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California Rules of court Demurrer

If a plaintiff feels that the answer to their complaint did not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense, or if the answer is uncertain, the plaintiff may file a demurrer to the answer within 10 days of being served with the answer

Defendant appealed the judgment of the Tulare County Superior Court (California) awarding recovery to insured and upholding defendant insurer’s obligation to pay upon a liability insurance policy for an accidental death claim.If a plaintiff feels that the answer to their complaint did not state facts sufficient to constitute a defense, or if the answer is uncertain California rules of court demurrer the plaintiff may file a demurrer to the answer within 10 days of being served with the answer.

Plaintiff, operator of an electric light and power plant, was insured under a contractor’s public liability accident policy. Plaintiff was sued by the estate of an employee killed in an accident at one of plaintiff’s pumping plants. When plaintiff notified defendant of the claim, defendant sent a letter advising plaintiff that the policy had been canceled for nonpayment of premiums. Defendant later issued a letter indicating that the policy would be reinstated and defendant would assume liability in the legal action upon payment of the premium. The policy was reinstated and defendant provided plaintiff’s defense in the legal action. Defendant appealed the judgment rendered after a favorable jury verdict for the estate, and denied liability under the policy.

The court affirmed the judgment, awarding recovery to insured and upholding defendant insurer’s obligation to pay upon a liability insurance policy for an accidental death claim but modified the award by eliminating interest and attorney fees which were erroneously included by the trial court.

In consolidated cases all involving the same issue, the adequacy of the 60-day notice required to be given prior to filing an action under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Cal. Health & Safety Code § 25249.5 et seq., Appellants sought review of judgments of the Los Angeles County Superior Court (California) sustaining respondents’ demurrers without leave to amend and dismissing the actions.

Appellants sent notices regarding alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 by respondents throughout California and then filed suit after the applicable governmental agencies failed to take steps to enforce the alleged violations. The notices alleged that respondents knowingly and intentionally exposed persons (such as customers and employees) to tobacco smoke and cigars containing chemicals designated by the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity without first giving clear and reasonable warning of that fact to the exposed persons ... The instant court concluded that the notices sent by appellants were insufficient because they failed to state sufficient specific facts to enable respondents and the appropriate governmental agencies to undertake a meaningful investigation and remedy the alleged violations prior to citizen intervention. Appellants’ notices simply regurgitated the language of Cal. Regs. tit. 22, § 12903, setting forth the 60-day notice requirement, without stating the most basic facts to describe the nature of the alleged violations. Thus, the trial court did not err in dismissing the actions.

Judgments were affirmed. Respondents were awarded their costs on appeal.

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