litigation lawyer California appeal.

Outcome

The court affirmed the judgment.

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff corporation filed a motion to dismiss or stay the counterclaims of defendants pending arbitration, while defendants filed a motion for trial preference in plaintiffs’ suit for damages and injunctive relief against defendants for the allegedly improper use of plaintiff’s trade name and trademarks on several claims.

Overview

Plaintiff filed a complaint claiming that defendants had continued to use plaintiff’s trade name and trademarks in advertising, promotions, and marketing after the general partnership’s license to use such items had been terminated. Plaintiffs asserted several claims for relief, including a breach of contract claim. Defendants filed a counterclaim asserting several claims of their own against plaintiff. Plaintiff later filed a motion to dismiss or stay defendants’ counterclaims pending arbitration, and defendants filed a motion for trial preference. The court found that defendants’ counterclaims and plaintiff’s breach of contract claim were referable to arbitration, pursuant to a certain paragraph of the dealer agreement. Moreover, neither party had waived its right to arbitration nor was either party in default of such proceedings. Under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C.S. § 3, the court stayed all of defendants’ counterclaims and plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract pending arbitration. The court granted defendants’ motion for a trial preference, having stayed defendants’ counterclaims and plaintiff’s breach of contract claim.

Outcome

Plaintiff’s motion to stay defendants’ counterclaims pending arbitration was granted as to defendants’ counterclaims and also stayed plaintiff’s breach of contract claim. Defendants’ motion for trial preference was also granted, with directions that a pre-trial conference be held on a certain date and that trial on plaintiff’s remaining claims for relief commence thereafter.

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