Case Reviews

Insurance Company’s Right to Reimbursement

JR Marketing, LLC v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company (A133750 decided by the First Appellate District; certified for publication on June 11, 2013) is ostensibly a dispute over attorney’s fees but is in fact an analysis of what happens when an insurer denies coverage for a claim that is later determined to be covered.

Hartford issued commercial general liability policies to Noble Locks Enterprises, Inc. and JR Marketing. While the policies were in effect several individuals brought suit in the Superior Court of Marin County against the insureds for intentional misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, restraint of trade, defamation, interference with business relationships, conversion, accounting, mismanagement and conspiracy. The suit was tendered to Hartford for defense by JR Marketing and Noble Locks. Two other actions were brought against JR Marketing and Noble Locks in courts outside California and were also tendered to Hartford for defense and indemnity.
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Arbitration Clauses

Vargas v. SAI Monrovia, BMW, Inc. (2nd Appellate Dist. B237257)

In September of 2008 Jorge Vargas and Guadalupe Carcamo (“Plaintiffs”) went to SAI Monrovia BMW, doing business as BMW Mini of Monrovia, to buy a Mini Cooper S. They looked at a 2008 model on the lot and completed a credit application to obtain financing. In violation of California law they were not given a copy of the signed credit application. Vargas took the car for a test drive and after the test drive plaintiffs told the salesman (Roger) that they were interested in purchasing the car. Roger told them that if they were interested in keeping their monthly car payment below $500 they would have to make a down payment of $1,500 and that the loan would have to be for a period of 6 years. He told them to return the next day to complete the paper work since the finance office was closed. They returned the next day, spoke to the manager and agreed to purchase an extended warranty for another $1,845.00.
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Vargas Published Opinion

JORGE A. VARGAS et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. SAI MONROVIA B, INC., et al., Defendants and Respondents.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Richard E.
Rico, Judge. Reversed with directions.

Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, Hallen D. Rosner, Christopher P. Barry and Angela J.
Smith for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Rosner, Barry & Babbitt, Hallen D. Rosner, Christopher P. Barry and Angela J. Smith for plaintiffs and Appellants.

Arent Fox, Aaron H. Jacoby, Christian J. Scali, Victor P. Danhi; The Scali Law
Firm and Christian J. Scali for Defendants and Respondents.

In this appeal, we revisit our holding in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC
(2012) 201 Cal.App.4th 74 (Sanchez), review granted March 21, 2012, S199119, that a
“Retail Installment Sale Contract” used to purchase an automobile is unconscionable and
unenforceable. Having considered the decisions of other California appellate courts
handed down after Sanchez, we have refined our analysis and again conclude that the
identical sale contract does not require the arbitration of disputes between a purchaser
and a car dealer because it is permeated by unconscionability.
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