Plaintiff, 63, alleged that she was injured at a major retailer in Oxnard, California on November 27, 2010 when she tripped and fell on two hoses that were draped across the store apron (sidewalk) from the vicinity of the entrance. Defendant contended that the hoses did not create a dangerous condition as they were open and obvious.
Martin S. v Confidential Night Club
Slip and fall accident
Feb 22, 2013
$2,500,000 recovered for client
In 2011, Martin S was a patron at a nightclub. At closing time for the night club Mr. S fell down a staircase used by the nightclub for egress. Mr. S suffered a traumatic brain injury
Carr v Val Verde School District
Nov 03, 2009
$2,950,000.00 recovered for client.
On Friday, January 28, 2005, at 3:00 pm, Plaintiff was a 15 year old student at a High School within Defendant Val Verde Unified School District in Moreno Valley, California when he suffered a stroke for unknown reasons. At the time, Plaintiff was boarding a school bus operated by Defendant Laidlaw Transit, Inc. while on school grounds when he passed out. Plaintiff was taken off the bus by school staff and brought to the school health office where he was attended to by the school health technician for nearly one and one half hours before 911 was called. Plaintiff contended that some or all of his injuries were caused by the failure to call 911 earlier.
Nein v. HostPro, Inc.
Employment and labor
Jun 03, 2009
Affirming summary judgment in favor of an employer, the California Court of Appeal has held that the plain language of an employment agreement barred a salesperson’s recovery of commissions following his termination of employment. Nein v. HostPro, Inc., No. B199497 (Cal. Ct. App. June 4, 2009). The Court also held that the agreement precluded the plaintiff’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, for state Labor Code violations for failing to pay wages, and for violations of the state Unfair Competition Law.
Randy Nein worked as a salesperson for HostPro between October, 1999 and December, 2001. When he was hired, the parties signed an employment agreement, which provided, among other things, that Nein “will be eligible for commission pay . . . so long as [he] remains employed with the Company as a Sales Representative.”
In December, 2000, Nein approached a potential customer and suggested that HostPro provide services for it. Negotiations were incomplete when the employer terminated the Nein in December, 2001. In January, 2002, the HostPro and the customer completed the transaction. Nein sued to recover his alleged commissions for the transaction. HostPro moved for summary judgment and argued that Nein was not due any commissions based on the parties’ employment agreement. The trial court granted the motion, and Nein appealed.
On appeal, HostPro argued that the agreement provided that Nein was entitled to a commission only while he was employed by the company; since his employment was terminated before the customer’s transaction was completed Nein was not entitled to a commission. Siding with the employer, the appellate court found that the agreement’s language was “susceptible to only one interpretation — that once plaintiff ceased to be employed by defendant, he would no longer be eligible for commission pay.” Accordingly, the Court concluded that the agreement precluded the “plaintiff from collecting additional commissions post-termination.”
The Court then addressed Nein’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The Court noted that an “implied covenant cannot create an obligation inconsistent with an express term of the agreement.” Because the Court found that the agreement barred Nein from recovering commissions after his termination, the defendant’s failure to pay him commissions did not violate an implied covenant.
Addressing Nein’s claim for violations of the state Labor Code, the Court stated that it was “undisputed” that commissions constitute wages under the Labor Code. However, “[t]he right of a salesperson or any other person to a commission depends on the terms of the contract for compensation.” Under the agreement’s plain language, Nein was not entitled to commissions after he was terminated; therefore, the employer’s failure to pay commissions did not violate the Labor Code. Likewise, the Court found that because no commission was owed as a matter of law, the employer did not violate the UCL. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment in favor of HostPro.
Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to provide assistance in drafting and defending employment agreements.