Plaintiff insurer appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which ruled that the insurer was entitled to equitable contribution from defendant coinsurers in an amount less than it had sought.
The insurer provided general liability insurance policies to the operators of an oil refining and recycling business, who were sued by a subsequent buyer of the property for causing environmental contamination. The insurer defended under a reservation of rights. Two coinsurers agreed to share some of the defense costs but disputed the date as of which the insurer was entitled to contribution. Finding defects as to notice and tender, ADA defense attorney near me the trial court concluded that the insurer was not entitled to equitable contribution for the first three years of the litigation. The court held that an insurer’s obligation of equitable contribution for defense costs arose where a diligent inquiry by the insurer after notice of litigation would reveal the potential exposure to a claim for equitable contribution, thus providing the insurer with the opportunity for investigation and participation in the defense in the underlying litigation. Had the coinsurers diligently pursued the requisite inquiry, they would have discovered their potential exposure to the claims for equitable contribution promptly after their insureds tendered their defense, notwithstanding the defects as to notice and tender.
The court dismissed the appeal as to an insurance company that had abandoned its appeal, reversed as to the starting date on which the insurer that provided a defense was entitled to equitable contribution for defense costs from the two coinsurers, remanded with directions to the trial court to modify the judgment accordingly, and affirmed in all other respects.
Appellants, owners of minority interests in a limited partnership, sought review of orders from the Superior Court of Sacramento County (California), which denied a petition for buyout, granted an anti-SLAPP motion filed by respondent majority interest owners, and awarded fees and costs for the anti-SLAPP motion.
The majority owners filed an action seeking judicial dissolution of the partnership as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. The minority owners sought to avoid dissolution and petitioned for a buyout. The majority owners dismissed with prejudice the cause of action for judicial dissolution and filed an anti-SLAPP motion. The court determined that the minority owners had a right to appeal under Corp. Code, § 15908.02, subd. (d), as parties aggrieved by the denial of the buyout petition. The court held that the trial court properly denied the petition for buyout because it no longer had jurisdiction under § 15908.02, subd. (b), to grant such a request following the voluntary dismissal under Code Civ. Proc., § 581, subd. (c), of the cause of action for judicial dissolution. A buyout provision in the partnership agreement did not preclude the application of § 15908.02. The trial court erred in granting the anti-SLAPP motion because the request for buyout did not, under Code Civ. Proc., § 425.16, subd. (b)(1), arise from the protected activity of filing the action for judicial dissolution. Thus, the award of fees and costs under § 425.16, subd. (c)(1), had to be reversed.
The court affirmed the order denying the petition for buyout, reversed the grant of the anti-SLAPP motion, and reversed the award of attorney fees and costs.